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How to get out and about with a reflux baby?

(15 Posts)
iwillbrushmyteethbefore10am Fri 15-Jul-11 11:15:21

My 7 week old has painful reflux and after weeks being a battler at feed times, hitting me constantly, has settled down a little - thanks to Gaviscon (although bit tricky trying to feed this to him after he has fallen asleep whilst BF). He is still very sicky but the sick is thicker and doesn't seem to hurt him so much. Problem is that he is that now he is a little more settled he is constantly feeding. I have spoken to other mum's who just smile and say that babies are hard and it is annoying when they are sick and why don't I get out more etc. HV said I need to speak to other mums and why don't I try the surestart centre. My typical day however is:

6.30 am DS wakes squirming in pain, so get him up to feed him (no feeding cues but I guess the milk soothes his pain)
6.50 am put him down (I'm trying to get him to settle more at night) in propped up moses basket.
7 am he's still squirming so put him on my chest in bed, so I can get a bit more shut eye (he hates lying on his back but I am perservering).
7.30 am get up and go downstairs
7.45 feed then have him on chest for 20 mins to stop sick.
8.30 put him down, let him squirm for a bit in pain then pick him up and carry him around before feeding again.
9.15 am feed him (proper feeding cues this time)
10 am goes down for a nap (he will usually sleep for a couple of hours now)
I then have my breakfast, get washed dressed, put washing on etc. try and express ready to have some milk to mix with the Gaviscon.
12 noon DS wakes squirming in pain, try and distract him for a bit on play mat etc.
12.30 pm feed and hold on chest for about 20 mins
13.30 pm try and put down, DS not happy so put him in bouncy chair and sometimes have to leave him to cry just so I can make myself a drink and something to eat, but feel so guilty when I come back and he is in tears.
13.45 pm feed him at the same time as having my lunch (mastered multi-tasking while BF in hospital, so can usually pop to the loo while still feeding!)
14.45 pm can sometimes put him down for a nap around now for another couple of hours. If not to shattered I will take him out for a quick walk but am finding this hard at the moment as still anaemic and BP still a bit high. always make a bottle just incase for when we are out.
16.00 pm get back and DS wakes crying wanting feeding (he generally goes straight to crying for a feed without giving other cues. IF DH working late put oven on while BF. If DH home I get a nice tea!
From 17.00 until about 22.00 DS really restless, cluster feeding and sick. 22.00 give him formula feed so that he'll sleep for longer.
DS will either wake at 1.30 am for feed or may go through until 3.30 am for feed. Will usually dream feed him each time and he will settle quickly (first few weeks I would have him on my chest in bed all night but Gaviscon has helped and he does seem to go down quite quickly at night.

As you can see my nights aren't too bad at all and I don't feel sleep deprived so realise I am lucky here but really struggling to get out in the day. Any help at all would be hugely appreciated.

P.S. also feel guilty as I have given up changing him all the time and tend to leave him in sicky clothes, as long as it's just around the neck and not all over, just quickly wipe his hair with a wipe sad

boysrock Fri 15-Jul-11 11:26:25

ds3 had reflux, I was constantly shattered, i dont think my mum realised how bad it was or why I was so tired until he was 5 months and she witnessed me have to change him 5 times in one hour.

In fact I think Im anaemic now and he's a toddler but the level of tiredness just overrides everything else, 7 weeks post partum and new baby just makes it all 10 times worse.

The advice to just get out is really glib and is not suitable for everyone, some babies are just not easily portable.

So my advice is muslin cloths by the dozen to wrap around him and you so that his clothes are saved, lots of cloth bibs for him to wear between feeds to save any damage and skin rashes.

Get people to visit you, or if you do go anywhere make sure it is somewhere you can relax and be waited on.

Everyone says it is hard but unless they have been in that situation they are mostly clueless. I did find baby massage good though. it got me out and ds seemed to like it too. Plus it had a midwife running it who was far more helpful than the hv.

happylittlebear Fri 15-Jul-11 11:29:09

I think if he is squirming in pain that often during the day then you need to go and see your gp as there is a lot more they can give him than just gaviscon, all that really does is make the milk thicker so it stays down more.
The squirming is pain from the acid, ranitidine would help with that and I noticed a huge difference in how comfortable and settled ds was when we finally got this for him, gaviscon only helped in the short term but doesn't combat the acid.
Also, what formula are you using when you are giving it? There are specialist reflux milks you can get on prescription so gp could help with that or I used aptamil comfort which is thicker than normal milk and helped a lot with ds wind so he didn't squirm so much.
Try and get him out in the pram as much as you can, head slightly raised, or lay him across your lap when you are at home with him.
Reflux babies don't seem to like being on their backs or flat as the acid is just sitting there in their throat, so I wouldn't "persevere" with that at the moment, do whatever is most comfortable.
Lots of people say swings help, my ds hated it but might be worth a try to give you a few mins to get a drink/shower etc, or bouncy chair good too.
It will get better in time I promise, ds just turned 1 and is still occasionally sick but v rarely now and v happy boy!
Get him to the gp, don't suffer (you as well as him!) smile

Slanted Fri 15-Jul-11 11:29:45


DS (now 18 weeks) has reflux too, so I understand how difficult things can feel.

When he was that age, I carried him in a sling pretty much constantly - that way he was upright almost all day, so more comfortable and less likely to reflux, and he could also drift in and out of sleep as when he pleased (he was very relaxed and found it easy to go sleep when attached to me). It meant I could carry on doing things pretty easily.

Keeping him upright for most of the day really does make a difference, I find.

I also found him much improved when we moved onto stronger medication. Not sure how you feel about that, but it might be worth looking into.

boysrock Fri 15-Jul-11 11:34:09

I've just remembered, ds slept with the head of his cot propped up and on his side. He also had cow and gate comfort with gaviscon which did the trick for him.

He grew out of it when he was about 18mo.

Marne Fri 15-Jul-11 11:34:19

Dd1 was a sicky baby and seemed to cry all the time, i hated taking her anywhere as she would constantly want feeding (she was bottle fed so this made it even harder) and was sick after every feed so i would have to take spare clothes and lots of bibs everywhere with me. I dont think i really took her anywhere (other than to see some family) until her sister was born (who was a lot easier and never sick, slept most of the time) and then we started going to groups and meet up with friends. It does get easier.

TittyBojangles Fri 15-Jul-11 11:39:34

I'd say go the the GP to try some new meds, ranitadine worked for my DS, though others on here have had more luck with... omeprazole... I think?

Also invest in a sling if you don't already have one (I had a Moby), that way you can keep him upright as well as close to you, so likely to be as settled as he is going to be, and it means you can have your hands free to get on with stuff/eat cake. Feed, put him in sling and walk to local friend's house/playgroup/cafe whatever. It drove me insane staying in all the time, but agree it can also be pretty stressful trying to get out with an upset baby. It DID get easier though, honestly and now we are barely in.

And lifting the head of his cot a bit (blocks of wood under the feet) helped, as did having muslins within 2 feet of me at ALL times. Don't worry about the sicky clothes, maybe get some little bandana-type bibs (they look cute and are quick to wash/dry) and just change them.

It will get better, honest, you shound like you are doing a great job. smile

peggotty Fri 15-Jul-11 11:42:11

Yes I second going back to go and insisting on something else for the pain he is in, gaviscon just isn't going to cut it. Definately keep him propped up as much as possible including at night and forget tummy time and all that crap, it isn't worth it with a reflux baby smile. My dd had horrendous reflux til she was a year and I used to slightly dread going out with her especially in the early days. She puked up just about everywhere it was possible to - swimming pools, supermarket trolleys, I had to sometimes hold her over bins outside when I knew she was about to puke, and she spattered people's shoes a number it times blush grin. It's something you just have get used to.

MeriNisipPoissons Fri 15-Jul-11 14:44:16

Please get him a acid inhibitor like ranitadine/omeprozole/lansprozole.

As an adult with reflux the pain is horrific believe me - think red hot balloon trying to inflate from stomach to top of throat.

Also try using the bouncy seat to help him stay upright and rather than flat on his back try lying him more towards his left hand side as this means the stomach opening is higher than the stomach so lessening the reguritation.

iwillbrushmyteethbefore10am Mon 18-Jul-11 21:46:36

Thanks so much for all the comments. He grizzled all the time at Dr today, will make DP do next appointment! But I'm glad I had to deal with it as it has made me a little more confident about going out. DP has also purchased me a sling so will see how that works. So glad I am not alone. Peggotty - I guess we will have some very funny stories to tell when we're over it.

hels71 Tue 19-Jul-11 11:24:47

My DD had bad reflux. I agree with the advice here. Ranitidine was fantastic. A sling/wrap was essential as she would not sleep flat (as it hurt) in fact her nights were spent propped up on my arms for ages. It does get better...but it does not feel like it at the time! People with babies who don't have reflux just don't get how hard it is!

LaWeasel Tue 19-Jul-11 11:41:40

I was speaking to a friend about this t'other day, her first baby was very reflexy and wouldn't sleep in a lie-down pram.

She said for her second she is getting a pushchair that you can attach a car seat too? As he slept much better sitting a bit propped up that way - and at least then you can get a bit of break from the crying and they get some proper rest too.

Hope this helps, am feeling very sympathetic to all of you and your babies!

hophophippidtyhop Tue 19-Jul-11 14:19:08

To everything else I would add it's worth considering milk protein allergy - often reflux bavies have this too. I didn't realise my dd had it til she started having solids. I wish I'd known before, as she would have been less sick. Have a look into cutting dairy from your diet, it takes about 3- 4 weeks to get out your system, I think. I carried my dd in a sling, but sometimes had to feed her before going out and ended up with a nice bit of sick down my front!

akiteneedsmorethanafling Tue 19-Jul-11 14:32:58

Firstly, congratulations on the arrival of your little one.

You have my full sympathy with the reflux, as both my DDs had it so severely that they couldn't keep any milk down whatsoever. DD1 failed to regain her birthweight by 6 weeks of age and fell right off the bottom of the weight chart. Gaviscon did nothing for her, ditto Omeprazole and Domperidone. Once we discovered Carobel (by Cow and Gate) our whole lives changed. DD1 kept down all of her milk and went from constant screaming to being the baby who never cried. DD2 was a different story, however; the Carobel kept most of her milk down and enabled her to gain weight, but didn't help enough with the pain. The sling was the only place she would sleep (no car seat, moses basket or cot for about 8 months) so getting out of the house was impossible, so i really feel your pain.

I would definitely recommend trying Carobel - your Pharmacist will be able to order it for you, as they don't usually keep it in stock. It is avaiable on prescription or over the counter.

Good luck.

Fuzzled Wed 20-Jul-11 08:30:54

Can I recommend Bubba Bibs?
My DS didn't have reflux, but did posset a huge amount and theses bibs were life savers; my friend's son does have reflux and she also swears by them.
The different colours also made me feel better as it always made DS look bright and cheerful.

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