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colic or silent reflux or cmpi in 6 week old

(44 Posts)
wondermoose13 Sun 23-Nov-14 19:49:20

Hi all,
Apologies in advance for the long post!
My 6 week old has been crying/screaming constantly unless feeding since he was 2 weeks old.
He has seemed congested when lying on his back, and rarely sleeps unless hes being held. When he does sleep he often wakes himself up with his arms and legs tensing/fists clenched and seems to be uncomfortable/in pain
He is breastfed and feeding has become more irratic recently as he had a small posterior tongue tie cut.
He has very watery poo sometimes a little mucous sometimes a lot/one big blob of mucous. Colour varies from brown to orange to a few bright green ones on weds that had blood in so we went to GP who suggested removing dairy from my diet which has been absolute hell as i swear chocolate was the only thing keeping me sane, plus i cant put him down during the day without him screaming the place down so i really dont have time to be making breakfast/lunch from scratch for a dairy free diet sad
Hes started arching his back right back when i feed him, and he seems to get very frustrated once hes had the foremilk and has to work for the hind milk so hes hungry often.
So i dont know if the milk imbalance is causing the watery/mucousy poo or if its cmpi.
weve been using dentinox for colic as he started this crying phase by crying constantly from 7 to 10pm, but it quickly became all day, sometimes it seems to help as he burps/trumps quickly after but not always.
He is sick maybe once a day, but tends to dribble milk out the side of his mouth when im feeding him, or just doesnt swallow it as i keep ending up soaked during feeds, so im convinced part of the crying must be hunger
We're back at the GP on tuesday to see if dairy elimination has helped but i feel like they keep fobbing me off with "you're a first time mum, babies cry" and believe me i wouldn't be half as worried if he didnt seem in agony when he screams, he goes bright red, gets really sweaty and screams that hard hes gasping for breath,
I also keep getting told that babies are a lot calmer after 6-8 weeks so i should start seeing an improvement soon, but i cant help thinking something is really hurting him.
if anyone has any ideas or similar experiences id really appreciate any advice on any of the above
thanks and sorry again for the long post!

Doodler79 Sun 23-Nov-14 20:15:17

Your post could have been written by me! I have a 6 week old who sounds exactly like yours (except this is my second).
We've tried all sorts - dentinox, calpol, gripe water & something else from the GP-the name I can't pronounce. Nothing has had any effect!! I have sort of started to eliminate dairy.
He only sleeps if being carried, so I have to resort to a sling during the day- while running after a lively toddler & at night he sleeps on my chest while I'm propped up in bed. If I ever try to put him down he's awake again within minutes, usually because he's writhing around in pain. His cries sound like he's in a lot of pain & it takes a lot of time & effort to get a burp/trump out of him.
He is also breastfed and guzzles frantically at most feeds, pulling of and on and crying. He then usually get hiccups & wind.
I'm just hoping something changes soon, as I'm exhausted and the sound of his constant crying is really effecting me emotionally-I feel so helpless. My first was not like this at all, so very confused.
Sorry I can't help, but you are not alone & I would also be interested in any advice.

wondermoose13 Sun 23-Nov-14 20:35:36

Its soul destroying isnt it! Its awful to see them in such pain but at the same time the crying/screaming can be unbareable, i feel awful when dh takes him out in the car so i can get some sleep but at the same time im so exhausted i feel happy hes out of the house which then makss me feel even more guilty, also people keep telling me to get out of the house which is fair enough until you go to baby group and he screams and everyone looks at you like you must be the worlds worst mum because picking him up makes no difference at all :s

Doodler79 Sun 23-Nov-14 21:24:41

Yes, I agree I'm finding it hugely stressful!! I find myself wishing away these early weeks, hoping that as he gets older he'll get easier, which is a real shame. :-( At the moment I'm just concentrating on getting through each day - that in itself is an achievement!! Keep posting to let me know how you're getting on & if you come across the miracle cure!! Just preparing for the nighttime shift here :-0

josephine1986 Sun 23-Nov-14 21:41:17

We had this. I eliminated dairy and gradually things got better. I had a clue though in that I was cmpi as a baby , and it is usually genetic.
If you eliminate dairy it really has to be totally. As in no bread with milk powder (check, most do), prepared foods (you'd be amazed how milk is sneaked into everything processed), as well as the obvious chocolate etc.
Extremely hard to give it up when baby is still reacting and suffering but honestly if it is cmpi and your going dairy free makes the difference , it will all be worth it.

Try searching the allergies board for tips of meal ideas. I was dairy free for 6 months (amongst other things affecting my dd) . She stopped reacting to milk in my breastmilk at 7-8 months.
They usually grow out of it.
sounds like your GP is on the ball OP which is great as many deny it is possible for babies to have allergic reactions to the content of breastmilk but it is definitely possible!

FATEdestiny Sun 23-Nov-14 21:47:17

Have you tried a dummy?

How well does baby sleep in daytime and at night? The crying could be over tired.

HopeNope Sun 23-Nov-14 21:50:39

The poos suggest definitely an allergy issue.

It could be just cows milk if you are lucky, but much more likely it that and soya and egg too.
If I were you I would strictly eliminate milk, soya and egg for two weeks, and see what happens to baby.

HeyMacWey Sun 23-Nov-14 22:00:16

Have you tried colief? Dd was allergic to dairy but I didn't realise till she was weaned. The colief definitely helped with wind and cramps when she was small.

FATEdestiny Sun 23-Nov-14 22:02:17

He has very watery poo sometimes a little mucous sometimes a lot/one big blob of mucous. Colour varies from brown to orange to a few bright green ones on weds that had blood in so we went to GP

Aside from the blood, sounds like the normal ranger of breastfed baby poos.

josephine1986 Sun 23-Nov-14 22:02:39

Hm I would be wary of taking out egg as well OP. Agree that egg might be an issue but if you remove all now you will not know what made the difference ...whereas if it's just milk now you can remove other things if no improvement in two weeks or so. Eggs are excellent nutrition .
Some ideas of things you can eat, dairy free:
Dried fruit and nuts
Cereal (check) and oatly/koko milk
Fish rice and veg
Meat and veg
Eggs and rice and veg
Pasta and tomato sauce and veg/ bolognese
Jacket potato and beans /tuna
Peanut or cashew butter and Jacobs crackers or rice cakes
Boiled egg

When you look at it like that it's not that bad...the hardest thing for me was feeling I had no idea what I actually could eat and that I would hurt my baby by eating even a small amount of something .
Ps - restaurants etc are not always great for dairy free. The couple of times I slipped up and had dairy without realising (and baby reacted) was following food in a pub/restaurant

Acorncat Mon 24-Nov-14 06:07:02

My DS has silent reflux and has similar behaviour though doesn't cry too much. He slept on me for weeks as it's the only way he could. I cut out dairy and soya 5 weeks ago, not 100% sure that was the problem but I'm too scared to introduce it again. I'm also a chocolate lover, you can still have the 75% and up stuff but it's not very nice. I get my sweetie fix by eating tesco value bourbons! Also the only bread I have found is tesco own brand, literally checked every loaf in all the supermarkets. He's also on ranitidine, you just have to be pushy at the gp. I found they were more bothered by the fact I was getting no sleep than that DS was suffering! He's doing better now but not sure if it's the lack of dairy, medication, better management, cranial osteopathy or just that he's now 11 weeks. Either way, he can sleep for up to 5 hours now in his Moses basket which is such a relief.

wondermoose13 Mon 24-Nov-14 07:23:41

We have tried a dummy but hes not keen on it, tho we keep trying so hes not attached to me 24/7
Sleep: about 3 weeks ago before this all kicked off we were able to get him down for 2 & 3 hours at night but now he'll only sleep in someones arms, altho the odd day here and there we seem to be getting a 2pm nap

I am going back to gp on tuesday so am really going to push for reflux meds as it does seem reflux and cmpi go together, the gp does seem far more concerned with how much support i have and if im coping than the fact that he really seems to be in pain
acorncat did you find cranial worked? Weve had one session and not sure if it made a difference, also im worried about bread now as the warburtons website says its standard white loaf is dairy free... is there a coded addetive or something i should be looking out for on labels?

Thanks for the advice josephine, i know i probably seem over dramatic with food choices, its just at the moment my lunch involves letting him scream in his basket while i put toast on,,have a wee, slice up a banana and get back to the sofa and pick him up as soon as possible so it has to be quick to make and easy to eat with one hand

I know its not possible but i just wish i could know either way what the problem is, (it would make my chocolate withdrawl a little easier to cope with)
Thanks for the help guys, much appreciates smile

Bolshybookworm Mon 24-Nov-14 07:51:01

Just a thought, but have you tried swaddling at night? It sounds like he has a strong startle reflex, so it might help. A swing chair might be useful in the daytime, too (try eBay, rather than new).

josephine1986 Mon 24-Nov-14 08:45:15

Warburtons contains soya I think. Up to you whether you want to try both. It's so hard when you cut things out and you need to 'challenge' the food to see if the symptoms come back. But this is really important . Otherwise you may cut out a large food group unnecessarily and are putting yourself at risk of vitamin deficiencies - especially calcium which will be leached from your bones while breastfeeding and can't be replaced past age 30 or so.
Should be done under guidance of go or dietitian . Good luck

josephine1986 Mon 24-Nov-14 09:02:23

The dairy and soya free breads are normally the seeded types - own brand tescos seeded def fine

Acorncat Mon 24-Nov-14 10:41:45

Yeah sorry, as above, it's the soya that's in the warburtons that I'm avoiding. I asked the doctor about the dairy allergies and she said it's really rare so it won't be that but after doing research is seems it's really common in reflux babies so I'm doing without medical advice. I think it's the lactose intolerance that's rare.

DS has only had 1 cranial osteopathy session (last week, has another today) and he's certainly increased his sleeping from 1.5 hours stints at night to usually over 3 hours since his session. But he also had his ranitidine increased slightly so it could be that although i saw little improvement on it previously. Osteopath says he has a lot of tension at the back if his head, I must admit I don't understand how the light touches that they do can make a difference!

wondermoose13 Tue 25-Nov-14 20:27:12

So we ended up at ooh gp on sunday night because he was inconsolable for a good 3-4 hrs and seemed to be gasping for breath because he was screaming so hard. She thinks im over feeding him because i feed him when nothing else settles him as that mostly does. Im worried hes dehydrated/hungry because hes having so many big dirty nappies that are very watery, much more so than the normal bf yellow runny poo.
since then hes been sick a few times (hes never been a sicky baby) including throwing up an entire feed at the bf group on monday, and a fair bit this morning too.
Saw our normal gp today for follow up for dairy withdrawal and she also thinks over feeding could be a possibility. So im worried hes starving because he keeps throwing his feeds up (and still having 5-6 dirty nappies/day) but im being told to try and give him longer between feeds to see if he is over full which could be hurting his tummy and also to see if he'll feed more effectively/stop messing around at feeds.
GP also said if he doesnt seem any better its probably not dairy... its been 6 days surely thats too early to tell? So ive said i want to keep it up for at least a few weeks as i think it would be easier to do that then have to give it up again in a few weeks. Ive asked to be referred to the dietician which she has done but she said thats more for when hes weaned rather than now which the HV at my bf group said it would be for now and that they might do tests on his poo etc to try and rule some things out. (Acorncat did your baby have any tests at all? )
My HV also called in today (different person to bf group) and it appears the two of them have been discussing me in terms of PND and while i admit i have some days where i feel everything is a bit hopeless, i dont think im quite there yet. Its odd i would quite happily talk to someone about all my thoughta and feelings and let them decide about PND but just not either of them, as i feel it would only be beneficial if it was someone new and impartial, probably sounds daft but i just think it would be easier to talk to someone new, if thats what they wanted me to do.
most days i do feel quite upset that there isnt more i can do to help him and i did have a morning where i was really upset and felt that he deserved someone better and more capable to look after him as it can get a bit much feeling like nothing i do soothes him, especially after baby massage where everyone looks at me like im a monster for not picking him up when he cries but it literally makes no difference when i do.
today he has been screaming flat out most of the day and waking up when i put him down, and he screamed his way through my physio session this aft. Today has seemed really bad but i dont know if thats because sat-mon were actually a little better and i just didnt realise at the time or if hes getting worse.and ive been feeling really frustrated with him today which isnt like me
the GP today advised starting his gaviscon again as we only tried it sporadically a few weeks ago, i tried asking for ranitidine but she insisted i try gaviscon first (imo this only treats the symptoms not the cause)
And altho shes quite good on cmpi she seems to flat out refuse that silent reflux exists, and that if he stops being sick on gaviscon she wont give him the ranitidine which is frustrating as i think its at least worth a try

Doodler how are you getting on? Are you coping ok at the moment?

Sorry this has turned into an epic post! All advice and ideas welcome!

FATEdestiny Tue 25-Nov-14 20:44:14

Keep trying with the dummy.

DD refused the dummy at first and like you, she would only be settled on the breast, nothing else would console her at all.

Then last Thursday, the day before she was 8 weeks, DH finally 'cracked it' with the dummy and got her to settle with one. It has been a revelation, like having a different baby now she'll calm down with a dummy.

The dummy is "The Answer".

MeeWhoo Tue 25-Nov-14 20:44:27

Sounds really hard, I hope things will soon improve for the 2 of you.

Do you have a lot of milk (as in very full breasts) and how often do you swap sides? With dc1 I had an oversupply issue and with dc2 I had the same oversupply issue plus cmpi (although neither of them were as unhappy as your ds thanfully).

In dc2's case i noticed a massive improvement after 2 days dairy free, but, as I said she wasn't as bad, clingy and very farty and with green poos, I guess a more serious intolerance will take longer to clear.

Bolshybookworm Tue 25-Nov-14 21:52:59

OP, don't beat yourself up, you're doing a great job. Having a grouchy, screaming baby is very, very hard and will wear anyone down, you are doing really well under the circumstances. The fact that you are trying so hard to find a way to ease his pain shows that you really care. You are a good parent- don't forget that.
I can't help you find a solution (although I'm sceptical about the overfeeding- didn't think this was possible with breast fed babies), but just wanted to reassure you that it will one day get better. You will not be stuck with a crying baby forever!

As an aside, I fed my dds every 1-2 hrs for the first two weeks and whenever they were grouchy. It's better than listening to screams of hunger. DD1 was copiously sick after every feed, probably from over-feeding, but it didn't bother her one jot (hence my scepticism of this as the cause of the crying). If your son is gaining weight ok, then he's probably keeping enough down.

Acorncat Wed 26-Nov-14 18:05:41

Mine hasn't had any tests done, though when I've been down at the HV clinics I've heard them offering poo sample tests to babies that have worrying nappies. I'd be changing gps if they didn't believe silent reflux exists!

josephine1986 Wed 26-Nov-14 19:58:18

Impossible to over feed a bf baby!!

Op, can you get a second medical opinion ?

josephine1986 Wed 26-Nov-14 20:01:31

Oh and wrt spacing out feeds, this is BAD advice - clearly something is uncomfortable for your baby right now and you are providing comfort for him by breastfeeding . If suspicions are correct and he is cmpi, it is true that the more he feeds the more he will react but the answer is getting to the root of why.... Don't remove his comfort
Best of luck OP

Trinpy Wed 26-Nov-14 20:24:04

The overfeeding advice sounds like rubbish. Do persevere with the dummy because they can be so helpful.

My ds had reflux and screamed constantly for the first 6 weeks of his life. I kept saying he has reflux but was fobbed off as a worrying first time mum. Finally at 6 weeks I saw a different GP who prescribed infant gaviscon and ds changed overnight (literally!)into a happy, smiley baby who slept loads.

I wish I'd pushed for a second opinion much earlier on sad.

bakingtins Wed 26-Nov-14 20:44:42

I feel for you, wondermoose my ds2 had silent reflux and was MSPI (milk and soya protein intolerant) and it was hellish. It is very wearing having to deal with HCPs who imply that it's you with a problem.

My advice would be to try the dairy elimination for minimum of two weeks. Co-reaction to soya is common so either eliminate both or at least don't use soya based dairy replacements in your trial period. If you see any improvement reintroduce dairy, expecting to see a relapse, to confirm it really is an issue before you consider eliminating it long term. This (elimination and challenge) is the gold standard way of diagnosing CMPI, as most kids are not allergic and will be negative on blood or skin prick tests. If you confirm CMPI then either you BF dairy free, in which case you need 1250mg calcium a day ( use calcium supplemented oat, almond, coconut milk, but you are likely to need tablets too) or you swap to a prescribed formula. Babies who are sensitive enough to react to traces of dairy in BM need amino acid formula e.g. Neocate, not just the hydrolysed stuff ( Pepti)
All the formulas are grim so if it's part of the longer term game plan to use them consider introducing early.
Meds wise there is a cascade so you need to have tried the useless gaviscon first before you can move on to ranitidine. We ended up on Omeprazole.
It's frustrating having to have a trial and error approach when you just want LO out of pain and for everyone to get some relief from the screaming, but there will be a combination of diet and meds that will work.
I can't recommend the book Colic Solved, by gastro paediatrician Dr Bryan Vartebedian, highly enough, despite stupid title. It's the bible when it comes to reflux and CMPI. Little Refluxers website v good for informed support.

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