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Advice needed - reflux baby won't settle after night feed

(16 Posts)
HoldenCaulfield80 Sat 17-Jan-15 10:40:26

Hi all, this is my first time posting so not sure if I'm doing it in the right place - let me know if there's somewhere more appropriate this thread could go!

10 week old DD was diagnosed with reflux three weeks ago and is now on Ranitidine (0.3ml three times a day). She initially seemed much more settled and in less pain than before, which is obviously great.

However, the last few nights have been really tough. She'll go down in the evening any time between 7.30 and 8.30, falling asleep on us then being transferred to her Moses basket and transferred upstairs to co-sleeper when we go up between 9 and 10. This period of sleep is fine, she makes grunting noises initially but soon settles into a deep sleep. She'll wake any time between 12 and 2am for her next feed (she's ebf) and I'll usually give her a dose of her medicine then. She'll often fall asleep at the breast after feeding, I'll wind her gently and then try to keep her upright for at least 20 minutes (she's asleep all this time).

The problem comes when I try to transfer her back to the co-sleeper. She'll be ok for a few minutes and then starts writhing in what looks like pain, pulling her legs up to her chest, coughing, shouting and giving little cries. It also looks like she's straining to pass wind - she can fart like an old man! Her eyes are closed when this starts but it soon escalates to wide awake crying at which point I'll pick her up to sooth her and she'll settle again on my chest. We've repeated this process a number of times and it stays the same so I've started just letting her sleep on my chest which obviously isn't ideal as I'm not getting any real sleep. She'll be like this from whatever time she wakes up for the night feed until she has her morning feed at 7.30am and we get up for the day.

I've tried a number of things that are meant to help reflux babies - propping up the cot etc - but none of them seem to have helped. She doesn't nap for lop in the day either, up to 45 minutes at often has to be held. She's started getting angry when I put her in the sling (we have an Ergo and a jersey one) so that doesn't help us really. I'd say she has four of this shorter naps in the day and doesn't seem cranky from the lack of sleep.

She hasn't always been like this - in the past she's been reasonably easy to settle back down after her night feed - and I'm starting to feel the strain of the lack of sleep myself, particularly because I can't catch up on it during the day.

Sorry for the rambling post, trying not to drip feed at the same time as working it out in my own head! Does anyone have any advice on what to do to tackle this problem? I'm thinking about giving her comfort milk for this feed to see if this helps. I don't want to move away from breast milk but wonder if the thicker formula might 'sit' better in her stomach at night? OH thinks I'm picking her up to soon and need to give her time to settle herself into sleep and I'm willing to acknowledge that maybe I'm being pfb about her but it genuinely does sound like she's in pain and I'm reluctant to leave her. I'm also wondering if she needs to have her Ranitidine dosage upped a little and am taking her to get weighed on Monday to see if this might be the case.

Anyway, thank you if you've got to the end of this and any help or advice would be greatly received!

MilkThistle187 Sat 17-Jan-15 10:47:09

I feel for you, it's very hard when they have reflux. Dc1 had it and used to nap in his car seat, it was the most comfortable position for him. He was on a lot of meds, none really very effective. What cured him was cranial osteopathy, it was amazing. I was sceptical initially but we were so worn out I thought I try it. Saw a difference after the first treatment, took quite a few sessions but it completely cured it.

Acorncat Sat 17-Jan-15 11:13:50

Mine is the same, he's 19 weeks now though. I ended up just letting him sleep on me as safely as possible, though now he sleeps beside me but propped up on an angle. He still squirms a bit but not as much as in his cot, partly because he just latches on to soothe his sore throat and get himself back to sleep. He's on the maximum dose for ranitidine and also on omeprazole. I get told to just leave him too but I really believe he's in pain so don't. If I think it's gas then I do his belly massages which helps. I'm just waiting for him to grow out of it really!

Acorncat Sat 17-Jan-15 11:16:36

Meant to add, I tried cranial osteopathy too. After the first 2 sessions he was amazing - slept much better but then had a growth spurt and were back to square one. He's had 3 further sessions but not seen much improvement. Definitely worth a shot though.

dogtanianandthe3muskehounds Sat 17-Jan-15 11:16:39

Is she on the maximum dose of ranitidine for her weight? There is a range of safe doses and GPs usually go for the minimum dose to start with. I would check if it should be upped, or if she needs to go on Omeprazole. If the medication is working properly, she shouldn't still be uncomfortable after feeds.

ireallydontlikemonday Sat 17-Jan-15 11:18:49

I agree that her dose may need to be upped. Also bear in mind that when they put on weight you will need to periodically go back to get the dosage adjusted.

HoldenCaulfield80 Sat 17-Jan-15 11:43:22

Thanks ladies, it so lovely just to know we're not alone in this!

I've booked an appointment with a cranial oesteopath for Monday and am going to see an out of hours GP this afternoon to see about upping her Ranitidine dosage and look at other options. Fingers crossed we'll see some improvement and I'll get my happy baby back!

MilkThistle187 Sat 17-Jan-15 14:26:34

Fingers and toes crossed for you, let us know how you get on

HoldenCaulfield80 Sat 17-Jan-15 17:32:28

Not long back from the out of hours GP who was lovely. Both his kids had suffered from reflux so he knew exactly what I was talking about and took me seriously (my own GPs have been a bit dismissive - 'Oh, all babies are like that, they grow out of it, it's immature digestive systems' etc.) He's doubled the Ranitidine dosage and told me it should kick it by the end of the weekend so I've psyched myself up for a potentially tough night tonight and am hoping that Sunday night should be easier! He's also told me to get DD weighed every week for a bit to check she's gaining and keep on top of the right dosage.

Between this and the CO I'm hoping my happy baby will re-emerge soon! smile

MilkThistle187 Sat 17-Jan-15 19:22:19

That sounds good, it makes such a difference when a GP has experienced what you are going through! Fingers crossed you'll be getting more sleep soon

Missingcaffeine Sun 18-Jan-15 09:00:24

I probably can't add anything other than more sympathy. I have a 4 month old with reflux and it's been so hard. Reflux peaks at 4 months - so you may need to get your baby's medication reviewed frequently. I have also seen GP's who have been in the sceptic camp and told me 'babies just cry'. Well yes they do, but at 4 months, waking every hour in the night in pain is not what I expect.
I give Gaviscon as required as well as Ranitidine regularly.

HoldenCaulfield80 Tue 20-Jan-15 05:39:59

Well so far no improvement on the reflux front, in fact last night had been the worst one yet.

DD woke at 6.30 (out shopping do conked out in the pram), gave meds and fed. Unsettled and coughing, wheezing etc - just like her night feed. This is a first, normally this feed is settled and we can get her down in her basket for a good four hours or more.

Long story short, she's slept but only on me or DH (we've done shifts) and has choked, wheezed and writhed when we've tried to put her down. I can hear her catching her breath and almost holding it when the acid hit her throat and actually feels like it's got worse, not better.

Am considering going back up the docs today to ask for then to increase the dose again but not sure if they'll turn me away. Is three days on the new dose enough for it to take effect? Feel slightly mad from lack of sleep blush

dogtanianandthe3muskehounds Tue 20-Jan-15 22:42:28

Maybe go back and ask to try omeprazole (Losec) as this is usually the next step on from Ranitidine. 3 days should be long enough to see an improvement. Would you feel comfortable allowing her to sleep on her side? Reflux babies often do better with side or even tummy sleeping. You could get a breathing monitor if you are worried? Both my DDs had bad reflux. I used to sleep DD1 on her side, with her lower arm stretched out to prevent her rolling over onto her tummy. DD2 (EBF) would never settle anywhere so I co-slept and she used to sleep on her side facing me, with her head propped on my upper arm.

HoldenCaulfield80 Wed 21-Jan-15 09:13:18

Dogtantian, I'm going to give the side sleeping another go - I've tried it during the day and it works for a bit so worth a shot at night too!

Have jut phoned the GPs for a referral to paediatrician so we can look at other solutions from Ranitidine which has been tripled since Saturday without any effect confused

dogtanianandthe3muskehounds Wed 21-Jan-15 22:27:15

Hope she seems a bit better tonight and you get some more sleep.

HoldenCaulfield80 Sat 24-Jan-15 22:14:42

Hey lovely people, just thought I'd update you all! We ended up in children's A&E after another terrible day and night with screaming, in pain DD. Were given omeprazole (despite being told by the triage nurse at the start that we'd likely be sent away with nothing) by the doctor who was wonderfully understanding and kind to two rather dishevelled and exhausted bods!

DD has been on it two days now and the change is amazing - even though we've been told it will take a week to kick in properly. Last night she went through from 9pm to 1am then through to 4am for a feed and back off till 7.30am. I can form a full sentence. Today she had two mega sleeps in her pushchair whilst we were out and about. I feel like we're getting back on track.

Thanks all so much for your kindness and support, it helped a lot! Now to get her daytime sleeping back in the crib rather than on me smile

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