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Allergies and intolerances

should I try to make my reflux baby sleep longer between feeds?

7 replies

Parker23 · 30/03/2011 13:27

I have a 13 wk old baby with silent reflux. We've been referred to the hospital but we're waiting for the appointment. In the mean time she's on Omperazole which has helped the reflux but she still seems to have stomach cramps and/or lots of wind.

At the moment she is waking every 2hrs throughout the night for feeds. She used to wake every 3 hours and has on rare occasions slept longer. But since we upped the dosage of Omeprazole she seems to want to feed more often. I appreciate this could be to do with the meds so we've just gone with it but recently we've been thinking she's just waking out of habit and for comfort.

She often only takes 1 or 2oz but then we still have to keep her up for a good winding or she's unsettled and can't sleep.

We're exhausted and desperately need more sleep. I'm currently going to bed at 9pm but the frequent and long feeds are draining me.

At the mo so feeds at about 6.45pm, 9.30pm, 11.30pm, 2am, 4am and 7am. This changes slightly but it usually follows this pattern.

So do you think we should just accept that she's got reflux and needs to feed this often. Or do you think that the feeding is just a comfort to her and isn't necessary. Have any of you mums had similar experiences with your reflux babies?

I was thinking about skipping the 9.30 and 4 feeds to start with and try to settle her back to sleep. The only thing is we've been so used to her crying with pain when she has the reflux that we now find it hard to let her cry at all in case she's in discomfort. She does seem to suffer a lot with cramps and trapped wind. I'm not sure I can tell which cry is annoyance and which is pain anymore?

Help, I feel like we're going backwards and I'm not sure whether we should take action or just accept it! Confused

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KenDoddsDadsDog · 30/03/2011 15:25

My DD had silent reflux and we went through a couple of weeks of the constant waking/ tiny feeds cycle. It ws because she was hungry more than comfort.
The first thing to mention is that it does get better with the right meds!
Have you tried baby tummy massage? This will help the wind and discomfort. Most HVs will know where to refer you or show you themselves.
I also bought DD a Swedish Lila Kuddis pillow which helped her to be more comfortable at night.
Hope everything improves for your poor DD.

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Parker23 · 30/03/2011 20:32

Thanks KenDoddsDadsDog! I'm really hoping we will get some better advise regarding her meds when we finally get this hospital appointment! It's obviously that the Omeprazole is working, but it's just not quite working enough!

So you said you had a few weeks of a similar feeding pattern. Do you think it was more due to a growth spurt or something then? Has your DD's sleep patterns settled at all? I'm not expecting miracles here and she may have erratic sleep habits despite the reflux. I just wonder if they are connected? And are they change once we get her on the right meds? What did you use KenDoddsDadsDog?

She's just woken up screaming and we couldn't work out if it was reflux or wind. With it being silent reflux there isn't any sick to give us a clue. It's all so frustrating!

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KenDoddsDadsDog · 30/03/2011 21:11

We had baby Gaviscon and then Ranitidine. There is a common growth spurt coming up to 4 months. A lot of people call it 4 month regression - there have been quite a few threads on it.
Another tip is to try an anti colic bottle or a variflow teat (not sure if you are FF or expressing)
The wind in DD was bad too, we could hear her tummy gurgling which is why I did the massage.
Will talk to my DH and see if he remembers any tips. DD is 15 months now and things definitely got much better when we introduced solids at 6 months.

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RunningOutOfIdeas · 30/03/2011 21:16

I think babies have a fundamental design flaw. They should have some kind of indicator to clearly tell you what they are crying about.

The 3 month growth spurt could be responsible for all the wakings but she doesn't seem to be taking much milk for that. If she is waking in pain then she might be finding that a small feed is making her feel more comfortable. So maybe getting the meds sorted will help

What sort of milk are you using? Dairy intolerance seems to be quite common with reflux. A trial of Nutramigen or Neocate might be good, if you haven't already done this.

DD was on ranitidine at your DD's age. She would sleep from about 9pm until 1am and then wake every 45mins until 5am when she would want milk. For her it improved with weaning (started at 15 weeks). With the benefit of hindsight I think weaning improved things because she was dairy intolerant and we did not know this. So more solids and less milk was more comfortable for her. She also improved with spending more time upright as she became able to sit for longer periods.

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fabricfox · 30/03/2011 21:42

Hang on in there, Reflux is horrendous to deal with at first. My DS was diagnosed at 8weeks..... Remember we are actually the lucky ones to have a diagnosis!
Firstly is she having gaviscon? If not this should be given along side Omeprazole. As the Omeprazole stops the production of stomach acid it can take a few weeks to have decent effects..The gaviscon coats the oesophagus helping it to heal and making life easier with feeding for baby.
Feeding frequently might also be to sooth herself but also she may find it too painful to take largre quantities at once.
I remember feeding used to take hours, i used to try and count how many sucks of the bottle DS would have then have a brake to let him catch his breath,as he would swallow so much air if left to drink continuously and then choke.
Totally understand the sleeping issue Ds would never sleep he was in too much pain, Being up right for baby is the best thing but sleeping is very difficult as. Do not lie your baby flat their moses basket/cot needs to be at an angle 30deg otherwise acid will travel up and cause them pain resulting in constant waking.
I dont know how much of this you know but it really takes me back, DS is now 11 months and still has reflux but it's controlled by meds. These things take a while to work out but be persistant with them and keep on about your referal.

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narmada · 31/03/2011 11:10

I was going to say, do discuss dairy intolerance with your paed. If a good dose of omeprazole isn't working that has to be high on the list of suspects. Also ask about delayed gastric empyting, which can go hand in hand with reflux.

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tooloudhere · 31/03/2011 13:48

hello, just come over from your other thread. I have had three refluxers now (third is 7 months) and this pattern seems like comfort feeding. Some babies with reflux over feed because when actually swallowing it provides relief but they end up with over full little tummys which makes the reflux worse so they feed again and so it continues. Before I get flamed I am a massive breastfeeding advocate and believe in feeding on demand but when you are dealing with reflux the babies are not necessarily wanting to feed just to get that short relief.

I found that three hours was a pretty good timing for mine, I would not recommend much longer for such a little baby. But if you can break the cycle a bit so they have a good feed onto a stomach that is not full ( IME reflux babies have slower digestion) they are much more settled inbetween.

Also it is very umcomfortable laying flat with reflux, if poss raise the babies head end to around 30 deg. Swaddlign can also provide some comfort. Reflux I am afraid always affects the babies sleep, how much depends on a number of things including personality.

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