Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Infant reflux

(Children mentioned & discussed)

Looks like I spoke too soon when I mentioned in my last post that neither of our boys had reflux.

Our pediatrician (whom we love, by the way) assured us at our boys' two-month well-check that all babies have some reflux, that it's a normal result of the immaturity of the sphincter muscle between their stomaches and their esophaguses (esophagi?).  However, so long as the baby is able to eat without pain, isn't projectile vomiting regularly and is gaining weight, it is not considered a problem, and treatment is not indicated.

Beginning about two weeks ago, both our boys began having increasing amounts of difficulty with feedings.  MJ started having trouble first: eating OK at first but then shaking his head to reject the bottle, squirming and writhing around while feeding, and crying.  Oh, the crying.

To be honest, at first, MM and I were not overly concerned.  Although MJ has always been a baby who spits up some after nearly every feeding, the amounts never seemed excessive to us, and we had already talked with his pediatrician about this (as noted above).  There had been times before when MJ would squirm and cry during a feeding and then have a big poop afterwards--usually once every 2-3 days--so we had attributed those problems to gas and his tendency to be a little on the fussy side.  He has been gaining weight steadily, so much so, in fact, that although he only outweighed his brother by an ounce at birth, he is now a full two pounds heavier than AJ.

Gradually MJ's problems became more frequent, now happening about every other feeding instead of every few days.  AJ also started having trouble: refusing the bottle, crying inconsolably, and squirming and shaking his head in what appeared to be an attempt to escape the bottle.  (The saddest part was the look of fear on his face when he saw you bringing the bottle toward his mouth.)

Unlike his brother, AJ isn't a fussy baby; if he cries, it's because he needs something.  He is very easy-going, smiles often, and will happily recline on his Boppy pillow with his pacifier waiting for MJ to finish eating (something MJ will *not* do if AJ's feeding starts first).  So when AJ started having difficulty eating, at first a few times a day and then nearly every bottle, we knew something was wrong.

After two days of difficulties at nearly every feeding, both babies went to the doctor last Wednesday and were diagnosed with GERD and prescribed medication.  They have continued to have feeding difficulty, but the pediatrician told us it could take a week or so for the medication to take full effect.

So MM had a difficult first week home with the boys full-time last week.  To his credit, though, he handled it very well.

It's so sad to have your babies crying when they try to eat, and so frustrating and time-consuming trying to feed them when they can't eat.  :-(  I hope their medication takes effect soon.


  1. Sorry to hear about the GERD. My friend's son had it, along with the projectile vomiting and failure to thrive. He is now 2 and in much better shape. Hopefully the babies' medication will kick in soon.

  2. Both my kids went on Zantac for reflux around 8-9 weeks. LG stayed on it until 18 mo and went back on a reflux med around age 4. Tiny Boy seems to be doing better on meds (no more milk out the nose) though still spits up a fair amount. I hope it lets the boys feel better...they might start sleeping better, too.

  3. Glad you are getting this taken care of, and hope the medication kicks in soon. I'm so sorry you are having to watch your babies cry when they need to eat...that must be soooooo hard.

  4. I got the same crap from my pediatrician. "As long as he's growing and not crying after every feeding and spitting up, he doesn't have reflux." BULL. One of my twins cried after every feeding, so I put him at an incline for 15-20 minutes after every feeding. He wouldn't sleep anywhere but a swing or car seat, so to get him to sleep in a crib we put a wedge under the mattress. These things worked, but he still had reflux. When he was 4 he had a biopsy of his intestines done to check for celiac, and the doctors said he had a lot of scarring on his esophagus. Because he wasn't crying or spitting up, he didn't get the meds he needed. I'm glad your little ones are getting medicine, but try the incline after feeding, it helps with the crying.

  5. Just an FYI--I don't know if this matters or not, but as soon as I eliminated soy, dairy, eggs, and nuts from my diet, baby A had no more reflux. None. SLowly I introduced foods back, and I now still don;t eat soy, dairy, or eggs.

    I can;t remember if you are formula feeding or not, but it might help to try the soy/dairy free formulas or do an elimination diet if you are BFing. It may take 2 weeks for it to kick in, but my sacrifice is so worth it.

  6. One thing that worked w B was giving him a little anti reflux formula after his breastmilk. It is heavier w rice flou and helped everything stay down. Oh and he slept swaddled in his car seat until 4 mo

    Good luck!

  7. Sorry to hear the boys have reflux. I hope the meds take effect quickly. Have you thought about switching their formula to one of the reduced lactose or soy based formulas. Sometimes the lactose can be an issue.

  8. I'm so sorry they are both dealing with reflux
    :( I'm sure that makes feeding time very stressful for both of you. Let's pray that the medication kicks in soon and the babies are less fussy.

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