It has come to my attention that several of my friends are having difficulties with their infants who are battling acid reflux or colic. As some of you may know, Christopher was, also, recently diagnosed with acid reflux, and put on prescription medication.
After a conversation with an old friend, this evening, I decided to do some research on the subject, and see what else I could learn. Here is what I found…
Essentially, there are varying degrees of severity with acid reflux, or gastro esophageal reflux, each having different treatment plans. Some believe that prescription medication should only be used as a last result, and that gripe water is a safer alternative. Regardless, any doctor, mother, or website, will tell you that every child is different, and what works for one baby, won’t necessarily work for another.
Since Christopher was diagnosed, we have been trying everything to make him more comfortable, and here is what has been working for us:
Prescription Medication – Christopher’s pediatrician prescribed Zantac, for the acid reflux, to be taken twice daily. We typically give him a dose around 8am, and another around 8pm. I have found that giving him the dose as close to 12 hours apart, as possible, the less fussy he gets.
Smaller Feeds – Christopher had been eating 4-5 oz every 4 or so hours, but since his diagnosis, we have switched to 2 oz every 2 or 3 hours. His tummy doesn’t get overfull, and he seems much happier.
Cereal – Christopher’s pediatrician also advised adding 1 tsp of cereal, per ounce, to his 8pm bottle, to help weigh down the formula, and help to settle his tummy.
Gas Drops – The brand name is Mylicon, but we use the generic (its the same thing, and is working just as well). The reason I know about these drops, is because its what I had to use for Annabelle, though she likely had acid reflux, too, but was not diagnosed. Nonetheless, I give Christopher a dose before each feeding. Since adding the gas drops, Christopher seems to sleep peacefully, and not grunt and groan and squirm constantly.
Swaddling – This is something that none of the websites will tell you about. When Christopher gets too upset, and just won’t calm down, no matter what we do, I swaddle him, nice and tight. If he is still upset, I hold him to me, firmly, until he calms. It never fails – it can’t. Holding a person firmly, or any animal for that matter, calms the nervous system, forcing the person to calm down, from the inside out. It’s the reason why one feels better after being hugged, when upset. Temple Grandin used this hugging-calming concept to revolutionize our slaughterhouses – it’s a gruesome comparison, but its the truth.
45 degree angle – It is best for babies to not be lying flat while feeding, but rather in an upright position. Also, having your baby sit at about a 45 degree angle for at least a half an hour after eating, helps with extra gas, as well as spit-up. Lying flat often makes a baby with reflux very upset – they squirm and grunt and groan constantly – while, sitting completely upright puts too much pressure on their little tummies. Most babies with reflux are most comfortable sitting in a swing or bouncy seat because they lay at close to a 45 degree angle. Christopher prefers his bouncy seat, or propped up on a couple of pillows next to me.
Stay calm – Above all else, when Mommy is calm, baby is calm. If you get too upset, put baby down for a few minutes and walk away – baby will be just fine while you collect yourself. Annabelle constantly spit up, as a baby, and I would get so upset – I was so worried that she wasn’t getting enough to eat, with all that she spit back up. I would have to put her in her swing or bouncy seat and just go shut myself in the bathroom for a few minutes, so I could calm down. When I went back out, she would calm down, because I wasn’t so upset myself.
I hope this is able to help someone out there. As always…
Annabelle & Christopher, I will love you for forever and a day.
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