5-Month old with Acid Reflux and sleeping?

China - posted on 02/28/2009 ( 28 moms have responded )

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My 5-month old has sever acid reflux (she takes prevacid every day and spits up constantly). She is still sleeping in her car seat and she sleeps great as long as she goes down sound asleep. I have tried putting her in her crib to cry it out (this method worked wonders on my son) but the few times I have tried it she has ended up COVERED in spit up...to the point where I have to take her out, wash her up and change her jammies. Does anyone else have a baby with this kind of reflux? Should I keep her in the car seat if she is sleeping good and it isn't hurting her tummy or should I just let her sleep covered in spit up? (I don't mean a little spit up either...it seems like it is most of her nightly feeding...) Any help would be appreciated. I don't know anyone else who has had this problem with their child. Thanks!

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Nicole - posted on 03/01/2009

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I agree with all the above responses.  Checking on the food/milk allergies would be my number one goal.  I have a friend who had to feed her son goat's milk because he was allergic to even the soy formulas.  And I have never heard of having to have blood in the stool to determine a milk allergy.  I would maybe talk to an allergist about that.  Also, let if the car seat is where she will sleep then let her sleep there.  Nothing wrong with that, NO MATTER what anyone tells you!  It won't last forever and for now it will keep everyone happy and rested.  As far as propping up the bed, my pediatrician said to be sure and prop up one end of the actual bed (with books, phonebooks,etc)  and not just the mattress.  It can create gaps between the bed and the matress which can be dangerous.  Hope you can get it figured out and your little one starts to feel better!

Jennifer - posted on 02/28/2009

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I believe that you need to get your child to a doctor. Not just a ped dr but a stomach dr. My son was born 3 months early. He has his share of problems. He had horrible reflux and since his lungs were underdeveloped we could not run the risk of him asperating formula or breast milk into his lungs. We underwent a surgery where they tightened his stomach so that nothing could come back up. I do mean nothing. He cannot burp or vomit. Since we did this we had to place a tube into his stomach. He eats and drinks just like other kids but he has to be burped thru that tube. He will eventually out grow this but that was the only solution for us. He is still on zantac twice a day. I truely hope that you do not have to take it this far as it is a lot to deal with. The procudure is called a fundoplication with g-tube. Not sure if I spelled that correctly but it is just called "fundo" any gastro dr. will know what you are talking about. I would also make sure that your little one is not breathing her "spit up" into her lungs. If she is having as much as you say it could be very easy for her to get pneumonia.

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Courtney - posted on 04/11/2013

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My son is 7 1/2 months old and has a bit of reflux since about 8 weeks old has been on anti reflux formula.. I was just wondering if maybe I could try a different formula that wasn't for reflux or should I stick to the same one I'm using

Heather - posted on 03/01/2009

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Both of my kids had acid reflux and they both slept in a bouncy seat for several months.  It kept them elevated just enough that they didn't spit up or gag during the night.  We kept the seat on the floor in our bedroom so that we could hear them if there was a problem. 

Nicki - posted on 03/01/2009

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HI China,

My son had the same problems at that age. Here are the things that I did and it helped a lot. I put a regular bed pillow underneath his crib mattress where ever he head would lay so it elevated him while he slept. Try to keep him off his belly while sleeping and making sure to burp after every ounce - 2 ounces depending on how much she is eating. Sleeping in the car seat up right is fine here and there but I think you should really try the pillow underneath the crib mattress. Hope this helps, any more questions let me know... Good Luck!

Kristy - posted on 03/01/2009

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My 3 month old son has silent reflux but it doesnt sound as bad as your little one. We have propped up his cot, his change table, when anyone feeds him we tell them not to lie him down and this has seemed to work. We never lie him staight down. His head is higher then his belly at all times. But if the car seat is working and she is safe I would just do it. Hopefully you will find some of this helpful.

Alice - posted on 03/01/2009

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My son had acid refulx since birth -- he cried 20 out of 24 hours a day.  He was put on Zantac and Mylanta and his formula was changed to Alimentum -- he did worse on soy formula... those 3 in combo made a world of difference.  Maybe see what your pediatric gastro thinks of changing her medication..  We also propped him up in his crib, which helped with him not spitting up...  Also, try  to keep her upright for a while after eating.  My son also would not take any bottle at first; we tried every bottle on market, finally he took the Playtex with the dropi-in liners.  Good luck; I know it's a trying time...

Faith - posted on 03/01/2009

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I HAD A FRIEND WHO'S BABY HAD THIS PROBLEM. THEY LET HIM SLEEP IN A SWING. IT SEEMED TO HELP. I THINK THAT THEY FINALLY WERE REFERRED TO DUKE AND THE BABY WAS BUT ON PRILOSEC OR SOME TYPE OF MEDS LIKE THAT.

Andrea - posted on 03/01/2009

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I'm on reflux baby #2. Neither of them were spitters though- both had silent reflux. I say if she sleeps 12-14 hours in her car seat then let her stay there. That's pretty awesome! Most reflux gets better around 9 months when they are fully sitting up on their own. If you want her in the crib, have you elevated the mattress?

I didn't let my son cry until he was 9 months old & I was sure he wasn't crying because he was hurting- but he also woke up every hour. Take her good sleep & enjoy it!

Deanna - posted on 03/01/2009

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I consider myself a PRO when it comes to reflux. Both of my girls had it and the youngest was spitting up a minnimum of 20 times a day. A combination of things worked for me. I never put her in clothes with a waist band. I even made her diapers loose at the waist. I fed her hald as much as I normally would but twice as often. I kept her vertical for a minimum of 30 minutes after feeding and while feeding i burped her after every half ounce. Lastly i used a very slow nipple on her bottles. She also did very well on hypoalergenic formula. Adding cereal to her bottles was useless. The good news is that the sooner you get her on solid foods the sooner she will stop. I wish you the best. If you want you can allways email me at dwood@ctcis.net

Kelli - posted on 03/01/2009

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the biggest thing is not to let your pediatrician tell you that it's not a problem, and that he/she is just a "spitty baby". It took 7 months of fighting with our doc, even after he had test results proving that there was a problem, and we finally got a new doc. She immediately sent our son to a specialist.



You know your baby better then anyone..... if you think they need treatment for reflux, fight until the docs listen!

Jessica - posted on 02/28/2009

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i understand your concern. my son had it so bad that he had to be put on a monitor because he stoped breathing in the middle of the night. he slept in his car seat for the first year of his life. we spent so much time worring if the monitor was going to go off again and that we would have to go back to the hospital. but your situation doesnt sound that bad. i wouldnt worry about it they grow out of the need to sleep sitting up after the reflux gets under control. my son is now 7 almost 8 and the only time the reflux is a problem is when he plays sports (from running to much). he was on two meds and a speacial kind of milk to help his esaphagus heal.if you have any questions do not hesatate to ask.

Kallie - posted on 02/28/2009

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Also I forgot to mention, My son is on alimentum formula and still spits up just as much as on any other formula. He is on zantac, we tried prevacid but it didnt help. I am a believer in medicine when it gets this bad. I dont want my child to have esophagus problems from the acid in his throat.

Kallie - posted on 02/28/2009

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Oh my I thought I was the only one out in nowhere who 's baby spit up soooo much! My 2 1/2 month old has severe acid reflux as well. We can't put him in his car seat because it only makes him spit up even more. I've tried propping him up while he eats and keeping him upright an hour after feedings. NOthing seems to help when it comes to stopping the reflux. I have had some luck with putting some rice cereal in his bottles. 1 teaspoon for each fluid ounce. My son spits up his whole bottle and I have to feed him again. It is hard as I am sure you know too well. I let my son sleep in between me and his daddy. He lays propped up on a pillow covered with a blanket so he does not smother in it. As long as I keeping patting his bum when he starts to stir, he will sleep. He still wakes up sometimes choking on the reflux, to the point he is stiff because he cant breathe. I just dont trust letting him sleep in his crib yet because i am truly afraid if i am not close he will choke on his own spit up. I clean every last outfit he has everyday because he spits up sooooo much. My heart goes out to all mothers with babies that spit up soo much!

Christen - posted on 02/28/2009

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My son (12 years ago) had REALLY bad reflux like your DD. He ended up with a milk allergy and putting him on supplemented breast feeding was a good thing. It helped to put him on a soy based formula in addition to the BF. Gut I did try the cereal before 6 months and I found oat and rice were actually helpful, the spit up was thicker, but less quantity. I personally would be totally hesitant to use the prevacid due to the fact that she needs to have her GI tract "learn" and I think that could prevent the natural growing process. Our baby's systems are just not mature enough, they need the time to catch up, naturally. A homeopathic remedy called gripe water is available at most pharmacies and on the internet if you can't find it. TOTALLY worth trying. Good luck.

Sarah - posted on 02/28/2009

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My two year old was a spitter big time. We took her to a Chiropractor and they did adjustments on her and it pretty much took care of the problem. I pushed for three hours to get my daughter out and they finally did a vacuum extraction, our chiropractor says when they have a delivery like that it sometimes throws the baby out of alignment. I was very leary taking her but the chiro was very gentle with her.

Darlene - posted on 02/28/2009

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Hmm... I would say check on the feeding - what is she injesting that is so disagreeable?  There must be alternative ways for her to get her nutrition without the discomfort.



And let her sleep - you can clean her up when she awakes. She is already discomforted and doesnt care about the spit up/mess.



As well, if you raise her crib - a safe way is to put phone books under the feet of the head of the crib - this eliminates adding things to her bed that could endanger her.



 

Jennifer - posted on 02/28/2009

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My last daughter Brandi had acid reflux we tried 3 medicines and none of them worked finally at 5 months we started putting cereal in her bottle. Half rice cereal half formula then we sliced the top of the nipple just a little bit. We had her on allimentum by similac, try putting the cereal in there it won't hurt anything.

Rhonda - posted on 02/28/2009

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Our baby was on Zantac twice daily and one tsp of rice cereal per ounce of formula in each bottle from age 6 weeks until 12 months to keep him from refluxing back. It helped but sometimes he could still puke all over. We were instructed to keep him propped up 45 min to one hour after each feeding to reduce the risk of the feeding backing up his pyloric sphincter. We fed him at an almost sitting up angle. He was allowed to go down in his crib after this 1 hr time but preferred to either sleep in his vibrating seat, or gently swinging swing between feeds at night. There were many nights he spent the entire night in his vibrating bouncer when he slept thru the night. There is nor anything wrong with this. We did as he got older buy the mattress incline insert for under the protective mattress pad and crib sheet to elevate his upper body but dont know that there was much help with this as all it did was help him slide down more in the bed so we rigged bumpers shaped like a U under the bed sheet to keep him up in position and this helped from 6 months on. He is now an active 16 month old drinks everything and weaned off zantac at 1 yr. Until the reflux resolves I would not let them cry it out as that will just make the sphincter spill everything back all over the baby not good for them as the acid can really burn their esophagus. Good luck to you!

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My 2 month old has reflux and he was spitting up all the time, like almost half of whatever I fed him. His doctor put him on zantac, but after a couple weeks it wasn't helping so they switched him to prevacid and not he does much better. I will tell you the suggestions our doctor gave us and tell you which ones we have tried and if they worked!

1. Adding rice cereal to formula (or expressed breast milk in a bottle) to thicken it (the thickened liquid stays down better: THIS HELPED US A LOT

2. Burping before, during and after feeding: ALSO HELPED

3. Sitting him up while eating so he was not reclining: DEFINITELY HELPED

4. Having him sit up for at least 20-30 minutes after eating before laying him down: ALSO HELPED

5. Letting him sleep in his car seat or bouncy seat: ALSO HELPED

6. Elevating the mattress: THIS IS THE ONE THING WE HAVEN'T TRIED YET. A FRIEND OF MINE SAID THEY MAKE WEDGES TO PUT UNDER THE MATTRESS TO HELP ELEVATE IT, AND MY BROTHER IN LAW ACTUALLY CONSTRUCTED HIS OWN FOR MY NIECE WHEN SHE WAS LITTLE.

Hope some of this helps, and you're able to get your little one comfortable soon, I know how awful it is to see them upset and not be able to do anything about it!

Elizabeth - posted on 02/28/2009

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My daughter has really bad reflux, too. She also ha a milk allergy and since I'm breastfeeding, I've had to cut out all dairy (and soy). There is no blood in her stool, but it is green and sometimes seedy and smells like rotten eggs. Sorry to be discriptive, but it helped me to have it explained.... I found that cutting out dairy for more than a week or so got her poo back to the more normal mustard color that it should. Stopping for just a day or two doesn't get it out of your system. My baby is so sensitive to it that if I have even a little bit of dairy or soy, it's back to that "lovely" poo we had before and the reflux is back with a vengence!



Propping your baby's crib up really helps a lot, but I'd say if she sleeps well in the car seat, let her keep doing that. Crying it out only makes reflux worse, as you have discovered. My daughter HATED the carseat, so we had to prop up the mattress to help her. I learned to not let her cry it out because I hated seeing her all covered in that spit up and knowing that she was in pain. Yes, it's harder and more time consuming to answer every call, but she needs you. It's not manipulation at this age that has her crying, please don't believe the people that tell you it is.



Reflux is no fun! For anyone. Smaller, more frequent meals; find out if she has an allergy and avoid that food; and my dr said to stick with strictly BFing because the cereal tends to make them throw up even worse...at least it did Brenna.



Good Luck! Sorry...

Brittany - posted on 02/28/2009

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my doctor put my son on zantac drops twice a day. he did have the spit up problem too, until the medicine was given to him. he used to squeal in his sleep and also arched his back like he's in pain. his doctor also said it helps make it not so painful if you put your child at a slant. so maybe at this point the whole car seat thing is a good thing. hope this helps you.

Kelli - posted on 02/28/2009

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My son had very bad reflux as well. Spit up more then half of what he ate every feeding for about the first year. He wouldn't take the medicine though. We ended up putting him on an anti-reflux formula (it's thickened with rice cereal) and he still spit it up, but he was still getting twice the amount of food from before. He had to eat sitting up, or else he would have projectile vomiting instead of just normal spitting up. Dehydration made him alot worse, so we would also give him pedialyte. Maybe try propping up her mattress so her head is elevated, and tucking rolled up blankets in around her arms so that she gets that "hugging" sensation that she gets from the carseat. Smaller feedings given more often was another suggestion that the doctors made to us. Kevin's diagnosis ended up being a combination of things: reflux, delayed gastric emptying, and and stomach muscles that didn't squeeze hard enough. It took us 2 pediatricians and 7 months to get him in to see the specialists at CHOP and find out what was wrong. By 12 months old, he had figured out how to stop the reflux on his own, and stopped spitting up. Hope some of that helped!

Liz - posted on 02/28/2009

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I have a 3 year old that has dealt with severe reflux since birth. Just let her sleep in the car seat or a bouncer. His bouncer became my best friend. I know that most people will tell you that she needs to sleep in a bed, but why? She is in pain and misery laying that way. I also recommend that you have her see a pediatric GI doctor. My son did have a milk allergy as well, and they dont have to have blood in their stool for that to be the case.

China - posted on 02/28/2009

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She is bf - I tried to get her on a bottle but she will not take one. I am trying to get her on a trainer sippy cup with her rice cereal and that is the Similac Sensitive formula but that is only 2 to 3 Tbsp at best. I have cut out nuts and nut butters from my diet (those seem to really upset her tummy) and limit my dairy to only 1 to 2 servings a day if that. My ped doesn't think a milk allergy is there since she hasn't had blood in her poop but I still limit that. Once she goes down in the car seat asleep she is great and will sleep 12 to 14 hours.

Andrea - posted on 02/28/2009

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Hello China. I'm a mother of a 5-month old too, with a little reflux, but not as severe as your baby's. Though, I know a couple with a 4 month old, with a problem similar to yours. Their baby was not breastfed, they started giving her formula since she was born. The baby was an all day spitter and never stoped crying, she also slept on her carseat and had to be held on an uright postion for 30 minutes after eating to reduce the possibilities of spitting...this kept going for at least 2 and a half months, until they found out  she was allergic to the two set of formulas they were feeding her...hope this helps. 

Alisabeth - posted on 02/28/2009

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My son had reflux, but it doesn't sound as bad as your daughter's.  I would say, let her sleep in the car seat if it works.  The other thing you can do is prop her crib mattress up with either a pillow or towels on one end so she's not laying completely flat.  That seemed to help my son.  The other thing I would look into is if she has a milk allergy.  That is what was causing my son's reflux and spitting up.  Once he was on soy the problem went away within a month.  Good Luck.

Stacy - posted on 02/28/2009

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Are you breastfeeding? If so:





Minimize distractions and keep feedings as peaceful and calm as possible. Nurse in a quiet, dark room and play soothing music.

Try nursing when baby is sleepy. Babies with reflux tend to wake more often, so take advantage of this opportunity to work in extra feedings. Keep baby close to you during the night.

Give baby lots of skin-to-skin contact and cuddling. Try nursing him in a warm bath.

Practice with different positions, and try nursing while standing and walking around. Baby slings are great for this, and help keep the baby upright while your hands are free.

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