Infant Acid Reflux: Signs and Tips
Reflux is very common in premature babies, and since most multiples are premature, it is something parents of multiples struggle with. I too had to deal with this at varying degrees. Caitlin had really bad reflux almost from the beginning and the other two had mild reflux. We have found several things that have worked so well that Caitlin was taken off her medication and the reflux, at this point, has seemed to resolve in all of them.
Infant Acid Reflux
First I wanted to cover some possible signs of reflux. If your child has these I would advise you to talk with your pediatrician:
- Arching their back while trying to eat.
- Large amount of spit up or throwing up during or with 30 minutes of eating.
- Crying during their bottles.
- Unable to lay baby flat after eating, and with good burping, without baby spitting up.
- Difficulty feeding, can only take low amounts of formula at a time.
- Note: Breastfed babies are less likely to have reflux but it is still a possibility.
Caitlin’s was so bad that she was on prevacid before leaving the hospital, and is what kept her there for 5 days after the rest of us were discharged. We had a horrible time feeding her. The throwing up/ spitting up was horrible. She would go through 3-6 outfits a day. It made her utterly miserable and extremely fussy. Haley and Criton’s was much milder and mostly just dealt with a lot of spit up.
There are some things we altered though, that changed everything, and now their reflux is pretty much all gone. Caitlin was also taken off her medications because she no longer needed it. I wanted to share those and some other basic tips with others out there that might be going through the same issues.
First some basics…
- Make sure you get all the burps out. Babies with reflux tend to have a lot of deep burps which can make the spitting up much worse.
- Sit baby upright for 30 minutes after meals. We used our infant rocking chairs and baby swing when we were unable to physically hold Caitlin due to another babies needs.
- Frequent burping. Burp after every 1-2 ounce.
Now the things that made the most impact for us…
- Homemade Gripe Water (you can find the recipe under “Learning Experiences”). The Store bought kind can not even begin to measure up the the homemade. I have tried them. We still make it and give it to them today. The days that we skip it for one reason or another, you can really tell a difference. I highly, highly recommend you at least try it (for reflux, colic, and general fussiness).
- Changing formula: When we first came home they were on Neosure because they were preemie. We quickly started have really bad gas and constipation issues with the babies. So bad they would be extremely fussy because of it, which is very common for this formula. So we switched to Enfamil Gentle Ease. It worked great for awhile but was not a complete fix. It helped withe the gas and constipation but not the reflux. Finally we tried Enfamil AR. This was our magic as far as the formula went. I would highly recommend this to anyone who has a baby with reflux or spitting up issues. Now we still have some spitting up issues with Caitlin, but I am pretty sure it has more to do with deep burps that we just can’t hear or get all the time. None the less though, it is so much better and she never fusses about it anymore.
- Bottles: I never thought bottle would really make a difference but I assure you, the can have a huge impact. We first had NUK’s bottles. They did fine until I read some people talking about Dr Brown’s bottles for reflux babies. They swore by how much of a difference they experienced, so I rushed right out and picked up a pack to try. The result was spectacular. Less gas, less burps (including deep ones), and the babies were chugging down the formula. It was wonderful! I highly recommend these to anyone with a baby. Reflux or not I feel these are the absolute best bottles out there for any baby. They are also very easy for breastfed babies to go back and forth from bottle to breast without issues.
As I said before, these three things seemed to make all the difference for us. Hopefully by my sharing this with others, that it will help them as well. There is nothing more heartbreaking and nerve racking as a baby with reflux. Your baby is screaming in pain and you feel helpless because there is not much you can do. Then after about 6 hours of crying, you are right there crying with them because your nerves are completely shot and you are too sleep deprived to do anything else. I feel your pain and hope these things help you as much as they have me.