A good friend referred to me as an expert on infant reflux this week and this certainly isn’t me… and coming from a professional perspective this certainly isn’t the case …
But I am the expert of my son and these are the things that I have discovered while we have been on this bumpy reflux road.
(Please remember what works for my baby may not work for yours. What works one day may suddenly not work the next and there is never a quick fix for this condition…. Yes frustrating)
Ok here I go … With small attempts of humour so you don’t cry with me.
1. Waaa Waaa Waaa … Is something you hear day and night and quiet often more than you see smiles. Lil D was 12 weeks before we got his first smile.
2. You need to find a good GP and Gastro Paeditrician to help diagnose and medicate your little one while he is on this painful reflux journey.
3. Read up on Attachment Parenting techniques. Reflux babies should come with the Attachment Parenting Manual because this is what works best for them. Don’t leave them screaming in the cot..ever! (unless you just can’t take anymore and need to walk away and know he is safe…and yes even the most patient of parents will get to this point at least once)
4. RISA is the most amazing supportive organization for parents of reflux babies and children you will ever find. You need to become a member … This will allow you access to their Forums and they are awesome for those days of absolute despair.
5. Prescribed medications take time to work. Then just maybe unfortunately Bub will still reflux over and above it from time to time.
6. Neurofen syringes are the best if you are dissolving PPI tablets for your baby. They have a large opening. Also…never crush the tiny beads leftover after the tablet dissolves! This is the way it is meant to be.
7.The old fashioned cloth nappies are awesome as chuck rags. You will need about 20. Don’t laugh I am serious. Some will live on your shoulder, on the floor, in every room of the house, car and nappy bag.
8.Teething is a nightmare and so are colds. For us..so was extremely hot weather that would cause a reflux flare up.
9. Stay in contact with your local child health nurse. She will help you keep things in perspective and weigh bub to ensure he is still thriving.
10.Reflux babies aren’t always underweight kids. They can be the complete opposite with huge weight gains due to their constant wanting to comfort feed.
11.Consider keeping your bubs cot in your room. Being up and down all night isn’t so tough on you if he is within arms reach.
12.Reflux babies and kids prefer to graze on food rather than big meals…it can be a pain but big servings just don’t help.
13. Purchase a good quality baby carrier. No that isn’t a Baby Bjorn. We purchased an Ergo Carrier however there are others that are similar on the market which may suit you better. You will be carrying your bub a lot so you need a carrier that is comfy for Mum and Bub.
14. You may need to give up the idea that babies should go to sleep in the pram or car. Chances are your reflux bub will hate it and they will scream…and I mean for as long as it takes for them to be relieved of the experience. So driving holidays can be a nightmare.
15. Elevating during feeds and sleep will help but not fix. The Baby Wedge is a great product to elevate in the cot.
16. Formula isn’t best for reflux babies. Breast is best. Unless your baby has been proven to have allergies to foods you are unable to eliminate from your diet you should continue breastfeeding. It soothes him, it comforts him and you have next to no preparation for it and do not have to wait the prescribed time to give him some more to soothe when times are tough.
17. Few babies are lactose intolerant…look up cows milk protein intolerance and go from there if you think the reflux is food related.
18. Don’t fall for the thickened formula crap so many will tell you. True acid reflux will require more than that to improve things.
19. Don’t fall for the advice that it must be your breastmilk either. (females aged 50 – 70 are likely to hand this out) Your milk is liquid gold and is providing your baby with the most amazing immunity he will need while on this tough reflux road. Do you really want your reflux bub catching every cold and flu lingering in the community?
20. Forget about the housework. Either get a cleaner or you will need to just put up with the house being a mess. A reflux baby needs your arms. He needs them to hold him upright, to assure him he is safe and to rock him gently to sleep.
21. Being a reflux Mum can make you so bloody depressed It is situational. If only the baby would stop screaming…you would feel so much better. You are not going crazy.
22. If nothing works to calm the baby…go outside. Even at an early age we found the sudden distraction would settle the screaming for a bit. Maybe even enough for you to gain your hearing again.
23.Your baby isn’t being naughty, sooky or manipulating you. He is in pain and needs you so very very much.
24.You will learn that being up only three times during the night is actually a great nights sleep and that your body can survive on so very little.
25. A good diet is sooo important for Mum. Green Smoothies all the way along with some multivitamins!
26. If you wear make up..stock up on the concealer to hide the black bags under your eyes.
27. If someone suggests giving up coffee … Think carefully. I say you need that shit. Along with a power point to stick your finger in that instantly re-energises.
28. Gather your support people. You will need their understanding, ears and ability to bring you coffee and food.
29. Live one day at a time and minute by minute. People may give you a timeframe for when it could all resolve… But so you don’t set yourself up for disappointment don’t take it on board. There is a light at the end of the tunnel but nobody can tell you how long the tunnel is. It maybe that he won’t grow out of it.. And he may need surgical intervention. You just don’t know and neither does anyone else. Accepting this early will save you some heart ache and may even bring you a lovely surprise if things get better sooner rather than later.
30. Also, living in the moment means the few hours he may not be in pain mean you could be doing something really awesome instead of groundhog day that presents itself to you all of the time.
31. LASTLY…never ever brag to anyone that things have improved or even completely resolved. Chances are you just blew it and in 24hrs you will be in tears with regret! (sorry Mrs P … I do this one too often to not include)
Below is a short video I posted on my personal Facebook page a couple of months ago. Lil D was having one of the worst days he had ever experienced. I guess I posted it because I was crying out for help. Sometimes it is just so hard to actually say the words..I need help.