Monday, April 16, 2012

Reflux sucks. Please help.

I know just two weeks ago I said I was going on a hiatus from blogging, but this is the way I get advice from other mommies and I figured I could get some feedback on the no sleep/reflux issue we're having over here. Now, we're not doing much of this at night:

Here's the problem:

1. Hailey has reflux. I was excited because at her 2 week appointment we got a prescription for zantac and a lot of people say that it is a night and day difference in their baby once they get the zantac on board. Well, unfortunately it hasn't really made that big of a difference for us. She no longer projectile vomits anymore and she screams a little less, but that's it. I know there is a "next step" drug if the zantac doesn't work. It's called Bethanechol I believe. Has anyone ever had to use that because zantac didn't work?? Please tell me it works. It's not that she continuously screams for hours on end (thank the Good Lord), but she doesn't sleep. The longest stretch she ever sleeps is two hours. Otherwise it is short little cat naps here and there.

2. Hailey isn't like most babies. Most babies are awake, then eat and THEN fall back into a milk-induced sleep coma. This is very useful at night time when you feed them and then you want them to sleep right afterwards. Apparently Hailey never got the memo because she eats, then stays awake (because of the reflux) while fighting sleep for what seems like an eternity only to FINALLY freaking fall asleep for a short time before she wakes up again to eat.

3. She is tired but can't sleep. I guess I should retract that previous statement from above that says she fights sleep...she doesn't fight sleep, reflux fights sleep. I think she's exhausted actually and wants to fall asleep but the reflux won't let her. What I mean by this is that she will fall asleep for five minutes then will wake up gagging/coughing/spitting up, grunting, letting out a screech, and doing this horrible gasping sound that the pediatrition labeled "esophageal spasms" induced by the acid reflux. Then I'll finally calm her down and she'll fall asleep for ten minutes (repeat waking up, then falling asleep for two minutes, wake up, I calm her down and then sleep for 5 minutes, wake up, then fall back asleep for another 10 minutes...okay you get the picture) She's better if I hold her up over my shoulder....she'll sleep then, which is why she sleeps okay during the day...but I can't do that at night. I've tried propping her up on a pillow (sorry SIDS police, get over it) and I've tried putting her in her boppy, and I've tried putting her in her car seat. The car seat has worked the best. And by best, I mean she will sleep 2 hours at time (at the most).

4. What makes me the most bummed about this situation? (other than not sleeping and her having pain from the reflux of course...) She can go longer periods at night without eating, which means if she didn't have reflux, I could be sleeping during that time.... For example, the other night she fed at 9:15pm. She was awake til 12:45am and then didn't wake up to eat again until 2am. So she can go five hours without eating. I would KILL to have almost five hours of sleep in a row. Especially considering I haven't slept longer than 3 hours in a row in over a month. AWESOME.

5. The last problem that will stem from this is creating a bad sleeper. Now Hailey doesn't have one of those sweet, quiet cries. She has an incredibly loud, screeching, SCREAM. It could wake up the neighbors a block over. Now, IF I ever get her out of our room/bed (don't judge, the last thing this mom wants to do is get out of bed every five minutes for hours on end to tend to an upset baby in another room...or even a bassinet in our room) how will I get her in her crib at night when she wakes up every two seconds...she will wake Ryder up and that is that last thing I want! I have heard horror stories of moms who said they leaped out of bed the second they heard child #2 cry at night to quiet them because they didn't want child #1 to wake up. And that in turn develops bad habits of child #2 waking up all the time and never learning to sleep through the night because they have learned they can wake up, cry and mom comes running. Uhhhgh, seriously.

I could probably continue writing/bitching forever, but I don't have time and I just heard Ryder on the monitor---Big Head is up for the day!

So please tell me something to make me feel better. What did you do in these situations if your child had reflux? What worked? When did they grow out of it? Any suggestions help as I am pretty much at wits end with the whole sleep thing!


  1. My daughter Mackenzie had HORRIBLE reflux. We started her on Prevacid and that seemed to help but did not stop the sleepless nights. We started buckling her into her bouncy seat after she ate (the elevation helped) and would turn on the vibration function (would soothe her) and she would sleep the best that way. She did eventually grow out of it, around 10 months. There is hope!! Hang in there!

    Nicole Gladieux-Doyen

  2. Thought about chiropractic care? My nephew has issues too and the chiro seemed to help.. No meds!

  3. Hey there, Carly Dear. I feel for you! I was in the same boat with Zander. He wanted to be held in an upright position non-stop! We had to practically dance around the livingroom with him and once he was finally asleep we had to VERY CAREFULLY place him in his car seat with a nice fuzzy blanket in it. This often too 5,6,7 tries, but eventually he'd give in for 2 hours or so. Both of my kids slept in their car seats until they were three months old. I did have Zander on Zantac until he was 9 months old, thats when he finally grew out of it. Zaylen slept in her swing alot too. We went through ALOT of batteries but it helped. Good luck!!!

  4. Hey Car! At work we see a lot of babies with the same issue...another suggestion from what the others have said would be a crib wedge. You can buy them at Babies R Us and they go under the crib mattress (yay to the SIDS police!!) and elevate the head of the bed a little to help with digestion/reflux. Hope that you find something that works for her!

  5. Hey - I saw your post through Marybeth's blog. Our son had terrible reflux. Zantac only helped for a really short time and then we switched to Prevacid which seemed to do the trick. It was always tough keeping up with the dosage changes though because of their constant size change at that age. We also had him sleep in his bouncy seat a lot, which reallly helped. We put the bouncy seat in his crib so he still got used to sleeping in his area.

  6. Out of curiosity what pediatrician did you see for the reflux? I am 99% certain my infant has reflux but my current ped doesnt want to prescribe anything and tells me it is normal and he will grow out of it. I am with him 24/7 and know that his constant grunts, screeches, arching of the back, tenseness, spitting up thru his nose, etc is not "normal" so I would like to go elsewhere but need suggestions on where to take him where they'll take me seriously!

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