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We are the parents of a nine month old who has CMPA, FPIES and reflux. This means that we’ve had months of clearing up vomit and dealing with a baby in pain. I’m sure no parent wants to see their little one suffering and we don’t either.
Over the last nine months we have been trying a number of products. These are the ones that really help with reflux, for our girl at least.
Medications to help with reflux
Firstly let me start by saying that there are medications that the GP can prescribe. Typically your little one will be started on infant Gaviscon.
Get it from your GP, as prescriptions for under 16s are free in the UK. It is not recommended for children under 1 unless prescribed by a GP anyway. If this doesn’t work, by thickening your child’s milk, then your GP may prescribe something else.
Typically a GP will do one of two things. Give you a prescription or refer you to a paediatrician. We received a paediatric referral from A&E when our daughter was admitted for severe dehydration and weight loss.
Our paediatrician arrange for us to get a scan for Daisy, to check for pyloric stenosis.
Daisy was also prescribed omeprazole. We were given this in a liquid form. Often they prescribe a tablet that you have to dissolve and then syringe a specific amount from.
Your pharmacy may have to order the liquid in (every single flipping time!) but it is more convenient. Also, ranitidine is another medication.
There are several types of different medications for reflux and it can be trial and error. For us omeprazole helps Daisy significantly but it takes time to build up in the system.
Products to help with reflux
We used these drops before Daisy was diagnosed with CMPA. They help to break down some of the lactose in the milk (I think) and worked well to help with trapped wind and discomfort.
The drops are easy to administer too which was a relief when Daisy was screaming.
This was one of the best products that we bought to help with reflux. We bought a slightly different version but this is the updated one I believe. This helped keep Daisy snug, and comfortable.
This meant that when she did sleep she slept for longer periods of time. Also, this helped elevate Daisy slightly and stopped her having a flat head too. We started using this when Daisy was just a few days old.
Note: this type of cushion is not for unattended sleep, as far as I know, so be safe while using it.
We absolutely love our Jumperoo. Daisy was strong enough to begin using hers at around 16-17 weeks for 5 minutes at a time.
This was a godsend as we were always exhausted. Also, keeping Daisy upright helped prevent some of the sickness and reflux symptoms.
This isn’t the specific swing that we used for Daisy, however, they are all much of a muchness. Similar really. The swing was fantastic. We DID use this one for Aurora, our second daughter, and she loves it!
Not only did it keep Daisy elevated, reducing the sickness, but it also swung her gently! Now to help with reflux you want to ensure that your little one had their feed a while ago, sit them upright and rub their back.
Once you have brought up their wind wait a little longer before putting them in a swing. This was a godsend for us as it meant that Daisy could safely have a nap without being held.
We progressed from rocking her to sleep, to using the swing, to putting her down to self soothe and she now sleeps 12 hours overnight. I’ve wrote about our bedtime routine before – although it has changed slightly now.
Could it be something other than reflux?
For us our daughter didn’t just suffer from reflux. Daisy has GORD and it isn’t something that has just gone away in the first months of life. Daisy didn’t get to 4 months and ‘grow out of it’.
Despite being on medication Daisy still has issues with reflux, occasional projectile vomiting and periods of discomfort. All we can do is support her, give her affection, use products to help with reflux, and be patient.
Other tips to help with reflux
Hold your baby for 20 minutes after feeding. I know this is a pain. However, it is a real help. It will help your baby’s milk go down and help prevent some of the issues associated with reflux.
Thicken your baby’s milk. We purchased *Carobel to help with this. You can get it on prescription also.
Give frequent but small feedings. We switched Daisy from 5 bottles to 7 initially and reduced the amount of milk. This meant more work, and more time feeding.
It also meant more winding, more holding her upright and a never ending cycle of washing bottles and cleaning. However, it gave Daisy relief which is the main thing.
Sleep at an incline. You can raise one end of her cot slightly. Always ensure that you do this safely and securely. Don’t leave anything in the cot that could allow your baby to suffocate. We have a cot with an incline, and a recommended safe level, for our second daughter Aurora, and she wears an Owlet Smart Sock 3 at night time.
Avoid tight clothing. Daisy lived in loose sleep suits for quite a while. Even now we don’t let her wear clothes that are too tight.
As soon as the first sign of stretching appears in her clothes we move her up a size. This means less wear for our money but more comfort for Daisy.
The most important help with reflux
Remember you’re not alone. Dealing with a reflux baby is a really trying, tiring time. It is hard work between the vomiting, the crying and the bad nights.
A baby with reflux cries much more than a baby without. It is normal to find this stressful and it happens during an emotion time in your life. You need to remember that it isn’t your fault.
All you can do is try your best to help your baby and be there for them. Take 5 minutes for yourself when you need to, even if this means your baby has to cry.
My daughter, at 4 weeks, could cry for up to 5 hours at a time. A medical professional told me it wasn’t possible for my daughter to cry for 5 solid hours without sleep – he was wrong.
Don’t let people fob you off.
You know your own baby and you might have to persist with visiting your GP several times before you get the correct help. If you’re desperate to speak at someone who understands can reach out to me on my Instagram.