Baby Pregnancy

Reflux in Newborns

Darcey is now 1 month old and since she was born I’ve been looking for the early signs of reflux. Not just because I’m a slightly neurotic new mother but because of how her brothers suffered. When Will was born we just assumed that he was a crying, difficult baby, he would scream at night time and be a little bit sick. As I was a first time mum I mentioned to the health visitors but as he was gaining weight they put it down to colic and I knew no better. By the time he was 6 months old we were referred to the hospital and silent reflux was diagnosed. For 6 months he’d be struggling and I hadn’t known, once he was given medicine to control the reflux he was a different child.

Roll on a year and Ben was born, this time I knew exactly what to look out for. Unfortunately he suffered far worse than his older brother. For 2 years he was on medication and inhalers as he kept getting chest infections from the vomit getting into his airway. Ben’s reflux wasn’t the silent type and I spent many a day covered in baby sick.

Signs to look out for

Throughout the pregnancy with Darcey I always had it in the back of my mind to look out for reflux, if the boys had it chances are she would. So imagine my surprise when we got through the first 3 weeks with no sick, ‘touch wood’ she would get away with it. Then just over a week ago she started to get some symptoms;

  • Being sick not just after feeds
  • Unsettled at night or when lying flat
  • Grunting – not just normal baby noises but pained noises
  • Coughing and clearing her throat
  • Lots of hicupping
  • Cutting her feeding time by from 3 hours a day to 2 hours a day overnight
  • Arching her body is pain before being sick – not a hard stomach as you would expect with colic

I left it a week to make sure it wasn’t getting better and then I took her to the doctors to ask for some medicine. As an adult I know how painful acid reflux is, I suffered throughout the pregnancy and still take Omeprazole to control it now. I hate the thought of Darcey being in pain when she’s so tiny and not being able to do anything about it.

Time to visit the doctor

The doctor was happy to give her some medicine to control the acid and see if that helps calm things down. As I’m breastfeeding we decided not to use Gaviscon as there is no bottle to dissolve it in, instead she is having a tiny dose of Ranitidine 3 times a day which is a liquid given orally in a syringe.

Fingers crossed that this helps calm things down and stops the reflux before it gets any worse. I know it’s something she’ll grow out of, it eases when babies can have solid food and sit up. By the time they’re one most children will have grown out of reflux.

Tips for dealing with a reflux baby

  • Feed in a more upright position
  • After a feed try to keep baby still and upright – don’t bounce around!
  • Lie them down on their left side
  • Smaller feeds more often
  • Prop up the head of the crib/moses basket so they aren’t laying flat – do this safely so it’s not unstable

Remember you can have silent reflux too a child doesn’t have to be projectile vomiting so ask a doctor if you suspect silent reflux, I wish I had questioned this with my first born.

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49 Comments

  • Reply us3bythesea

    There are so many things that as a mother of a new born you don’t know to look for. My youngest had reflux and it was a sign of something more serious

    March 1, 2016 at 9:04 am
  • Reply Lilinha Espindula

    Very useful post. Little man didn’t have reflux, so I would have no idea what to do in case our next baby had.
    http://lilinhaangel.com/

    February 27, 2016 at 4:30 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks hoping this will help other new parents identify it sooner if their baby is struggling.

      February 29, 2016 at 2:23 pm
  • Reply Rachel

    My twin nephews both had silent reflux and they had to be in an almost sitting up position x

    February 27, 2016 at 1:30 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      That’s what I’m finding she wants to be sat bolt upright after each feed. x

      February 29, 2016 at 2:24 pm
  • Reply Ana De Jesus

    I actually have acid reflux myself and it is not a lovely thing to have so I can’t imagine what it is like to have it as a baby poor thing. Great tips though sitting upright helps.

    February 27, 2016 at 12:56 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      I struggled so badly in pregnancy and just feel so sorry for her it’s horrible.

      February 29, 2016 at 2:25 pm
  • Reply Emma White (@TheRealSupermum)

    oh this is just awful I remember my daughter having really bad reflux and it was terrifying at times some great advice here that I am sure will go on to help many moms

    February 26, 2016 at 10:36 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks Emma, it can be scary in the night when they are coughing/spluttering. I’m now getting used to her noises.

      February 26, 2016 at 10:39 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks. It is awful, I’m hoping she doesn’t suffer like her brother did. Hope you’re daughter is better now x

      February 29, 2016 at 2:28 pm
  • Reply cvnxena

    great post although we were lucky enough not to have to deal with reflux! and I am very thankful! (if I have another one though I will bear this in mind!)

    February 26, 2016 at 9:04 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks, I was really hoping to get away with the reflux this time!

      February 26, 2016 at 10:40 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks, it’s always good to know what to look out for just in case x

      February 29, 2016 at 2:28 pm
  • Reply Jenni - Odd Socks and Lollipops

    My daughter suffered with silent reflux and it was awful, she is two now and has just come of medication a couple of months ago. Medication helped but didn’t solve things completely – I had hoped weaning would help but it didn’t. We had so many checks and the dose of her medication kept being upped and upped. These are great tips!

    February 26, 2016 at 4:26 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks Jenni. Silent reflux can be even harder as I found doctors just didn’t want to diagnose it. Hope you’re daughter is feeling much better now x

      February 26, 2016 at 10:43 pm
  • Reply joannavictoria

    This is an useful post I didnt know much our reflux in newborns but know one of my Mummy friend’s little one had it.

    February 26, 2016 at 3:51 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks, it’s always good to know the signs in case you need to discuss with the GP.

      February 26, 2016 at 10:43 pm
  • Reply Angela Milnes

    My daughter suffered from Reflux and it was really not nce for her. I enjoyed reading your post and thankyou for sharing. Very helpful for newbie mothers. Angela from Daysinbed

    February 26, 2016 at 3:21 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks Angela you feel so sorry for the little ones when they are in pain. Wish I could make it better.

      February 26, 2016 at 10:44 pm
  • Reply Angela Milnes

    My daughter had Relux and it really made her cry a lot. I enjoyed reading this post. Thanks for sharing. Angela from Daysinbed

    February 26, 2016 at 3:20 pm
  • Reply Hannah - Budding Smiles

    Toby had terrible silent reflux as a baby and friends who haven’t been through it just didn’t understand why we were having such a rubbish time. He now needs Gaviscon sometimes but at 19 months seems to have mostly outgrown it but I’m 32 weeks pregnant and really fearful of it being so bad again because it robbed us of our newborn xx

    February 26, 2016 at 8:06 am
    • Reply Lisa

      Hope your new baby get’s away with it. Although doctors will diagnose this a lot quicker if the new baby does. It’s not the sick that’s a problem to deal with it’s comforting them when they are clearly in so much pain x

      February 26, 2016 at 10:52 pm
  • Reply Mama, My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows

    Oh no, I hope your little girl doesn’t suffer too much and I’m glad you were able to catch it early.

    #fartglitter

    February 12, 2016 at 3:30 am
  • Reply amytreasure0

    My eldest suffered horribly with reflux, he’s 16 now and it still bothers him sometimes 🙁 Thanks so much for linking up to #thelist x

    February 11, 2016 at 4:46 pm
  • Reply The Speed Bump

    This is a great post and really helpful to new parents. We were lucky that my little girl didn’t have reflux, I know many who did and they really struggled. #FartGlitter x

    February 8, 2016 at 9:45 am
  • Reply Steph Oakes

    This is a great post and will be a great help for new parents. We’ve escaped reflux with both of mine thankfully but a friend’s little girl had it and I know they went through a terrible time. I hope the medicine helps the little lady soon x

    February 6, 2016 at 2:12 pm
  • Reply Mummy in a TuTu (@mummyinatutu)

    so glad your doctor provided you with medicine… mine refused and bubba still suffers now 4 months on. I have had to find my own ways to deal with it and luckily she handles it well but she gets mightily annoyed at the amount of hiccups she gets. Thank god for weaning!!

    February 5, 2016 at 8:53 am
    • Reply Lisa

      Yes it gets a lot easier when they can be weaned and sit upright. My pediatrician advise to wean my son at 4 months to help. The health visitors didn’t like this at all but it worked for him.

      February 5, 2016 at 12:19 pm
  • Reply Ami Elizabeth

    My friends little boy really suffers with silent reflux and has since he was born. It’s so difficult for baby, mama & daddy to deal with and try to ease the pain. x

    February 4, 2016 at 3:57 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      The cry when their in pain can be so piercing, the medications can really help though if a GP will refer to hospital for a review. That’s what we had to do with the boys xx

      February 5, 2016 at 12:13 pm
  • Reply Lorraine

    Aww so sad to think you have to watch incase your little one is suffering in silence. I hope she does not have reflux of any kind. My little one has had severe tummy aches and sickness since tiny. We still get tummy aches and the odd vomit after milk feeds. shes is 18 months now?! x

    February 3, 2016 at 10:02 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Oh no I’m sorry you’re little one is still suffering occasionally. 2 days in and the medication seems to be making her more comfortable which is great. Sick I can deal with just don’t like her being in pain x

      February 5, 2016 at 12:08 pm
  • Reply Chloe

    This is so helpful. I wish I’d read this a year ago when Evie had it. It’s so horrible, especially when you don’t know at first what’s wrong. x

    February 3, 2016 at 10:00 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks Chloe, it can be so difficult when they’re tiny and can’t talk. My doctor was fab this week and said she agreed with me about reflux as I’d been through it with Ben I knew what I was talking about. x

      February 5, 2016 at 12:07 pm
  • Reply Helen Gandy

    Great post, I am absolutely convinced that my son who is now nearly 4 had reflux, we kept being told it was colic and we continued through hell, I wish I had pushed a bit further because at times it was just awful with the symptoms you describe. Thanks for linking up to the #bestandworst and lovely to see you back!

    February 3, 2016 at 9:21 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks Helen, yes getting back into the swing of things now – well trying to with a newborn! I think a lot of things are put down as colic as GP’s are under pressure and see so many patients. x

      February 5, 2016 at 12:06 pm
  • Reply Amanda Jenner

    This is a really useful post and I could have done with this with my second who was soooooo pukey. I’ve never heard about lying them on their left hand side. xx

    February 3, 2016 at 9:07 pm
  • Reply jemma

    I had a very similar experience with my 2nd child ‘Sofia’, i thought she was a difficult baby and thought it was because i was breastfeeding! At 3 months she broke out with bad eczema and by 5 months she was finally diagnosed with a cows milk protein allergy. I still wondered whether she also had reflux she had most of the symptoms apart from sickness. Atleast you know what to look out for with you latest arrival xxxx

    February 3, 2016 at 8:52 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks Jemma. I read about the cows milk protein allergy this week, I was going to see how the meds go for the next 2 weeks and if still not good discuss with GP at her 6 month check. I’m breastfeeding so if it is an allergy then I guess I’ll just need to give it up for a while. My nephew had to have special formula for this reason. Thanks for mentioning xx

      February 3, 2016 at 9:08 pm
  • Reply Viki

    Omg, reflux sounds horrible. I really do hope the medicine helps Darcey xx

    February 3, 2016 at 7:50 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks Viki will see how she gets on with the medicine fingers crossed it takes the pain away for her. xx

      February 3, 2016 at 9:07 pm
  • Reply butterflymum83

    This is such a useful post. I never really new much about reflux but this is really informative for when we have another. Thank you #bestandworst

    February 3, 2016 at 6:18 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Thank you wish I’d known more about it when the boys were little x

      February 3, 2016 at 9:06 pm
  • Reply Sarah Cantwell

    What a great guide for new mothers it’s so difficult to spot these things when you don’t know what to look for xx

    February 3, 2016 at 2:08 pm
    • Reply Lisa

      Thanks Sarah

      February 3, 2016 at 9:05 pm
  • Reply Emily

    I have twins and one of them had silent reflux. It’s horrible. She’s nearly four now and still suffered from reflux a bit. #bestandworst

    February 3, 2016 at 7:10 am
    • Reply Lisa

      I always felt with silent reflux people didn’t believe me, the boys very occasionally get bad acid but they’re now old enough for a bit of gaviscon and that sorts them out.

      February 3, 2016 at 9:05 pm
      • Reply Dean B

        Hi Lisa, I think this is a helpful post for mums with newborns, especially the new mums. My daughter is 5 now and I must admit I still wouldn’t know whether a baby has reflux. Wish I had known this when she was a baby 😉 x

        February 26, 2016 at 11:30 am
        • Reply Lisa

          Thanks I hope that it will help any other parents who have concerns. x

          February 26, 2016 at 10:48 pm

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