All I Want for Xmas is Colic/Acid Reflux Advice

After quite some time observing and analyzing, I think it might be safe to say that our babe has colic/reflux. (I think particularly the silent reflux variety, where they swallow spit-up back down.) DH has pretty severe acid reflux himself, actually, and it can be inherited. Not a dr’s diagnosis, so we could be wrong, but we won’t be able to make an appointment til after the holiday to get a professional opinion. If you have any tips whatsoever, please send them to me in Santa’s sleigh via cyberspace. Our sweet boy is in pain. ): He is getting very little happy time, very little time to bond with us, and it is breaking my heart.

One thing we are trying right away: more feedings per day, less per feeding. (We are using Enfamil Gentle Ease, with pre-broken-down proteins in it.) Tiger in the Tree position on the forearm and various other positions recommended in the Dr. Sears baby book. Belly massages for the painful gas that precedes painful-looking bm’s.  (You wouldn’t believe the sounds he toots during these massages! Poor baby!) Keeping him upright during / after feedings. Bicycle legs.

Dr. Karp’s The 5 S’s (minus the jostling, if after feeding) — swaddling, side/stomach position, shushing sound of womb, swinging (swaying, etc), sucking (sometimes).

I hold him constantly and he scream-cries if I put him down in the bassinet. I try to wear him in the sling, but he is still pretty tiny and he does not seem to like it in there. I basically try to do everything else I need to do one-handed….which is impossible.

We hurt when he hurts. This is hard. Thank you in advance for any advice you can give.

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19 Comments

  1. My first had colic. I was exclusively breastfeeding and I wish I had cut out all dairy, caffeine, wheat and soy. That’s what I did with my second not only for post-pregnancy but for half of my pregnancy. If you are still breastfeeding, try this. If not, research all the ingredients in your formula. It’s likely that a food allergy is either causing this or at least exacerbating it (and your ped will never ever tell you).

    Reply
  2. Breezy

     /  December 24, 2014

    My twins are two weeks old. The difference between them is amazing. My girl is easy going. Eats quickly, burps without a problem, smiles, poops, and goes back to sleep. I call her my baby bird. My little boy has such a hard time, like you mentioned. He constantly has a pained look. When he actually does smile it brings tears to my eyes!!! We bought the gentle ease today as well as Gripe water. My husband is from India and his mom swears by it. Our pediatrician said there are no studies showing its effectiveness but it couldn’t hurt. We also bought that today. I feel like all my attention goes to my sweet, pained little boy. And my baby bird is so patient. I try to give her extra mommy snuggles. Good luck and keep us posted on what works for you. Merry Christmas!!

    Reply
  3. California mom

     /  December 25, 2014

    My 2nd had reflux. We had a zantac rx and it worked well and she took it without fuss.

    FYI I had dome mom friends whose babies had colic and the did the cutting everything out of diet thing to no avail. It isn’t always allergies and as I’m sure you’ve read even now there’s no consensus on whether colic is really digestive related.

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  4. Pickle had silent reflux and terrible wind and gas due to my fast letdown. For the reflux I took to feeding her nearly upright. What helped with the gas was block feeding per this article: http://www.lalecheleague.org/llleaderweb/lv/lvsepoct95p69a.html. Sometimes I’d do three feeds on the same breast before swapping sides – it made such a huge difference. If my other breast was super full, I’d hand express a bit before feeding to slow the flow down.nnThe other thing, as suggested by my LC, was ignoring my sleep deprived cravings and forgoing sweet foods. Apparently it makes the milk easier to digest?
    I wish you and Simon all the best.

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  5. Mine had colic/reflux, we tried a few different meds, what finally worked was Nexium. She grew out of it at around 6 months, it is awful I am so sorry.

    Reply
  6. Lori

     /  December 25, 2014

    If he’s mostly formula fed, try switching the formula – try similac, more expensive, but the Orange / sensitive did work for my fussy baby who needed supplementation. Formula of any kind can be a doozy on a newborn tummy. If still BF at all, try cutting to a rice & water diet (for you), then adding foods one at a time to see what’s bothering him. Best of luck!

    Reply
  7. ps2009

     /  December 25, 2014

    I had to supplement because of tongue tie. I was working with a dr who specializes in breastfeeding and she recommended similac alimentum. That was ok but I ended up switching to holle formula from Germany (available from eBay but much cheaper if you buy in bulk from Germany).

    I think my daughter had some reflux issues too – she would wake up screaming if we laid her on her back. So she slept on her belly on my chest for twelve weeks and then on her belly in her bassinet (with the halo breathing monitor). I know back is best but she hated it and no amount of trying worked.

    Hang in there.

    Reply
  8. I got excited to be able to give you advice, but then you already are doing everything I would suggest. My girl who had surgery on her esophagus has very severe GERD which will be a lifelong problem. Only other thing I’d suggest is tummy time maybe 1/2 hour after eating to help get the gas out. And once you can get Simon to the doc – prevacid works a treat for us.
    Poor little guy. Hope he gets some relief.

    Reply
  9. Both my little guys had a really bad colic, and some acid reflux. The pediatrician said not to give them any medication, but she recommended probiotics. Seemed to work pretty well. Message me if you want more information. Good luck mama!!! It’s soooooo sooooooooo hard.

    Reply
  10. California mom

     /  December 25, 2014

    Just wanted to pop in and offer some encouragement. Just to clarify, I wasn’t suggesting your S doesn’t have digestive issues, rather that colic which usually refers to like 3 hours (10 for a friend of mine) straight of unexplained crying was still a mystery. If you aren’t bf please don’t feel guilty. Many many babies use formula from birth and their tummies do just fine. It’s not true to say formula is hard on most newborn babies’ tummies. We used Similac soy to supplement, might be worth a try if the issue is dairy. Some mom friends used probiotics with some success. None of us are docs here tho so hopefully you can get an appt soon. My first was a very poor sleeper (now great) so I know those first weeks and months can be hard. You are doing a great job. It will get better.

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  11. We finally got a prescription for Zantac around 12 weeks. Things did improve around then but not sure if she outgrew it or it was what helped. Colic Calm was magical for us. You can buy that over the counter at CVS. For us, we had to take the 5s’s to the max. What worked best was a Swaddle Me, the hair dryer at high setting, and bouncing on the exercise ball. The hours we spent in that ball! But it was worth it. It’s so so hard to have a colicky baby. I found it especially hard after all the trouble to even have her. I felt like my dreams were bursting as I stayed up all night trying to calm this screaming baby. Just do anything it takes to get him calm and ignore the advice from people who haven’t been there. I can’t tell you the number of times people told me to just sing her a song or pat her on the back, that’s what worked for their baby, etc. Once I accepted that my baby was high needs, those comments didn’t rankle as much.

    The good news is that there are some ways to find relief and eventually they outgrow it. My daughter is 7 months and while she still is needier than some babies, she’s happy as a clam and our life is pretty normal. I really envied those people who took their babies everywhere as newborns, we could never do that. But now, we can go to restaurants, family and friends, on walks, and she is smiley and pleasant.

    Hang in there, Mama! There is a website that helped me called the fussy baby site (not sure of the URL but you should find it if you google). And congrats on your little one!

    Reply
  12. I came across your blog from Love anf Life in the Petri Dish. :) I have triplets and my son had horrible colic. I thought I’d never see the life. If reflux meds dont work, then it may be basic colic. Best medicine is time unfortunately. Also, we used Biogaia probiotics. I really think these helped. Hang in there!

    Reply
  13. MGB

     /  December 25, 2014

    My son has reflux and we use zantac and I use Hipp organic formula. I switched to almost every brand in the us market and none of them really helped. Many made him constipated or he wasn’t gaining weight bc he didn’t like them. He loves the Hipp and is now thriving. The Hipp is easy to digest and has probiotics. I order it from The bristish corner shoppe . We do all the other tricks, upright after feeding, small frequent feeding , I love u stomach massage and warm baths. For small babies the JJ cole carrier works best – we adopted 2 babies 5.5 months apart both small babies( 5lb and 6lbs) and they both have reflux! The JJ cole Carrier has been a life saver until the babies were bigger.

    Congratulations and good luck.!

    Reply
  14. A lot of formulas have corn syrup. The gentlease does as well. Corn was the major problem for my second son. Both of my boys had issues–I breast fed and eliminated all corn dairy soy nuts etcetera. Google elimination diet and read those formula ingredients.

    Reply
  15. Davidah

     /  December 25, 2014

    Have you tried the upright tummy-to-tummy position (easiest with an adjustable ring sling)? http://www.babyslingsandcarriers.com/baby_ring_sling_video_upright_carry

    You may find that you still naturally keep one arm around the baby (which is fine), but this will help both of you move around more and may be soothing.

    Also, please be assured and re-assured that it does not matter ONE IOTA to your son’s overall development and your relationship to him the method of how he exited the womb and how he’s being fed. What matters is that he is here safely, that he is being nourished with appropriate and safe infant food, and that he is being cared for with the utmost love and concern.

    Avoid “lactivists” and the ridiculous culture of shaming women about breastfeeding at all costs. (See: http://www.skepticalob.com/2014/11/a-mother-shares-her-experience-with-lactivism-guilt-and-postpartum-depression.html). You may also be interested in: http://www.skepticalob.com/2014/12/mothers-fathers-midwives-and-doctors-please-share-your-experiences-with-natural-parenting-and-guilt.html

    And a last piece of advice — our first daughter only calmed when held in a tummy-to-tummy position in a ring sling, while we gently bounced up and down on our big exercise ball, while we sang “I’ve been working on the railway”. The railway song was the only song that reliably calmed her down.

    And the best mantra: “this too shall pass”. You’ll all make it through to the other side.

    Good luck!
    Davidah

    Reply
  16. Kandi

     /  December 26, 2014

    My daughter , now 6 months has it and she ate terribly and cried ALL the time! It was night & day after reflux meds. U can get it over counter (Zantac) but I’d go to dr to get it, ASAP !! It really will give u a different baby! She had silent reflux as well started this behavior at 2 weeks after being the best baby. Dr said at 2 weeks the acid in their stomach starts to form and it was an “ah ha” moment

    Reply
  17. WOW you all are the best. i must type one handed as i have my acid reflux babe propped in my other arm—-we are now keeping him propped in arm semi upright between feedings. doc prescribed mylanta but it is not enough! poor baby cant even yawn w/o getting struck by the acid. hoping for zantac rx today. it is crazy hard to see him suffer so much. i think it is a combination of inherited acid reflux from papa and being formula fed. (my breastfeeding story—ill tell it soon. not a happy one. working through mourning it in stages.) but no sign of allergy so far (dr helping us diag). more soon. cant thank you enough for your help.

    Reply
  18. sonja

     /  December 26, 2014

    First we switched to Nutramigen formula (give it 48 hrs) with huge results. Later we needed to add Prevacid (wayyy better than Prilosec or Zantac).

    Reply
  19. You’ve got a TON of great advice from folks who’ve been there. The “angle/upright” thing is no myth. Two things we’ve been given and tried – day napping in a rock-n-play and http://www.biogaia.com/product/biogaia-protectis-drops – both seemed to work right away for us but we were not having as severe a reaction as you guys are!!!

    Reply

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