Henry had severe silent reflux disease as a baby, and it took 3 months before he was even diagnosed as having GERD by a paediatrician. For those who have never had a GERD baby, it means constant screaming and baby being very difficult to get to sleep and stay asleep. It was an unimaginably hellish three months, and Matt and I had to quickly find a way to help soothe and settle Henry as much as possible. As (bad) luck would have it, Everly also has reflux, although thankfully nowhere near as bad as Henry had it. I'd describe hers more of a discomfort than agony, but nevertheless, we've used the same items with her as we did with Henry to make her more comfortable. If you're suffering along with your reflux baby and wondering how on earth to make life more bearable, try the items below and hopefully it will bring you and your little one some relief.
White noise is often suggested as a sure-fire way to soothe a baby. This cute little lamb has four sounds and two timer options - 23 minutes and 45 minutes. We opted for the 'On the Go' version, which is smaller and easier to transport. Most of the time this stays velcroed to the crib, but we've also attached it to the car seat and we'll be taking it on holiday with us next month. There have been so many times when we've reached over to switch this on when Everly has woken in the night and it's settled her back to sleep. I have to admit, Matt and I also enjoy the soothing sounds of waves as we drift off!
Babies with reflux hate to lie down flat as it aggravates the acid being brought up. Henry and Everly both screamed when we attempted to lie them down, so we needed to find alternatives so we could all get some rest. The Rock n' Play was a life saver in the early weeks with Everly when she was unable to sleep in her bassinet at night. The incline is the ideal angle for helping keep milk and acid down, plus the curved legs are perfect for easily rocking baby back to sleep. On the occasional bad night we still resort to using this and it always lets get in a few hours of sleep. I just wish this had been available to us when Henry was a baby!
How I wish Henry had taken a dummy, but the only soother he was interested in was his mama's boob! Pacifiers help stop the acid from coming back up the throat, so we tried one with Everly and it has definitely helped us settle and calm her down.
Swaddles are great for settling babies by mimicking the safe and secure feeling of being in utero and inhibiting the startle reflex which can easily wake them. I have traumatic memories of trying to rock Henry to sleep and he'd be writhing in my arms, arching his back and clawing at me due to the pain he was in. Swaddling calmed him down and allowed me to rock him to sleep without me ending up looking like I'd been in a fight with a cat. I love the SwaddleMe as it's foolproof to use with the velcro tabs and it has an easy opening to enable middle of the night diaper changes without having to take the whole thing off.
There are two reasons why baby wraps are perfect for babies with reflux. Firstly, they keep baby in an upright position which means less acid being brought up. Secondly, it's such a comfort for them to be snuggled up tight against their mama or dada and hearing that familiar heartbeat. Everly took all her naps in the wrap for the first three months, falling asleep almost instantly after I'd placed her in it. This is what got me through those first few difficult months!
Have you got a reflux baby? Let me know what works for you!
Labels: baby, reflux