When sleeping, several reports indicate that the prone position (on the stomach) seems to help babies with reflux. However, most parents are aware of the “Back to Sleep” campaign which encourages parents to place babies on their back to prevent SIDS. Therefore, do not place your baby in the prone position without first consulting your doctor. Before changing the sleeping position of your baby, be sure to consult with your doctor first!
This is from June 2007 – consult your doctor about it!
Infant Sleep Positions and SIDS
This article discusses stomach-sleeping for GERD babies
The Infant Seat as Treatment for Gastroesophageal Reflux
This site reports on a study that determined sleeping in a car seat was not beneficial to reflux babies. It is dangerous to have baby sleeping in a carseat anytime they are not in the car OR able to be watched continuously!
From 1997 (consult your doctor!)
Conclusion: The left lateral position is a suitable alternative to prone for the postural management of infants with symptomatic gastro-oesophageal reflux.
Consider BABYWEARING your baby during the day! No, s/he will not be spoiled! You’re probably holding him/her all the time, anyway 🙂
Look into pouches, ring slings, wraps and soft structured carriers!
Contributed by Christine W.
As reflux parents, we’re all desperate for some sleep (For us and our GERDling!)
A common question, “What we can we do to keep our little ones elevated, safe and not sleeping on us?” The answer is often the same with medicines and food intolerances: Trial and error. Some respond to different arrangements, cribs, co-sleeping, etc. We do not endorse any of these products. It is simply information that you, as the parent, can research and determine which is best for your child.
Research shows that keeping the head elevated does assist with reflux. While I couldn’t find any studies pertaining to infants, here is one that proves the benefits for adults. You should also note that it does also mention laying on the left side assists with reflux and digestion.
So, how do you safely keep your child’s head elevated while they are sleeping? There are many different options. All come with their own pros and cons. Many have found success with the ones we’re going to discuss next.
[The Rock-n-Play has been recalled permanently due to infant deaths being reported. It is no longer considered a safe sleep solution.]
Moms have also sworn by a swing or bouncer for their young GERDling. Much like the rock-n-play, it keeps your little one on an incline and buckled in for safety. Babies will often prefer one or the other. Again, it’s trial and error. If this is working for you and your child right now, don’t be upset. Rest assured, your child won’t go to college sleeping in a swing. The drawback is the same as the rock-n-play. At some point it will become too small for a long term sleeping arrangement. Please make sure you are able to supervise anytime your child is sleeping in a swing or bouncer.
There are mixed reviews on whether these work or not. A few have said it was a lifesaver. Some have stated it was flimsy, didn’t elevate enough or their child slid down too much. You can try making a “U” shaped nest using receiving blankets or towels to keep them more snug and in place. The model linked does have a way to elevate it. Most do not come with that ability, so do your research before you buy.
So, what do you do when your little one is too big for the rock-n-play, swing, bouncer, or bassinet? Or when you’re ready to start transitioning them to a full size crib? You still have several options: A good way to start transitioning is to begin during the day taking naps in the crib, but keep your night time set-up. Once they are more comfortable taking day time naps in the new set-up try it at night. Some kids will transition smoother and easier than others. Often it depends on how well their reflux is controlled or your child. Don’t stress if it takes several weeks or longer to transition to the full crib. Do what’s best for you and your child.
Elevating Head while in a Crib:
You can buy crib wedges, but most of us will tell you they don’t elevate enough. We currently use pillows under the head of the crib mattress. I’ve heard others mention getting wedges similar to this from amazon and other places.
You can create a “U” shaped nest by rolling up receiving blankets or towels. We placed them under the crib sheet to prevent movement during the night. Co-sleeping moms also use wedges to assist with keeping themselves and their baby more upright when sleeping.
It has been shown for some that sleeping on the left side can help with reflux. In our case, we noticed our son was waking up choking on his reflux/drool when we placed him on his back in his bassinet or crib even while elevated, but would sleep in our arms on his side fine. So we set up a contraption using pool noodles and towels under the crib sheet. I placed him on his side with his back against the pool noodle. This way the spit up/drool would flow out of his mouth and not choke him.
Another sleep aid with great reviews among this group is the Dex Daydreamer. Like the rock-n-play, this keeps your little one buckled in, snug in place, and most importantly with their head elevated. However, it is bigger than the rock-n-play and can be used longer. The daydreamer is an updated version of the Nap Nanny, which was recalled. It meets all current Federal regulations. The overall design was changed to be safer and decrease SIDS risk.
This is another option that elevates your child’s head safely and keeps them secure in bed. The nice thing about this is it will last much longer than any other sleep aid option. There also are no straps limiting your child’s mobility. The design of the bed helps keep them in place. It fits within a regular size crib as well as then transition into a toddler size bed. According to another mom in the group who obtained this, the company was easy to work with. It is possible to have your doctor write a letter of medical necessity and attempt to get it covered through your insurance.
There are several different versions including a combination wedge/sling (shown above). You can either put your baby on their back or stomach safely with this and it has buckles to keep them from sliding down. This is the version many hospitals use to keep babies elevated while in-patient. Again, you can work with the company and try to get it covered through your insurance.
Remember, necessity is the mother of invention. You might find a different solution for your child and in your house. And hopefully some sweet uninterrupted dreams will be coming your way!
From the Manufacturer:
The World’s Most Pediatrician-Recommended Swaddler: The Miracle Blanket is a new, innovative swaddling blanket designed to ease your baby’s fussiness and help her sleep longer and better. The blanket uses no buttons, straps, Velcro, snaps, zippers or other confusing adjustments. And one size fits all!
This blanket can also help stop colic, prevent facial scratches and can make breastfeeding much easier.
I ordered this blanket and gave it a try. The following is an account of my personal experience with the blanket.
I was looking for anything that might help my son sleep longer during the day. He would only sleep for 10 minutes at a time. Something would always seem to wake him up.
When I got the blanket in the mail, I tried it out right away. I wrapped him up according to the directions. The directions
cautioned that my baby might not like being wrapped up at first. And they were right – he pitched a fit! But I just rocked him back and forth and in less than 5 minutes, he was sound asleep!
Without a pacifier!
I thought, well getting him to sleep – that wasn’t always the problem. The test would be to see if he would stay asleep when I put him down. So I took him over to the bassinette and put him on his back. He barely flittered his eyes and went right back to sleep. Again – on his BACK!
I looked at my watch and thought, well the blanket passed the “putting him down” test, now let’s see if it really helps him sleep longer. I watched as the minutes ticked away. I kept going back and checking on him – I was afraid I had wrapped him too tight! But he was just fine – sound asleep!
That first time, my son ended up sleeping a whole 30 minutes on his back while swaddled in the Amazing Miracle Blanket! I know to some parents that doesn’t sound like a lot, but those of you who have babies with colic or reflux know that 30 minutes is a lifetime with an infant who won’t sleep. I was able to walk away for 30 whole minutes! I went to the bathroom, I got a snack, I put in a load of clothes – all without any screaming!
I have found out since then that I didn’t even have him wrapped as tightly as I could have, so I’ve gotten better with practice.
I think the beauty of this blanket is the design. It has a special design that keeps your baby’s arms tucked by its side. How many times has your baby woken itself up with flailing arms? The blanket also keeps your baby from kicking through the swaddle with its feet. We had what we called a “super-swaddle” we would do with my first son with a regular blanket. We would have that blanket wrapped as tight as we could get it, but he would always break out of it. My second son was even stronger and not once was I able to swaddle him successfully. I even had my grandmother sew bigger blankets thinking that would help – but he “broke through” every time. This blanket proves that bigger is not necessary – just better design.
I tried the blanket again and even a few days later, he was still getting 30 minutes of naptime while swaddled in the blanket. I’m hoping he will continue to get used to the blanket and sleep even longer!
I wish I had known about this blanket earlier. Not even just for the naps, but for breastfeeding as well. I remember half of he struggle of breastfeeding was keeping my son’s hands out of the way!
Ready to order a blanket? Just click on the banner below and it will take you to the Amazing Miracle Blanket homepage.
NOTICE: The directions for this blanket indicate that it is not intended for babies over three and a half months (14 weeks).
The The 90-Minute Baby Sleep Program: Follow Your Child’s Natural Sleep Rhythms for Better Nights and Naps, by Polly Moore was a life saver for me. It’s based on the natural alert and sleep cycles that all humans have. We saw results the first day we started implementing what we learned. He went from a baby that needed to be held for every nap to sleeping for an hour to two hour naps consistently by himself. Babies who are overtired do not sleep well And it’s difficult to tell if your baby is in pain from reflux or overtired when trying to manage symptoms. It’s a must read for anyone with babies who are having sleep issues.
Posted By Kristy D., Facebook, March 2015.
Melissa C. writes: I love this book!!! “Catching the window” was one of my best takeaways. And how we ended up in bed an hour early tonight.
Sarah C. writes: I knew nothing about caring for an infant, especially when it came to scheduling, when my DD was born. I had tried reading books like Babywise and Moms on Call while I was pregnant because that’s what seemed to work for all my family and friends. Trying to keep a Gerdling on any type of strict schedule with all the screaming was impossible and torturous. Cara’s newborn class taught me how to read my baby’s cues for when she was hungry and tired. She’s all about a flexible routine, not a rigid schedule.
A member writes: This is the sleep expert I used for mine who were horrible sleepers and now are great sleepers. She specializes in gentle/no cry/attachment and I swear she’s the next Harvey Karp
Elizabeth O. writes: We hired a sleep coach. She works remotely from Asheville. She’s all about the no cry and working with what works for you And your family. I can’t recommend her enough!!
Bedtime routine idea for older children: https://www.facebook.com/defendingjoy/posts/1460978490601800
NOTE: The information on this page is not exhaustive and complete accuracy is not guaranteed. Please consult your doctor with any questions you may have regarding the treatment of your child.