Tiph’s Guide To Reflux Per Emma and Now Liam (being updated as Liam teaches us)
Go on medications ASAP. Some babies will respond to an H2 blocker like Ranitidine/Zantac, but most will need a PPI (proton pump inhibitor) like Prilosec/Omeprazole or Prevacid. We ended up using Omeprazole 10mg capsules once a day mixed in with applesauce (even at 7 weeks old) or apple juice. Avoid compounded medications as they are only stable for 2 weeks. PPIs can take up to 2 weeks to kick in, so stay on your H2 blocker until then.
Formula: After 14 different formula combinations with and without thickening, Emma did best on Gerber Gentle and Gelmix. Liam only had 7 changes and ended doing best on Alimentum Ready to Feed. Liam ended up being dairy, potentially soy, and corn intolerant. So far, best price anywhere for us is Target.
Consider thickening your breast milk/formula. Emma did better with thickening and Liam did better without thickening. Gelmix is the best and can be bought at some pharmacies or online at www.Gelmix.com. Speak to your pediatrician first about it, but Gelmix is a much better solution than using rice cereal or oatmeal for thickening. Note: Gelmix can cause lots of excess gas and explosive poops. Liam could not handle it and did better without thickening.
If you are breastfeeding, you should probably do a TED (total elimination diet). We never succeeded at breastfeeding. There is tons of support from moms who know better on this subject. One comment though: don’t beat yourself up if you can’t or choose not to breastfeed. I had a lot of guilt I had to learn to let go of.
A probiotic can help a lot. If you are limiting dairy, you should try BioGaia which is also available at Walgreens. Some moms have recommended Culturelle, but BioGaia is actually labeled for babies. BioGaia is now Gerber Soothe drops. Same manufacturer. We loved Baby Jarrowdophilus for Emma but Liam has to be on a dairy/soy/corn free one. Klaire labs has a good one,too. Currently we are trying this probiotic.
Gripe water can help, but Emma vomited gripe water. Eunice of Tea N Sanity made a reflux tea for Emma. It had fennel, star anise, chamomile, and some other stuff in it. It really seemed to help. We would make a batch for 2 days and give her a teaspoon in her milk 3 times a day. [infantreflux here: be careful about gripe water that has sodium bicarbonate as an ingredient, especially if your baby takes a PPI. Read more here.]
Emma has been seeing a chiropractor since about 4 weeks of age. The theory is that their spine gets all crunched up in utero and that contributes to reflux. We use Dr. Mark Pepin on US1 and 152 Street. I have been seeing him since before I was pregnant. I trust him completely as he has two kids of his own.
We also used a belly band.
I read the book Colic Solved. It is written by a pediatric gastroenterologist who also had a reflux baby. I bought it on Kindle and read it on my laptop while I was up with Emma. [here is an article of an interview with the author]
If I had to do it all over again, I would have purchased a sling like this one. Reflux babies are high needs and want to be held a lot. It gets frustrating to not be able to do anything because you never have free hands. Now that I am doing this all over again, the Moby is really too cumbersome for my klutzy self. Bought a mei tai and it seems to work better and Liam overheats in it. We’ll see. [Infant Reflux Tips]
This blog post touched my heart! We felt like this a lot of the time!