Reflux & Colic

Our Experience with Reflux and Colic

Both of my children were unlucky enough to have reflux and colic. My son had reflux worse than his colic and my daughter had the reverse. I went through a lot with these two babies and I don't think everything that I've learned about dealing with these two issues should stop at me. So I've decided to make a page full of info, things we have tried and what ended up helping each one. Hopefully someday doctors will have these issues figured out so that no other family has to live through the heartache and to feel the helplessness that we felt.
As you may know spitting up is normal for all babies it is the amount and distress the baby is in after the spit up that is the clue to a reflux problem. Usually the babies scream and arch their backs trying to relieve the pain. They may even want more milk to sooth the pain but this will only make things worse. For both of my children this showed up in the first two weeks of life but my poor little son didn't get proper help for a month or so. I didn't know what was wrong and guess what the Moms in my life said? things like, he just needs to bounce, or he's just growing, the best one was- crying is normal. Of course crying is normal but not that kind of crying and not in that way...

Our Son
It turned out that he was treated with Zantac which helps right away BUT here is something a lot of Docs don't tell you, the dose needs to increase as their weight increases. Babies grow so fast that you'll be going back to the DR every few weeks for a weigh in and new dose. Finally we were referred to a GI Doc that put him on Prevacid once daily and Zanatac at night before bed. This is what worked for him for 2 years. Yep, 2 years. I know you will read that most babies grow out of it after a year or less but not my little guy.
He also had Colic, we knew this because once the GERD was under control one particular type of crying stuck around, the one that lasted from 4:30 in the afternoon until 8-ish, every single day. After two months of this I needed help.

Few things we tried-

- Colic Calm - this didn't do much for us at all, I wish it had but I would never say don't try it as every child is different. It worked a bit for my little girl, it helped her settle down from her hysterical crying to just moaning.

-Then I read a post from some site about a colic remedy in Canadian stores called Kolic water. This really seemed to help calm the babies and made them less resistant to sleep. I have to say the version that contains alcohol seemed to work better for us but don't ignore your own feelings about medicine containing alcohol on my say-so.

-The super swaddle.
This was an invention of necessity. Our son was HUGE and regular receiving blankets wouldn't work as swaddle blankets for long. We had to go to the fabric store and buy a couple yards of fabric to cut it to use as blankets. We had to swaddle my son in a way that prevented his hands from waking him up as he startled like all babies do in their sleep.
Anyway, this is how I describe it. A baby straight jacket.
- Lay the baby on the blanket as you would for any swaddle but a little more to the left of center to give enough room for the next steps.
- Now take the left side and fold it over the baby's arm and under it's back up and over the other arm.
- bring up the bottom and tuck under the baby's back on the right side.
- then take the rest of the blanket that is on the right and fold over the baby's tummy tightly over the arm and under the back. This is the super swaddle. I'll try to create a diagram and will post it here when it is ready.

The real change
Once my son was about three months old I was told that the colic should be going away and it wasn't. So again I hopped on my computer. I happened upon a blog which I can't find anymore but it mentioned a great Doctor (Dr. Marc Weissbluth) that had a book called Your Fussy Baby, So I ran right out and bought it. When I came home I sat down and read it cover to cover while bouncing my fussy baby on my lap.
If you need help understanding what is going on and how to help your fussy baby, read this man's work.
It helps you get your child to sleep in the sleepy calm state instead of waiting until your child is overtired and crying nonstop. So after two weeks of owning his book I had my 4 month old sleeping for 12 hours a night! If I could meet this man I'd give him a hug. Saved my sanity just in time.

I'll write up how things were different with my little girl later today or tomorrow and will update this page.

Here are a few more links that I have found helpful over the years.

Infant Reflux
Our current pediatric GI in Chicagoland
Neocate- the high octane formula