All babies have some degree of reflux. Some worse than others. We saw this with our twins. One boy was an absolute joy to nurse, content, and milk drunk most of the time. The other twin was the complete opposite. I felt like I was torturing him every time he nursed. It was SO STRESSFUL!!!!!
He would cry because he was hungry. I would nurse, he would guzzle and scream, guzzle and scream, guzzle and scream. If I tried to hold him off, he would scream. This started happening between 3-4 months old. When we came home from the NICU, the nurses had us nursing them every 3-4 hours. Because they were sleeping most of the time it was very easy. It worked for his reflux. As they grew and we became more comfortable with our newborns I started nursing on demand. It was fine for one boy but that is when we noticed the reflux present in the other boy.
I knew from my feeding therapy training that putting him back on a feeding schedule was a must. The challenge I had was determining/measuring the amount he was nursing. He was and still is a guzzler. We put him back on a schedule of every 3-4 hours, it improved but the discomfort was still present during those hours. It seemed to happen most during those bewitching hours for all kids 4-6pm. Nursing him throughout the night was fine, most likely because he was going longer between nursing and too tired to guzzle like he typically did during the day. He was also slightly elevated either by my arm or we would let him sleep in the Fisher Price Newborn Rocker.
Thanks to a wonderful cousin who had first-hand experience with an infant refluxer, we started him on medication. What a difference, PHEW! A totally different baby. Reflux medication does not take away the reflux, it only acts as a bandaid to make them more comfortable. Medication and a schedule made our STRESSFUL feeder into a totally different baby.
In addition to the medication and the schedule, I found babywearing to be a lifesaver. He was upright and in an optimal position for digestion after nursing and I could still get things done. He was happy and mama was happy!
This is him in a Dolcino but I also used a Moby wrap with him as well.
We were able to wean him from the medication at 9 months. I continued to wear him and keep him on a schedule much like the one we follow as a family; 6 small meals a day. He continues to be a guzzler and a somewhat pickier eater than his brother. Our little refluxer will take a week or two longer to advance up the Steps of Eating but he eventually gets there.
Refluxers are prone to becoming picky eaters, they learn how not to eat very quickly. Hopefully, I have been able to provide you with the tools here on this blog to help your picky prone refluxer grow into a confident eater.
I’d love to hear about your experiences and what worked and didn’t. Feel free to comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org