Posted By Posting
Feb 22, 2010
lizzj
Can't get baby back to sleep after night feed!
Hi - I am new here and would love to get any help and advice that anyone could offer! We have a gorgeous daughter who is 11 weeks old tomorrow. She has been a very unsettled wee girl since about 2 weeks of age - I think now that it has been GER all along as she continues to be VERY spilly (some days more than others) and unsettled after feeds. We are managing quite well during the day now with positioning etc but the main ongoing issue is that we can never get her back to sleep after her night feed. I give her a dream feed when she wakes of her own accord in the night (usually between 3-4am), lights off, no talking etc - she generally feeds quite quickly (about 10mins) and then falls asleep. I try to keep her upright for 15-20 mins but more often than not she wakes up within minutes of finishing her feed and starts writhing in pain and crying and after that she will often be up for 2+ hours! Has anyone else had this problem?! Why would it be worse after her night feed than any other time?! Please help, I haven't had more than 4 hours sleep for 11 weeks...we are starting to fall apart! THANKS! L
Feb 22, 2010
jenrackley
PAGER Volunteer Services Coordinator
Nutritionist
Melina 7/24/02 now reflux free!!
TWINS:
Ella 5/3/05 GERD, asthma, hypotonia, food intolerances, esophagitis, IBS //
Ava 5/3/05 asthma, food allergies
Pic: My girls! They are getting so big!
What (if any) medications does she take for reflux? Sometimes, depending on when you give the meds, they can wear off by nightime. I know we ended up splitting our daughter's prevacid to 1/2 in the am and 1/2 at night because she was having sleeping issues when we only gave meds in the am. Is she burping sufficiently after her dream feed? Sometimes that trapped gas can make things worse. It can be hard to burp a reflux baby to start with....
Feb 22, 2010
toddfam
Sleeping
I am also new here. I have a problem with my daughter (who s now 4 months old) taking several little naps during the day and not sleeping through the night. She was diagnosed with GERD very early (I already knew what it was because my now 9 year old son had it when he was an infant as well). She takes Prevacid but it really does not seem to make a difference - she spits up regardless. At this point she should be mainly sleeping through the night. I've read that if babies don't take long naps then it will affect their nighttime sleep. But how are you supposed to allow them to fall asleep on their own when you are supposed to hold them for at least 30 minutes after eating? I know she's grown accustomed to falling asleep in our arms but what choice do we have? Anyone with any suggestions? We could use all the help. Thanks!
Feb 23, 2010
jenrackley
PAGER Volunteer Services Coordinator
Nutritionist
Melina 7/24/02 now reflux free!!
TWINS:
Ella 5/3/05 GERD, asthma, hypotonia, food intolerances, esophagitis, IBS //
Ava 5/3/05 asthma, food allergies
Pic: My girls! They are getting so big!
I know with mine I had to limit the daytime naps when they were not sleeping at night. They had ended up with their days and nights mixed up. Of course, it is a fine balance because you don't want them overtired either.

It can also help to sneak some more calories in during the day if you find your little one is up hungry. Teething can also cause huge sleeping issues as well so check for buds poking through the gums. You DR should be able to tell you if you can try something like oragel, tylenol or ibuprofen. Teething also tends to cause reflux to flare up too so it can be a double whammy on the sleeping issue.

We finally HAD to get our twins (@ about 3-4 months) on a good schedule and sleeping at night or I would have had a breakdown. ;) What worked for them was to feed them (and when they were old enough for solids they did better with less liquid and more cereal @ bedtime), burp them and hold them upright (but awake) for 30 minutes. Then we would lay them down awake. It took a good week for them to learn to self-sooth themselves to sleep but they did. That first week they would fuss and cry but nothing insane. I didn't let them "cry-it-out" per say but they did complain. ;) I would sooth them (without turning on the lights or picking them up) and leave the room with out talking. I actually wish, in hindsight, that I had done that sooner with my oldest because her sisters are better sleepers to this day. LOL. Once they started going to bed that way they were able to do the same @ night if they woke up.

That having been said, the pain always has to be taken care of first. If you are in the middle of a painful reflux flare then sleeping becomes impossible and you certainly aren't going to find any success with cry-it-out when they are in pain. That just ends in more reflux and puking. :(

You might try a book like The Baby Whisperer too. I used some of those techniques and I know a lot of the parents have used it as well.
Feb 23, 2010
lorenzomama
Lorenzo b.4/25/07 1 week in NICU w/ aspirate pneumonia from a reflux episode; diagnosed GERD at 9weeks; Used Zantac for 5months. Currently using Chinese Medicine and Craniosacral Therapy. GERD, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Sensory Processing Disorder. Ask me about breastfeeding a refluxer! Pic: day 5 in the NICU.
The No Cry Sleep Solution has some excellent suggestions, as well. Be forewarned, however, that every reputable sleep training/solution book will advise you that no sleep training program is recommended for a child with GER/GERD that is not under control. You might want to discuss an adjustment in medication with your LO's doctor.
Feb 24, 2010
lizzj
Hi Ladies, Thanks so much for all the responses! It is nice to know we are not alone in this. Our wee Lucy is not medicated as the doctors are happy with her weight gain and she is not screaming 24/7 (anymore!). We are trying loads of homeopathic remedies but nothing in particular seems to be making much of a difference. I have had the EXACT same thoughts about HOW can I put the baby down sleepy but awake if I need to keep her upright for 30 minutes?! At the moment if we can just get her settled after a feed I don't care if she goes into bed asleep - in the middle of the night I can't even settle her upright after a feed cos she is so uncomfortable.. Jen I think you are right about the burps making things worse at that time, I can't get any burps out of her at 4am and so she spends the next hour gagging and spluttering (poor wee miss). Anyhoo - we will try harder with the burps and see what happens. I also tried her on a half/half mix of formula/breastmilk top up after her last feed last night to see if I could get her to sleep longer that way and we got an extra 40mins sleep - we will try that again tonight so I will let you know if it works again! Keep smiling everyone. x
Feb 24, 2010
lizzj
Forgot to say that we also really liked the No Cry Sleep Solution book and the Lull-A-Baby Sleep Plan also has some good suggestions!
Feb 24, 2010
lorenzomama
Lorenzo b.4/25/07 1 week in NICU w/ aspirate pneumonia from a reflux episode; diagnosed GERD at 9weeks; Used Zantac for 5months. Currently using Chinese Medicine and Craniosacral Therapy. GERD, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Sensory Processing Disorder. Ask me about breastfeeding a refluxer! Pic: day 5 in the NICU.
If Lucy continues to be very uncomfortable, I would recommend pressing her doctor for a trial on medication. Weight gain should never be the only concern with reflux, and a child should not have to scream 24/7 to be relieved of obvious pain and discomfort.

As far as the amount of sleep she's giving you, 4 hours is actually pretty good for an 11 week old, especially if she is breastfeeding. My breastfed refluxer never slept more than 3 hours, even on medication, until he was over 2 years old. Even when there is no pain from the acid, there can be a lot of discomfort from the movement of fluid up the esophagus (and for many there are episodes in which the fluid doesn't come out -- "silent reflux" -- as well as spitting up episodes). Staying awake, once fully aroused, is also pretty normal -- even when not in distress, life is pretty interesting to a new little person and it can be hard to shut it all out to go to sleep. Babies sleep cycles last about 45-60 minutes, an at the end of each one there is a period of brief arousal during which time any discomfort or distress can wake them up completely. In some ways, it is amazing when a refluxer ever sleeps more than an hour at a time.

And finally, we ended up having good results from the use of a Chinese Medicine Practitioner and herbal remedies, but only in so far as they seemed to control the pain from acid. We have yet to find anything that reduces the actual reflux... I hope Lucy is is one of the lucky who rapidly outgrow the whole thing! :)

Feb 24, 2010
lizzj
Thanks for that! Yep I realise we are pretty lucky with the 4 hours of sleep that Lucy gets at night...it definitely hasn't always been so good. My main worry for her is that she is just too uncomfortable in herself after she feeds in the night - she is still super sleepy but can't get back to sleep cos she is gagging and wriggling so much (I don't mind being up with her but I hate seeing her uncomfortable). I def realise we are lucky that things are harder than they are for us!
Check with your
doctor first!