Posted By Posting
May 13, 2010
sdlium
Normal Hours for Sleep for Reflus
My baby girl Cate is about 5 months old. She goes to sleep on her own, but wakes frequently. The first few nights we after we got a wedge, she slept 7 or 8 hours, but two months later she is waking at least every 3 hours. We feed her and put her back to bed, only to do it again in 3 hours. Her reflux seems to be under control. She takes 1/2 a Prevacid Solutab 3 times per day. At 12-13 pounds this dose is in alignment with the www.marci-kids.com website recommendation. My husband does the night shift with her and he seems to think that gas is waking her. Ironically her regular pediatrician diagnosed her reflux based on the gas and back arching during feeding. How long can a reflux baby sleep at night? Sandee
May 13, 2010
vigilantmom
Ryan was born May 20th 2008. 9 lbs 2 oz. Ryan’s magic bullet was 30mg of Prevacid capsules mixed with Caracream from Marci-kids (I am forever indebted to the team at Marci-kids), Claratin for the mucos, and Mirlax for the constipation. Within 2 months of this combo he jumped from the 6% to the 50% for weight and continues to climb. Be strong, listen to your instincts. Read his story for more specifics that just might help you too - Karen
I was one of the lucky ones. Ryan slept.. a lot. The worse his reflux the more he slept. I think it was his way of shutting things out..the pain and me trying to make him eat. Now feeding.. specifically drinking.. well, that our nightmare. Have you ever tried probiotics?? I swear by the Biogaia brand. 5 drops a day is all it takes. Does wonders for GI distress. www.biogaia.com. Seems to help a lot with gas and general upset stomaches. Read up on on them a little. I get mine from Target or Walgreens from the pharmacy counter.. they are refridgerated which is why they are behind the pharmacy counter. Digest enzymes in the last bottle of the night really helps too. Start with the probiotics first though.
May 13, 2010
sdlium
Probiotics
Thanks for the suggestion! Do you know if "Lactobacillus reuteri" is significantly different from other probiotics? I've been giving Cate these things in addition to the Solutabs: * Pharmax Probiotics HLC Intensive Capsules (1/2 cap per day) includes: Lactobacillus acidophilus(CUL 60) Lactobacillus acidophilus(CUL 21) Bifodobacterium bifidum(CUL 20) Bifodobacterium lactis(CUL 34) * Standard Process Prebiotic Inunlin (1/2 teaspoon per day) * Ulnus Powder (Slippery Elm) (1/2 teaspoon per day)
May 14, 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.
Um...well to be perfectly honest with you, waking every three hours sounds pretty normal to me for a 5 month old, even without reflux. What happens when she wakes up? Is it difficult to get her back to sleep? It can be helpful to remember that, reflux or not, all babies go through changes in their sleeping patterns due to teething, developmental milestones, physical growth, etc. sometimes you can pinpoint the cause, and sometimes not, but MOST babies go through a whole slew of sleep patterns during their first 2 years.

And if it helps your husband feel any better, I would kill for 3 hours of sleep, and my son is 3 years old!

May 14, 2010
michelle&aurora
Aurora born March 17, 2007
3 years, 8 months old
Weighs 25.8 lbs
8 lbs 11 oz at birth.
Recovered Chronic Projectile Vomiter
Prevacid Free since September 08
Egg allergy diagnosed Jan 26/09
Has a Pectus Excavatum
Has an Epipen
Couple of quick thoughts (congrats, by the way) :)

If she's on 45mg of prevacid, that *might* explain the gas. It literally turns off the stomach pumps, so digestion can slow. IMO, that's a high dose.

Also, she's a small baby, so it can be completely normal that she's waking to feed frequently throughout the night. Growth spurts can do this as well.

Does she feed well?

May 14, 2010
vigilantmom
Ryan was born May 20th 2008. 9 lbs 2 oz. Ryan’s magic bullet was 30mg of Prevacid capsules mixed with Caracream from Marci-kids (I am forever indebted to the team at Marci-kids), Claratin for the mucos, and Mirlax for the constipation. Within 2 months of this combo he jumped from the 6% to the 50% for weight and continues to climb. Be strong, listen to your instincts. Read his story for more specifics that just might help you too - Karen
A half a tab 3 times is day is just 22.5 mg so you are ok there. Your probiotics sound really good. I like that it has multiple strains. Very interesting info on the slippery elm. I had not heard of that but after reading about it, it totally makes sense.

Is she still sleeping on the wedge? If not is her crib elevated. If Ryan is flat, he wont sleep long at all. As soon as the fluids slip up his nose he is done. I can tell you how I elevated the head of his bed if the wedge isnt working for you any more. When she wakes at night does she eat a lot or does it seem lihe she is just wanting to be held? If she is eating a lot and her reflux is under control that is a good sign that her system is ready to take on food. Boosting her calories in the day will decrease her needs at night.

The only other thing I have for you is digestive enzymes. They were really helpful at that age. I used the Enzymedica Digest brand. Half a capsule in his last bottle of the day. I used them for about 6 months. The theory was that since the acid pumps are shut down there is not enough acid to break down the food so the digestive enzmes help out there, especially at night. Do you have a health food store in town with someone really good that can help you manage all of this stuff to make sure that one thing doesn't negate the other and what side effects there are?

May 14, 2010
sdlium
Digestive Enzymes
Thanks for the Digestive Enzyme suggestion. I know that has helped me a lot in the past, I'll discuss it with Cate's Naturopathic Pediatrician on Monday. Yes she is still sleeping on her wedge. She has another one to play on that we use after feeding when we need to keep her upright :-) During the day she'll sleep 1.5 to 2 hours for her two main naps and then another little cat nap in the evening. She is awake for two hours and then bam she is ready for a nap. At night she goes down just as easily feeds pretty well and then back down again most of the time. Sometimes the night feeds are tough because she is so gassy she's thrashing about and it hurts me. Breastfeeding has been a struggle, but that's another topic. As for food the three criteria I've heard to make sure they are ready is: interest, sitting up alone and teeth. She's been grabbing at our food for a month, is almost sitting up by herself and she got her first two teeth last week. I think she's ready, but I'm waiting until the 6 month mark since I personally have lots of food allergies AND Cate has been reacting to my breast milk so I've been on an Elimination Diet for the last couple of months. It has really helped her reflux and excema. I did not want to give the traditional thickener of rice due to my allergies, so when the naturopath pediatrician offered a choice between that and slippery elm (which is a solid but actually has known healing properties for the digestive system), I opted for the slippery elm. I found out about that at PollyWogBaby.com here: I'm a bit nervous and excited to introduce food in the next few weeks. I hope it will help the reflux and perhaps with some digestive help that will be smoother. We've tried several different things for gas: Baby Bliss Gripe Water, Mylicon drops (including both at the same time with every feeding all day long), I've drank a vat of fennel tea, and are currently giving Colic Calm at every feed at night. Since she only has a problem with gas at night I'm thinking there must be something different from the day like the fact that she is laying down and sleeping instead of being picked up, held, carried, and just generally moving around. She has what I call the "witching hour" between 3 and 5 or 6 PM where she seems to reflux the most (she spits up, cries, and doubles over). She must be held by a person who is standing (or moving) during this time. So we walk, go to the store, or when I'm tired and it's rainy (hey we live in Seattle) then we play Wii Rock Band for and hour to two or three until she lets me sit down again. I feel like we are managing with the right tools and a great medical support team. I'm just trying to understand what is considered normal for a reflux baby in terms of sleeping through the night. We do not know anyone with a reflux baby who is sleeping well, but these are also people who have not choosen to be as proactive about sleep routine as we have (I've watched other kids before and knew this would be important when we had our own). Until the reflux problem arose it seemed like we were on the way to good sleep. Everything I've read about reflux kids is that they feed more frequently and hence wake more frequently, but no one seems to give more specific advice. So I'm trying to determine if this is as good as it will get until she grows out of the reflux. If it is then I can set my mind to it and come up with other coping ways instead of thinking that I just need to figure out the right trick so she'll sleep through the night. Sandee
May 14, 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.
Here's one perspective, from "The Promise of Sleep" by William C Dement, M.D., Ph.D, a Stanford sleep specialist:

"Sometimes the flow of stomach acid back into the lower esophagus causes sleep to be disturbed. If the acid makes its way all the way to our throat or larynx, the sleeper will awaken coughing and choking. However, if the acid flows back into our lower esophagus, the sleeper will wake up but won't know why. This was demonstrated in experiments in which a drop or two of acid was passed through a tube into the esophagus near the stomach. Even this small amount of acid caused the sleeping subject to wake up even though he did not report feeling heartburn or other sensations..."

The challenge with reflux that most people find is that it can be incredibly difficult to determine if reflux is what is causing night wakings or not, as there are many other things that can cause them. The fact is that everyone experiences a brief arousal at the end of each sleep cycle, and anything that is unsettling or uncomfortable during that brief arousal can cause a complete awakening -- and with babies that can be anything from outright pain to the irritation of itchy pajamas or the presence or absence of a familiar sound. It sounds like you are already dong a lot to try to improve things, and it may that your efforts are what are making things go so well -- in other words, you may be doing a great job, and if you weren't doing it, you might be finding that she was waking much more frequently. Truly, I think 3 hours and getting back to sleep fairly readily is darn good sleeping for a 5 month old, with or without reflux. I had a lot of preconceived notions about sleep before I had a child -- I was given the gift of a child who taught me to see beyond my assumptions and understand that everything about parenting is much more complicated than it looks from the outside...

May 25, 2010
nkymom
Hang in there, the sleep does get better. My daughter was diagnosed with reflux at 4 weeks old and is on Prevacid. One piece of advice I can give you that helped her was we switched from the solutabs to the oral suspension. I found out the solutabs have aspertame and lactose in them where the oral suspension does not. My daughter seems to have a less gas with the oral suspension. She sleeps on the nap nanny, it has been my savor and is now sleeping about five to six hours straight on most nights. I hope it lasts. Hang in there she did two hours at the longest up until three weeks ago. They are all different and she will get there.
May 28, 2010
sdlium
Weight - the other half of the equation
First let me say a great big "Thank You" to everyone who has chimed in. I appreciate the ideas and especially the emotional support as I feel pretty alone on this journey.

One other part we are having trouble with is that Cate is on the petit side She was at the 10th percentile for weight and has now dropped to the 5th percentile.

Her regular pediatrician is once again trying to convince me to use formula. I think her reflux started when he convinced me to use Nutramigen since she had lost a full pound after birth before my milk came in. He is not helpful in the breastfeeding department. I think he has her best interest at heart, but we definately want to go about it differently.

So I'm back at the pumping, herbs to increase supply, and I'm going in a bit to get a LactAid Supplemental Nursing System to help avoid bottle problems that I can see are already developing after a day of bottle feeding her along with nursing.

So my question is if I have to supplement with formula, what is recommended for a baby with reflux?

I am suspicous that Cate is allergic to Cow milk because she reacts so strongly when I have even the tiniest amount in my milk and because she did not do well on Nutramigen. She also reacts strongly when I have consumed goat milk and any soy products.

In the end, weight gains are more critical than an allergic reaction or increased reflux, but I'd like to choose the best product we can.

Check with your
doctor first!