Posted By Posting
Jan 16, 2014
Hi, My younger son is 17 months old and has had reflux since he was a newborn. While he has improved some since taking medication, he is still struggling especially at night. On a "good" night, he will sleep for 3 hours in his bed before screaming in pain. After that he will typically only sleep on my husband or me while we are sitting in the rocker holding him upright. On a "good" night, he will wake every 2 hours and be soothed back to sleep. On most night, though, he wakes more frequently and often has up to 2-3 hour span where he cries and is in pain. We can hear the gurgling in his throat as well as a lot of gas. He has silent reflux so he has never spit up too much and has gained weight "normally." He has always had periods of fussiness through out the day and night and it seems to cycle (the good days and bad days). He almost always cries when falling asleep (we hold him while he falls asleep) and while waking up and he almost NEVER lays on his back with out crying. We tried the chiropractor for about 4 months, tried no dairy for 2 months, and no gluten for 4 months. None of these seemed to make much difference. He also had allergy testing which showed no food allergies. Recently he seems to be doing even worse and we are all exhausted at our house. We go back to the GI specialist at the end of the month. At this point we are exhausted and wondering when anything is going to chance. I can't think of much worse than having your child suffer night after night with out being able to do more then hold him. Another thing that is so difficult is all of the well meaning friends and family members who do not understand and blame us for his "sleep problems." If one more person tells me he would sleep if I let him cry it out, I will lose my mind. If there is anyone out there who has been through similar experiences, it would help to know I am not alone. and if there is any encouragement, hope, or suggestions to help us get through the nights, that would be so much appreciated. T hank you in advance.
Jan 18, 2014
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 you have a child with reflux and are exhausted, you are DEFINITELY not alone! My son is 6, and though things have improved immensely since he was younger (he slept very little and woke up a lot), sleep remains a precious commodity around here.

What medication is your son currently on? One of the things I didn't learn until well into our sleepless adventure was that even in the absence of acidic reflux, sleep can be seriously disturbed by reflux episodes. Unfortunately, that can also lead to sleep aversion (which my son struggled with for a very long time). If he is in pain, there is hope that a better medication protocol can help alleviate that. If his sleep is disturbed and/or he is frightened by the experience of the reflux episodes, that's quite a bit more challenging. I took my son to craniosacral therapy, a fabulous Chinese Medicine practitioner, and a variety of specialists to help sort out the issues and address them. I can't say anything was clearly 'curative' but the craniosacral therapy and Chinese Medicine did bring about some of the more dramatic improvements.

Another thing to bear in mind is that reflux can cause Obstructive Sleep Apnea (which my son also had). Common pediatric symptoms include frequent wakings, snoring or loud breathing, startle reflexes during sleep, sudden distressed wakings, sweating while sleeping, and unusual sleep positions (typically with the head tilted backward to create more space in the airway). And unlike adults in whom poor sleep nearly always results in daytime sleepiness, in children it can result in either sleepiness or hyperactivity. It is, unfortunately, sometimes difficult for pediatricians to recognize that anything other than enlarged tonsils and adenoids cause pediatric OSA, but if you suspect that your son may have it, be persistent.

And when it comes to those people who can't restrain themselves from offering useless and infuriating advice, try to simply remind yourself that no one else is parenting YOUR child -- only you are privy to the complexity of your specific situation. You have my COMPLETE support in not going the cry it out route -- Absolutely no child with uncontrolled reflux should EVER be left to cry it out unless the alternative is a parent losing their mind and causing the baby harm (and believe me, it is possible to get never feel bad if you do and you wisely choose to set your baby down and walk away until you regain your balance). Personally, I don't think any child benefits from crying it out, though I can't say for certain that some families don't benefit.

The one thing that got me through some of the roughest nights we had (and by got through, I don't mean I was all serene and a bottomless well of patience -- just that we all survived and no crimes were committed) was calling to my mind an acquaintance of mine whose daughter died of SIDS at 7 months. I would try to imagine her sitting in the corner of the room, reminding me that she would give anything in the world, even a lifetime of sleepless nights, just to hold her baby in her arms again.

Hang in there, and feel free to reach out for help and support here when you are feeling overwhelmed -- this place was a real lifesaver for me.

Feb 04, 2014
Hang in there
Hi, I rarely post, even though I have been reading for years. My youngest son is the reflux kid. He is currently 6 and a half years old. He too was not sleeping through the night. We tried different meds, the comfy embrace bed, wedges, etc. nothing helped much. Went to a homeopath, chiropractor, and western doctors. Nothing improved his sleep. He started sleeping through the night after he was 5 years old. I do not want to scare you. His case is severe. We even did Bravo capsule placement when he was 5 and have scientific proof that he is refluxing 144 times per 24 hour period. Nexium powder pack is his current medicine. I noticed that after swim classes in summer he would sleep better, so we continue to sign him up throughout the year. He swims 3 times a week, and is becoming quite good at it. I believe that you can not sleep train a person in pain. I too noticed that people do not understand. Even doctors would dismiss my concerns with quality of sleep because my son still seems to be growing and developing fine. Hope your little one will outgrow the condition. Majority of kids do. Until then, catch every second of sleep you can. Hand your little one to friends or relatives and nap. Sleep deprivation is terrible torture.
Feb 19, 2016
I'm only 3 months in :(
I'm so depressed about my experiences with Emily and we're only 3 months into our journey with her. Have any of you experienced such a wide range of sleep habits it's maddening? She will occasionally sleep 8+ hours at night, followed up the next night by being up every 1-2 hours. Also, when your little one is up like that, are they always crying in pain? I am constantly second guessing myself because when she does give the 8 hours (one night 11 too bad I couldn't sleep, darn you depression), it makes me think nothing is wrong. When she is up all night, she needs the pacifier to go back to sleep. Last night though she needed pacifier and rocking while she arched and crunched silently. I feel like she's just getting used to the pain or something. :(
Check with your
doctor first!