Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Advice- He Asked for It

A friend asked me this 2.5yrs ago:
            On a side note I thought you could give me some advice…  If I'm not mistaken you have experience with newborn/infant acid reflux.  If you have any tips I would appreciate it.  Hope you have a good day.

And so I answered with this:
            I am so sorry. I know how bad this can be. Poor Baby. Poor Mommy & Daddy. I don't want to assume, but acid reflux a lot of times can turn into the dreaded C word. I won't say it because its an awful word and an awful thing to go through. I'm not sure at what stage you are, so I'll give you advice that I wish I would have had that may have prevented some of our harder times.
            *First and fore most- its not Baby's fault. I had a hard time with JP and got upset many times. He has no idea why he spits up a lot and he wants it to stop, too.

            *Buy extra bibs and reside yourself on the fact that you will be doing more laundry. Don't fret when you put a brand new bib on him and he gets it dirty right away. All the more for him to wear the next cute little bib. Don't buy the bibs with the plastic backing. They actually get moldy with the spit up. Ewww.

            *Try Similac Sensitive R.S. It’s a liquid and seemed to help JP a lot. The nursing is still great but you may find that by supplementing here and there with the R.S. he's able to keep the breast milk down better, too. Its perfectly ok to do both.

            *Daddy- If Mommy is still nursing, be very helpful and patient as it is very frustrating to have your beautiful baby spit up all over your chest. Trust me- I know. Offer to help, offer hot showers & baths, etc. It is not at all bad to decide that this feeding would be better off through a pumped bottle or even with formula. Mom can take a break. Baby will be better for it as Mom will be rested and ready for the next feeding.

            *Burp, Burp, Burp- try, very patiently, to get the burp. Don't give up. If you're holding one way to burp and he hasn't, move him to a different position. Even if its laying across your lap with a burp cloth under his mouth. Also, stand up. Sometimes the different position of the burper helps. :)

            *Walk. It gives you some release and gives him the soothing. Try holding him belly to belly, almost a nursing position but a little lower and holding him snug. JP used to use the arm under mine to actually hold onto my waist. He also loved to be covered, too. Even his little head.

            *Rub his belly in circles. JP loves this when his tummy hurts. He also loves to lay on his belly.

            *JP sleeps on his belly. We stayed right with him in the beginning until we were comfortable with belly sleeping. This is TOTALLY up to you as parents. The doctors say Back to Sleep but JP could not sleep that way. I was terrified when it was suggested to me but, you know what, I was raised that way and so were you probably. We found though that being on his belly didn't cause as much heartburn. You could actually see the relief on his face when we laid he down on his belly. If you're not comfortable with it maybe he could nap that way in the same room with you but at night stick to Back to Sleep. Again, TOTALLY a parent's decision!!  Not mine to make for you!

            *Be prepared for the doctor to suggest rice cereal earlier than you thought. We started at 4 months, per our Doctor. That helped. It made everything in his belly more substantial and filled him up. It helped to keep it in there.

            *Know that he will probably be hungry, A LOT. I think its because he spits up a lot of what he was fed. He'll let you know when he's full. If you're bottle feeding use smaller bottles and be ok with making another one if he's still hungry. That way formula or breast milk won't go to waste. Don't save unused milk. Some formulas say you can, don't. Its more of a chance with a spitter that it will come up if it’s the slightest bit old. That's why we did smaller amounts at a time. Use the in-between time to burp.

            *Nice warm baths. JP loves them if he's cranky with a belly ache. He especially (as I toot my own horn) loves Mommy's lotion massages when he gets out. I take my time and talk to him and its our very own little bonding time. Its one of the times I'm able to forget how loud he can scream and I hope its one of the times he can forget his belly ache and heartburn. I like to think so.

            *Talk to each other!! See what works for Mommy and what works for Daddy. Maybe you each have a hint for each other. Listen to each other!! Even the best marriages are put to the test in some situations! I didn't realize for awhile that what was hard for me to handle was easy for Hubs and vice versa. I showed him how to give a nice warm soothing bath and he showed me a better way to hold JP. Teamwork at its best!

            *Listen to your Mother! She raised you, didn't she?! Don't be afraid to holler for help! Even if it’s to come feed YOU a bottle (just kidding!). Let family and friends visit and help. See if they have a better way to feed, burp, or hold Baby for him to keep the bottle down. You never know.

            *Try fresh air. JP loves the outdoors. If your Doctor says it’s ok, bundle him up in the stroller and take a walk. Take a walk all three of you together or give Mommy the time to take a quiet bath.

            *Last but not least- call me if you need too. We are still going through issues of acid reflux and Colic (I hate that word!) but we are muddling through. To tell you the truth, I actually feel pretty proud that I can offer advice to someone else! Makes me feel as though I learned something out of this whole ordeal.

            Again, I don't want to assume anything, but please know that I went through (and am much better but not perfect) Post Partum Depression. I had to take some medicine, I had to do some therapy, and at times I wanted to run away. If you, at all sense that or know that in Mommy, please, please seek some help right away. Don't wait! It doesn't have to be me you call, but call someone. Ask for help. There was an eye opening moment for Hubs one day at work. I called him hysterical. I was locked in my closet with both children crying in their rooms. I wanted to jump out my bedroom window. I begged for Hubs to come home and he hesitated leaving his job (two minutes away) and asked me if I could call my Mom or my Dad, or even my BFF. I'll never forget he asked "can't you call Someone?" I answered through tears "I called you." At that moment it clicked- he told me he loved me and he would be home right away and he was.

            Raising your beautiful children is hard. It is the best time of your life and can also be the worst. No one understands that until they've had children. I know you only asked for acid reflux advice and I gave you more than that but I want you to know that you guys are great parents and will raise a beautiful, respectful, gentleman just like his Daddy. If any of this helps you guys, I feel better. Plus, it helped me.

            God Bless your Family. You are a wonderful family and everything will get better.


  1. I've been there.

    Reflux sucks. :/

  2. I admire your strength Juli. They should nominate you for SuperMom!

  3. No, nothing Super about me. Just had to get through it.
    Thank you, though Brenda.