Survival Guide to Reflux Babies
All babies are difficult to feed at one point or another whether it is struggling to latch, finding the right bottle that doesn’t caused trapped wind the list goes on but one of the prolonged difficulties of feeding is if your baby has reflux.
Both Hugo and Teddy have and had reflux, I was lucky with Hugo it diagnosed at his 10 day health visitor check and with reflux milk and early weaning it seemed to disappear by the time he was 5 months when I was able to move him onto normal formula until he was 12 months. Teddy however, struggled with an increasing amount of sickness for the first 6 weeks of his life with no other symptoms, he was originally put on Infant Gaviscon but after a week we had noticed not much change so after visiting the health visitor for us 8 week check we discussed trying him on the reflux milk which we are having much more look on but even at 12 weeks we are still having daily issues.
I have decided to write this post to give what I hope are my helpful hints for dealing with a reflux baby and what I have learnt along the way.
Things I like to have nearby and find helpful to use on a daily basis:
– Like with most bottle fed babies not just reflux my biggest use is my Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine, this has saved so much time not just during night feeds but I frequently have to make a second bottle quite quickly sometimes within 15 minutes of making the first one as he has projectile vomited most of his first bottle and still wants more. It also makes them at the perfect temperature that he can drink them straight away.
My tip for this though is reflux formula powder needs to be added at a slightly cooler temperature than normal formula so it can cause some lumps in the milk, I find my stirring and breaking down the lumps after the first amount of hot water comes out and then repeating the same with any large lumps after the second lot of water gives the perfect thickness of milk for them to drink after a few minute waiting period.
– Long handled spoon such as ice cream sundae spoon or in my case I use a baby weaning spoon again I use Tommee Tippee ones but any spoon will do to help with losing the lumps that will form. I rinse mine between each stir and then wash properly between feeds.
– Bottles – With Hugo we used Tommee Tippee bottles which were a godsend at the time because by the time he was months old he was guzzling 12oz of milk every 4 hours and at the time they were the only brand to do bottles that big. I was hoping to do the same with Teddy however, I found very quickly that he was getting to much trapped wind so we changed to Mam bottles and had much more success. Remember with bottles every baby will be different you may go through several different bottles before finding the right ones for your baby.
– Size 3 or upwards teats – reflux milk is extremely thick so putting the largest size teat on the bottle saves from having a very stressed baby who cannot get any milk.
– Size 0/1 teat – I have one of these in my cupboard in case we need to give water, with the reflux milk being so thick they can sometimes get constipated an oz of boiled water as and when this happens help gets things moving again.
– Steriliser – We don’t actually have one of these as we have the Mam self sterilising bottles which are amazing just add a small amount of water in the bottom of the bottle and put in the microwave for 3 minutes, not only does it save loads of space in the kitchen but they are much quicker to do, it does help the designs are really cute as well. However, any steriliser will do the job.
– Muslins, muslins and more muslins, if you think you will have enough muslins I would get some more. I have around 40/50 muslins before and if I haven’t been able to do the washing for a day or so I have run out. I put them everywhere so they are quick to grab if we have any sick, a couple are kept in the car, his pushchair and next to his bed at all times. I can then sometimes go through at least 1 sometimes 2 per feed.
– Bibs you will still need a lot but nowhere near as much as muslins, I usually use one per feed but can sometimes use 2 if Teddy is sick halfway through a feed.
– Flask – I have a Tommee Tippee flask which is great it holds enough water for 2 bottles and comes with a cover for the flask which can be used to fill with cold water so that you can cool the bottle down to the right temperature. I know this is not the way the flask is intended to be used but as not being able to use pre-prepared bottles I have found this is the best way to make bottles when out.
– Milk powder containers – Again I use Tommee Tippee ones they hold up to 8 scoops of powder and if you are using the Tommee Tippee bottles they fit lovely inside the rim of the bottle leaving you with more space in the changing bag.
Feeding a reflux baby is hard some bottles go down lovely, some bottles go down great to come back up again an hour after feeding or you can have some bottles normally our 7pm bedtime bottle which is absolutely horrendous and he screams throughout like it is causing him so much pain.
I also found that different sleeping positions help with Hugo he loved sleeping on his side so during the day when I could watch him I put him on his side so he could have some peaceful sleep and I do the same with Teddy now but on his tummy. With both of them during the night they slept on their backs and didn’t have much problems in terms of acid with it which I am so grateful for but a tip that I did read is tilting the cot, cribs or baskets so they are on a slight angle with their feet at the bottom as safe sleeping dictates so they don’t slide down the cot.
I am sure that there are things on here that I have missed out and please if you feel that I have and can add it on to help other parents please let me know. If this can help one family help with a reflux baby in the early stages I will be overjoyed.