What do we know about Acid Reflux?

Hello there you lot. I received this email the other day and thought you might find it interesting. I was lucky that Babybear didn’t suffer from reflux or even colic, thank goodness, so it’s not a subject I know anything about really.

So I’m really grateful to Hamstermum for bringing the subject to our attention, because from the looks of things it changes an approach to BLW quite a bit, not least because babies with reflux are often advised to be weaned earlier than the standard WHO 6-month guideline. But as you know I consider BLW to be a broad church, so feeding done with a BLW-head on, as it were, is all to the good.

Any other thoughts or insights gratefully appreciated. (I did consider cutting out the compliments by the way and then thought, sod it, why bother? They refect well on everyone who has taken the time to contribute their own experiences on here so I’m leaving them exactly where they are.) Thanks again to everyone for their help.

“Hi Aitch,Just thought I’d drop you a line as I’ve found your blog absolutely invaluable over the last couple of weeks – the blog bandwidth being exceeded lately was all down to me, I’m sure! But I also wanted to pass on my experiences because I haven’t seen anything mentioned on it about acid reflux, which my little one has had since birth and now at 11 months, seems to be getting over, thank heavens!

If you didn’t know already, Gastro Esophagal Reflux Disease (GERD) is where the acid in the tummy escapes back up the baby’s throat, irritating and potentially damaging the soft tissues. Babes had a lot of the classic symptoms of ‘silent’ acid reflux (no actual throwing up): screaming in pain several times during the night being the most troublesome for all of us, but also the car seat, nappy changing, and tight clothing could set her off – any time when her tummy was constricted in any way or she was laid flat. She also never broke free from the normal 3-month period for nightly colic, and was always fussy and agitated after 4pm til she fell asleep. She also seemed to have some food sensitivities. I tried BLW when she was 6 months but she got very worked up over her food, seemed to wolf things down without enjoying or exploring them, and her night waking got worse. It took me a long time to figure out exactly what worked best for her – pureed gentle veggies being the best and no baby rice or fruit (both acid) – and with other measures like sleeping her at an angle, she gradually got better and better (the most helpful web resources for us listed below). Babes’ acid reflux was definitely aggravated by lumps or whole pieces of food, whereas purees mixed with breast milk soothed her throat. But much improved at nine months, she suddenly got really hungry, and one day refused to take anything off a spoon and only wanted to feed herself. Back to BLW!

I can’t thank you enough for both the fun and the information on your blog – it’s superb. Until I had a really good read of your blog I thought Babes was a terrible eater (only one proper meal a day at 10 months, rest just picking), but she is a BLW-er through and through, refusing bottles and formula milk til 9 months, and now healthy and happy to choose her own food when SHE wants to. I’m sure that some of the purees I fed her caused her pain (apple and baby rice being one) so I suspect she has a bit of food or spoon fear which only BLW can conquer.

It’s SO reassuring to read the comments that everyone else has posted on your blog – after months of feeling miserable about feeding Babes, the honesty, humour and sheer depth of information (inc poo analysis!)have helped make feeding fun for both of us at last :-)

Lots of Love,
HamsterMum and Babes

Reflux info:
www.askdrsears.com has lots on colicky and fussy babies, and helps identify reflux – I would never have known about reflux as a potential cause of the night waking (she fed every two hours, small enough amounts that she rarely threw up)
great comfort when going gets tough. Also pointed me towards elimination diet which really helped. Babes would only take milk from the breast, and things in my diet were definitely affecting her – 3 weeks of eliminating all potential allergenic foods, and then introducing a new food every 3 or 4 days into my diet and hers. Was very slow but definitely helped. I know now that protein in my diet gives her problems. She’s a fiend for Quorn – has it every day!
See Dr Sears above for the basic elimation diet.
www.reflux.org – very helpful site with diagnosis lists and advice on how to treat the problem

3 Responses to “What do we know about Acid Reflux?”

  1. ashley says:

    my daughter is 6 months old and used to cry five hours straight every day until i finally found a docter who cared and diagnosed her with GERD(acid reflux). she told me to thicken her bottles with oatmeal cereal which helped but not enough so she is on a small dose of zantac and she sleeps at an angle and she is now the happiest baby ever. i dont like using medicine unless i have to but without it my baby suffers.

    • Aitch says:

      I LOVE medicine, personally. I know what you mean about not wanting to use it unnecessarily but if it helps, thank god for it and thank god we are lucky enough to access it. you simply cannot have a child suffering unnecessarily. I am on deadline for work at the moment, Ashley, but I have an essay here from someone whose first child was BLW’d and whose second had reflux and so therefore was weaned ‘early’ (do note the inverted commas, he was weaned at the best time for him) and on purees, but still v much with a BLW head on.
      I’m going to post it onto the site on Monday, would you perhaps think about adding your thoughts and experiences to it when you have a minute? It would be much appreciated.

  2. Rosa says:

    Hello, thanks for posting this helpful info about weaning a baby with reflux… Mine a premature baby girl with reflux (silent reflux)since birth now approaching to 6 months adjusted age, I´m looking for info of wich foods are better to introduce. I´m really afraid to get back to screaming nights because starting weaning. She´s Better now but still depending of medication (I LOVE medicines as well). Last visit to her pediatrician we where talking about when to start weaning and how… and I would like to BLW, but not sure if its the best for her.

    I´m breastfeeding her since she got out of ICU, and its been a bless. I did the elimination diet as well and worked fine for us. Surprising for me that she had trouble with proteins in my diet as well!!! Haven´t tried Quorn we don´t have in my country. And lately i found that some proccesed juices or food are bad for reflux.

    A website that help us a lot with very useful info its http://WWW.pollywogbaby.com and in spanish http://www.reflujoenninos.org

    Hope to find more info in this forums.
    thanks again!

Leave a Reply