Im a single mum & baby has reflux & wont sleep - advic... - NCT


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Im a single mum & baby has reflux & wont sleep - advice needed please

toffee83 profile image

Hi ladies,

Need some advice please. My baby is 10 weeks old & from 3 weeks old suffers from reflux. He has trouble going to sleep anyway & this seems to make it even harder to settle him.

Have been to the GP & tried Gaviscon - it did not help him just gave him constipation & was in pain cos of that so stopped & went back to GP. Got Ranitidine - it seemed to help for a few weeks but now its got worse again. He is being sick more frequently & more of it. Have tried keeping him upright after feeds & elevating head of moses basket. It wakes him up an hour after feeding him being sick. He wriggles about in the night too.

Am a single mum & am very tired. Hard to sleep when baby sleeps if baby hardly sleeps! & takes ages to get him to drop off. Cant take him to baby groups as he'll just cry the whole time from pain or tiredness. Any advice would be good. Do they grow out of this?

Thanks :)

22 Replies
Hidden profile image

Hi toffee83,

My sympathy goes out to you as being a mother to a baby is hard enough at times but to then have,to deal with reflux must be rather difficult

you probably forgot to mention in it your post but are you breast or bottle feeding ?

If you're bottle feeding have you tried the "comfort or special formulated reflux milk formula" sold in all the major supermarkets.

I personally never experienced any symptoms of reflux with my daughter who is now 18 wks old but i know of some mothers who have joined this forum who swear by the comfort or reflux milk that cow and gate sell.


toffee83 profile image
toffee83 in reply to Hidden

Thanks for your response. I am breastfeeding. It is really hard as the sleepless night seem even more sleepless with baby waking up not just out of hunger but out of discomfort too. Then its hard to get him to nap in the day - but thats another issue xx

Hidden profile image

oh i see,

when i was exclusively breastfeeding my Lil one i would also notice some days she would be struggling to bring up her wind and i would find giving her just a little bit of "gripe water" before every feed to be quite effective

Even though im now weaning my Lil one with smooth pureed foods im still combining her alternative milk feeds with breast and bottle but she not as "gassy" as when i was EBF.

As well as the gaviscon / rantiidine have you tried giving your Lil one some gripe water before or after every feed ?


toffee83 profile image
toffee83 in reply to Hidden

Yeah have tried gripe water as well. It does help with his gassiness but doesnt really stop him being sick unfortunately.

Thanks for the advice, i was thinking of maybe doing mixed feeding (breast & bottle) to see if it helps.

Going back to GP to see what they think - maybe up the dosage of ranitidine as he weighs more now.

Hoping someone will say they grow out of it! I hate to see him in so much discomfort. & it'd be nice to catch up on lost sleep! Xx


Mine is on both gaviscon and ranitidine; she's been on gaviscon since 3 days and ranitidine since 5 days. Initially she was on gaviscon 6 times a day and ranitidine 3 times but that's now reduced to gaviscon x3 and ranitidine x2 - your lo might need both to ease the symptoms. She is 17 weeks now and barely has any symptoms (but I am continuing with the meds for now until she is weaning).

What dosage of gaviscon were you giving? It can cause constipation but maybe if you were giving both the items you could reduce the gaviscon amount? When mine was in SCBU and for a month or so after she was discharged, we only gave her 5mls per feed. It was mixed up with 15mls of cooled water as per the instructions but saved the remainder for later feeds.

There are other reflux medications but gaviscon and ranitidine are the first ones they try.

toffee83 profile image
toffee83 in reply to Armywag

Thanks for your reply. Glad your little one now barely has any symptoms, its horrible seeing them suffer.

Gaviscon was 1 sachet (can't remember how much was in 1 though) x6 times a day. Another issue was he didnt like the taste of it mixed with water & would spit in out. I could try a lower doasge, say half a sachet, thanks for your suggestion. Did your little one mind the taste of it? He strangely doesnt mind the taste of the Ranitidine!

Nice to hear it can get better in time. Gives me hope his symptoms will improve. Thanks :)

Armywag profile image
Armywag in reply to toffee83

She doesn't mind the gaviscon but she was on it from 3 days old so used to it. She isn't too keen on the ranitidine though. The easiest way I found to give both meds was through the teat of a bottle before she was fed - they will tend to take anything when they are hungry and by the time they have realised it isn't their milk it's too late lol x

toffee83 profile image
toffee83 in reply to Armywag

Lol thats true. When theyre hungry they will take anything! Thats prob why he doesnt mind the ranitidine. May have to give Gaviscon another try. See if it helps.

Its all trial & error isnt it. Just frustrating as he was getting better then all of a sudden worse and not sure why.

Did you find your little one was unsettled in the day / hard for her to take naps? Im not sure if him not sleeping well is cos of reflux or if he's just a poor sleeper. Did you manage to get out & about with her in the day (to baby groups etc) when she had reflux? xx

Armywag profile image
Armywag in reply to toffee83

Bloomin hell, just typed out a long message and cancelled it by mistake! I'll get back to you soon lol x

toffee83 profile image
toffee83 in reply to Armywag

No probs. Ive done that before. V annoying when it happens x

Like Armywag my lo has been on both gaviscon and ranitidine, also infacol but this takes time to build up and become effective. My lo isn't particularly sick but very windy so slightly different situation, but equally can cry a lot, sometimes right through from one feed until the next and the problem gets worse with each feed until he has dirty nappies. Try contacting your local children's centre they may have a breastfeeding councillor or club. Just today mine has advised me on s different feeding position, I'm trying it out but waiting to see how effective it is over time. They do grow out of it but it's hard to keep that in mind in the wee hours. Hats off to all of you doing this alone, I have huge admiration for you.

toffee83 profile image
toffee83 in reply to Cowgirl7

Thank you for your reply. It is hard doing it on my own. Sometimes feel like not doing a good enough job but i'm doing my best.

Don't think i tried infacol for long enough to see if helps as as well as being sicky he is also gassy. Could give that another go. He seems to have tummy troubles, hopefully will get better as his digestive system matures. Thats what i keep telling myself! It is hard in the night tho, like you said.

Sorry to hear your little one cries in between feeds. Its hard when feeding them can make it worse but thats what they want to be comforted. So i take it yours doesnt sleep much if crying between feeds? Or have u got any tips on sleep? I sometimes worry he's not getting enough sleep. He doesnt sleep much - since around 2 weeks. Very alert baby. Again not sure if the reflux is whats making it hard for him to settle & relax.

Thanks i will try & join a breastfeeding support group. Perhaps someone there has the same prob. Would be nice to meet other mums as well as can get lonely stuck at home, not had the courage to join any groups.

Hope your little one gets better soon xx

Hi there , has you're gp ruled out cows milk allergy? Ranitidine doesn't control the sickness really it's more for the pain. You may need domperidone as well as or omeprazole instead but speak to your gp about these. Omeprazole being very effective but you will likely need Paedeatrician referral for this. I know how hard this is having being through it, my lg is 10 months now and it has improved loads so it does get better but when they are so little it's really hard seeing them in pain. I used to feed In the night, keep her sat up for Around 20 mins before putting her back down. It was really hard as no sleep really but it does get better. I used to give her a dummy after feeding too , helped keep the milk down as she was constantly sucking.

Please be assured it does improve and especially when weaning and milk intake is less. X

toffee83 profile image
toffee83 in reply to Dante101

Thanks for replying. GP didnt seem to know much bout reflux tbh. I had seen online that some babies have cows milk allergy & the symptoms did sound like my little ones so i have cut out dairy. It seemed to help for a while but then as i said its suddenly got worse again even tho still not having dairy. If doesnt improve soon will go back to GP & mention those other 2 meds you suggested. Nice to know it does improve over time like it did for your little one xx

Hi, I bf my lo until she was four months, as she also had reflux. Although we started to combo feed with bottles at that point, as the gaviscon didn't do anything but hurt, so I added baby rice to her bottle feeds, and that filled her up nicely at night, and she slept a lot longer and the reflux eventually disappeared at five ish months. I dried up at about then, so we put her on hipp organic milk and she was like a different, much happier baby.

She's 17 months now and no reflux, with mine, it was because she was drinking way too quickly and wasn't giving it time to go down before she sicked it back up.

I hope you find something that helps, it really is poor thing must be so tired! Gl xx

toffee83 profile image
toffee83 in reply to pollybee3

Thanks for your response. Again, like others have said, its good to hear it did get better for your little one. Seems to be light at he end of the tunnel. At the mo very sleep deprived!! Very hard.

Sounds like formula / baby rice later down the line helps keep it down. Just took so long to get breastfeeding established (was difficult at first) seems a shame to go.onto formula now. But might be the answer to the prob.

Will keep trying different things ppl have suggested & hopefully something helps soon!! Thanks xx

Hi, just a quick update re the advice I got yesterday about bf position. The councillor advised laying little lo down my body on his front with his legs straddling my leg on the opposite side whilst sitting slouched back. I've adapted it a bit for comfort, I latch him on cradling him as normal then roll his body into position but so that his legs are more or less between my thighs. For the most part this seems to be working well, he's not so windy and hasn't thrown up yet, and he seems more settled with less crying, long may it last.

I don't know if this might help you.x

toffee83 profile image
toffee83 in reply to Cowgirl7

Thanks for this. I will give it a try, sounds like it does from what you've said. I will try anything now. Lack of sleep is no fun! He seems to suffer most at 3am - he wakes around that time then doesnt really settle back into a deep sleep til 6am when he gets up for the day. Squirms around loads. Thanks again, will be giving it a go xx

May be worth asking to be referred to a Paedeatrician of you feel necessary as they can go through all the possible options with medication and side effects etc. They are much much more helpful than your gp as gps are reluctant to prescribe stuff without Paedeatrician approval I found. X

toffee83 profile image
toffee83 in reply to Dante101

Thats a good idea you know. As GP dont really seem to have time to go through how to improve the issues properly. Frustrating. Little one always smiles at GP - they must think i'm exaggarating as he doesnt seem unsettled. Typical! X

Ok, lets try again ....

I have been on my own (less a couple of days/nights where my parents have had her) since 12 January as my husband is in the army and is based in the south of England whereas I'm in the IoM. I know how hard it is being mummy and daddy.

But, I've been very lucky with that my daughter has always slept well.

I've not been to any mother and baby groups - I'm rather choosy about the company I keep and every mother (naturally) thinks their child is the best and the cutest yadda yadda yadda and it's just not my scene. Maybe I'm missing out on something (but I doubt it lol).

When my daughter was diagnosed, she was in scbu and so was under the care of a paediatrician, in my post earlier (the one that I cancelled in error), I did say that you should try to be referred if the treatments so far are not working for your lo.

My daughter has only been sick 3 times in 17 weeks; her main symptoms have been coughing, hiccuping and the occasional spitting up. I know when to up the dose if she has frequent attacks of those. She has always been pretty good at getting her wind up but she did go through a stage from between 8-11 weeks where she struggled; infacol didn't work for her but gripe water was a god send. Now, all babies are different and what works for one might not work for another, it's all trial and error.

The feeding position Cowgirl7 suggested is a good one - the nurses in scbu were good at showing me different ways of holding the baby. I only BF for a short while; I'd tried the comfort formulas but they just didn't agree with my girl - she was so grouchy on them.

Are you on FB? There are some good groups/pages you could join with parents in similar positions to you - here is one of many

Thankfully, I can keep my daughters reflux under control with the medications she has.

Now, I've probably forgotten something I wrote earlier - if so and I remember, I'll be back :) x

hi have u tried baby gavisgon my daugter gad reflux and the doc gave her this is relky helped her

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