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Do reflux babies sleep better as they get older? Lock Rss

Hi everyone

My daughter has reflux and is very hard to put to sleep (and stay asleep!). Im wondering if it gets easier to put them to sleep as they get older?
I have to rock her for at least half and hour(and she is also wrapped). Is this a bad habit to get into?
At the moment it is the only thing that is keeping me sane, otherwise i would never get any sleep either.
Also, are reflux babies more clingy than other babies when they are toddlers?
Hi Lara,
My son George was very refluxy when a baby (still gets it a bit, but not nearly as badly), we had to have the bassinet (and later cot) propped up a bit at the head to help keep the milk down. Things improved for us as he got older, but it was gradual, and I still remember my husband trotting up and down the hall for a while. Once he went down he tended to sleep for a while. He is fine for going to sleep now, and not very clingy at all. In fact he is very outgoing, so I don't think reflux has a great deal to do with clinginess. That just seems to be a personality thing, George has always been happy to smile at strangers, and so far hasn't done the hide behind mummy thing either.

Best of luck with your refluxy baby, I'm sure things will improve.

Rachelle, NZ, son George 10.12.02, Ian 15.06.04

Hello lovely lara, As I have said in our other posts Caleb has never been a sleeping baby. He only started to sleep like a normal baby when he was around 10 months old. I just got use to it as I didnt have another child so I didnt know any different. That was until he started to sleep and I had to change my whole day around his sleeping which I never had to to before. Caleb was a clingy baby but I have know other children who are also clingy and they did not have reflux. I think it just depends on the child. We didnt have any help with Caleb so it was pretty much just my husband and I so I dont know if it would have been different if other people spent a lot of time with him. At one stage Caleb would only allow me to give him a bottle and feed him no one else not even his father! Caleb is still clingy and 21 months old.
My 11 week old daughter also has reflux. She was very hard to put to sleep but she is gradually getting better (with the help of food thickener before every feed) and on Zantac (which the paed today suggested I try without it for 5 days). Despite the cries, I persisted in wrapping her and settling her in her cot with a dummy (they help to soothe reflux babies) so that I didn't form what is actually a bad habit of rocking her (although I have picked her up out of her cot to help settle her at times). I know it's very hard and my heart goes out to you, but if your daughter does take a dummy and seems to settle with it at sleep time, all the better. In the end, you know what's best.

Angela, NSW

My 6wk old son has reflux (we think.. I have a doc appointment in a couple of days). He will lose almost a whole feed at times and is difficult to settle. I feel for him, cause he seems to be quite uncomfortable and there isn't much I can do for him until I see the doc. But, after reading what Angela wrote about her daughter and how a dummy helps to soothe reflux babies, I wonder ia there other things you can do to soothe them . My son doesn't like a dummy and spits it out.
Any other ideas?


YES YES YES YES!!!! Hang in there...i know that your having a crap time but it WILL get better, loads better in fact! My son was diagnosed with severe reflux at 8weeks (i think?) which was medicated, which helped a lot. Also i raised his head slighly while sleeping, you can do this by eithor putting a blanket under the mattress or books under the cradle,cot feet. Only have to raise it by a cm or two. I also held my bub more upright. I also rocked, wrapped, fed my son to sleep and have had no problems with doing so. Lastly once bub can roll onto tummy and move around, you will notice a HUGE inprovement. By the way mu son has just hit "1" has been off the medication for 6 mths, and only occasionly has reflux.
Good luck

mum of 1

Hi Lara,

YES, things do improve as baby gets older. My son is now 7 months old, he has had reflux since 1 week old, he has been on Losec since 7 weeks old, it is magic. My husband and I went through so many, many sleepless nights to start with, but since he's been on Losec, there has been a 100% improvement!!!! As soon as he took it he was no longer in pain and more importantly, he was sleeping for more than a couple of hours at a time. He was awake and crying approx 16 hours out of every 24 before his medication.

I found that wrapping him up really snug and giving him a dummy helped a great deal. I know a lot of people are against giving their babies medication (so am I) but the paediatrician said that reflux is very painful for the baby that's why they cry all the time, as soon as I heard that, I didn't hesitate in giving my baby his medication, I just didn't want him in pain.

Lastly, babies do get better as they get older. As I said my baby is now 7 months old and I am weaning him off his Losec, he has not had it at all today and he seems fine (thank God), he very rarely sleeps on his back, he mostly sleeps on his side, it's obviously more comfortable for him.

Good luck with every thing. I hope it all goes well for you.

Mum to toddler

I believe my 8 week old son has reflux... we have to thicken his feeds in order for them to stay down and he screams like he's in pain continually. We have given him a dummy which seems to settle him enough to stop the screaming but he still squirms and pulls his legs close to his stomach. He is lucky to sleep for 6-8 hours a day. At the moment I'm having difficulty getting my doctor to prescribe medication for my son- it's so hard when he doesn't spend 24hrs a day with him. Did they have to do any tests to prescribe medication for your daughter?

Karli, Tas


Have you been to the doctor yet? It sounds like your son has reflux, if he is losing his whole feed.
It can be hard to diagnose i think, as a lot of babies vomit anyway- but if he is really unsettled as well and seems in pain/uncomfortable its probably reflux.My daughter has silent reflux which is a bit different. She generally doesnt vomit up all her feed, just curdled milk after an hour or so of feeding. Since she has been on losec she is a lot better though. She used to scream for most hours of the day and would never let me put her down for more than a few minutes.(Which can get annoying when you need to do housework, go to the toilet etc!). The worst thing is seeing them in so much pain and not being able to help them.
I have been taking my daughter(Tayla) to the chiropracter for about a month now and this has definately helped her. If this is an option for you, i would definately do it.
Tayla never used to be interested in her dummy at 6 weeks either, but i just continued giving it to her and eventually she took it- and it helps. She doesnt really need it during the day much, but at night time it really helps her to sleep especially if she's overtired or a bit grumpy.
Also, another thing thats good to help them sleep is wrapping them.Tayla wont sleep unless shes wrapped, which may be a problem later as she gets older, but at the moment im happy with it so we can all get some sleep!
Anyway, let me know how you went at the docs.
I understand what you're going thru and how hard it is to cope.Goodluck
HI Karli

I didnt have any tests done on Tayla to see if she had reflux. I just explained what was happening to the doc and she prescribed losec straight away. A sign of reflux is an acidic smell on their breath, and Tayla always has this.(smells a bit like battery acid!). Sometimes ,(most the time i think) babies get colic with their reflux as well- thats probably why your son pulls his legs in to his stomach.Tayla used to do that, as well as arching her back really stiff and refusing to take her feed. Its so awful when they're in pain and they wont sleep.
I know what you mean by the doctor doesnt seem him 24 hrs a day. Whenever i used to take Tayla out she would be a complete angel and not cry or anything, but when we got home the screaming would start! You just have to stress the fact that u really think your baby is in pain and needs medication, or you could try a different doctor?
Taking Tayla to the chiropracter has helped a lot as well. She used to go twice a week,and now shes down to once every 10 days.I couldnt believe the difference in her after 4 or 5 visits. I can actually put her down for a play on her mat and not continually have to hold her all day now. While we still have a few dramas sleeping at night, she is generally much happier. I think its a combination of the losec and the chiro that has helped Tayla. She was on the losec for about 3 weeks before i saw any difference.
Keep me updated. I like being able to talk with mums who are going thru the same things as me.I thought i was the only one! smile

Thanks for the words of wisdom.I think sometimes i get too worried about her reflux, when in reality it is so much better than a month ago. I was just worried that she wouldnt be able to go to sleep on her own when she got older( i know a lot of people have this problem when they rock their children to sleep). I started thinking that she would be "clingy" as an older baby, because she has been held so much as a young baby(not that i mind!, i love her to bits). I guess i just need to relax and everything will turn out ok. The first three months were so hard, with no sleep and constant crying, but its all in a days work as a mum!
Hi there
Your right in saying the first few months are hard. Until you have actually been there you just don't realise (or appreciate) how hard being a mum is! Apart from the obvious stress of "am i doing the right thing with my bub", you have to cope with changes to your normal routine, ie, not being able to pop to the shops and back in 15 mins! It's all good though! I wouldn't swop it for all the money in the world......

mum of 1

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