I’ve been missing quite a bit from the blogging world since little MM arrived and that is purely because I am utterly exhausted! Having a newborn in the house (and renovating) is never going to be easy sailing, but poor MM was dealt a rough hand and endures painful reflux and colic to boot.
We have had experience with reflux before, from when Munch was a baby (you can read the reflux survival guide here). So we were well prepared and expectations were set when we had to take MM to the hospital at 11pm on a Friday night after she spent a good few hours solidly crying. The diagnosis was reflux, as expected, and we began the juggling act of finding a combination of medicine that would get it under control. However, this wasn’t going to be easy…we also had the dreaded trapped wind (colic) to contend with. MM would wake screaming each time she passed wind. This would happen 1-2 hours after each feed and last until the next feed. This made finding the winning combination ever more difficult, as the treatment for one would end up irritating the other. So that led about this post. I dare say we aren’t alone in our suffering and here is how we are getting through (until she ‘grows out of it’…famous GP saying).
Trial and Error
It is a long journey of elimination. Changing milks/diet, changing wind remedies…and if you have reflux to deal with too, changing medicines. The first thing to eliminate is whether there is a milk or lactose allergy involved. If breast feeding, speak to your HV about what to exclude from your diet. If bottle feeding you will be expected to try a comfort milk or lactose free formula.
We went through 3 different milks before going back to the first milk as it was marginally better. Whilst treating her reflux with ranitidine, her trapped wind peaked, so we instantly stopped that and just rely solely on Gaviscon. We also went through 3 wind remedies before settling on gripe water….trial and error.
Wind often during feeds (every ounce if bottle feeding). This process can add an extra 30 minutes or more to the feed, but it is well worth it.
I was a skeptic, but our HV arranged for a trained baby massage HV to visit us for 4 sessions and devised a set of exercises to help release trapped wind. We carry out this set of exercises an hour after each feed during the day and before going for bath. We have to make sure that we keep this up when we are out and about, as missing one session is a world of pain for all involved later.
We even took MM to a chiropractor for a few weeks and noticed a huge difference after a few sessions. No more waking screaming when passing wind at night (unless she hasn’t pooped that day…then that causes problems).
I’m very thankful that MM gets comfort from white noise. I first noticed this when she would begin to settle from us simply shh-ing her. Well neither me or the hubs could keep that up all night long! It’s amazing how much you start to slur when you are sleep deprived!
There are apps you can put on your phone and various baby soothing toys around. However, we were sent a Whisbear when we were at our wits end and MM is absolutely loving it. Not only does it replicate a shh sound, but it has a cry sensor function, which means that after 40 minutes of shh play, you have a further 3 hour long stand by sensor, which kicks in when it senses baby crying. He’s like a little cuddly babysitter!
This has saved a few nap times, allowing me to get the rest I need to cope with the next stage of the day.
We aren’t lucky enough to have any support network close by that can relieve us for a period of time, so I have to cling to what works for us. It’s taken us the best part of 15 weeks to get to a point where we are surviving day to day. Hopefully our experiences above can help someone else who is at their wits end.
Disclosure: We were sent a Whisbear to try. However all thoughts are our own (and we have made him an honorary member of the family!)