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Having a baby with reflux is exhausting. I’ve compiled 10 Sanity Saving products for your reflux baby to help you get through this tough season.
I should know. Our oldest son was born prematurely at 35 weeks. He didn’t need a NICU stay, but after a few weeks of being home, we noticed something was wrong. He cried every time we put him down. As new parents, you go through the standard reasons for crying. Is he fed? Diaper changed? Hot or cold? Burped? Sleepy? But nothing made him happy. Except for being held.
Even more horrifying is that it was getting worse every week. I felt like the worst mother. I couldn’t comfort my baby. We didn’t know why he would scream and writhe every time we put him down on his back. We didn’t understand why he would arch his back. He’d act like he was drowning when he ate, even on a slow flow nipple. Even after he’d eaten, it would all come oozing back out of his mouth like a faucet. And then….the screaming. The terrible screeching sound that filled our house for hours. We made several trips to the emergency room because the screaming was so intense. I stopped nursing and tried multiple formulas. I bought nearly every bottle type I could find. Nothing helped. I had no answers.
One night, my husband and I were on the verge of tears. Neither of us had slept in weeks. I felt delusional, like I was going mad. In a fit of frustration, I took to Facebook, begging for help, ugly crying with every keystroke. My cousin’s wife responded and asked me a few questions. “It sounds like reflux. Our son had it too.” She proceeded to give me a list of things they used that helped them. We went to the doctor and it was finally confirmed as reflux (also known as GERD).
I never even knew children could have acid reflux. It’s painful and their little sphincters just can’t keep food down. If they are being held up, gravity helps it, so it isn’t so bad. But if they are moving around or laying down, particularly on their back, the acid, bile, and partially digested food makes its way back up. I can’t stress enough how these items saved us. I don’t know if we would have survived that first year without these solutions.
Our second child had reflux too. I can’t tell you how these products have helped us. Despite having reflux and a club foot, our second little guy is an easy baby. This time we prepared ourselves with the right gear. So if you’re a mom whose child has just been diagnosed with reflux, I sincerely hope this helps. You aren’t alone. Hang in there, because I will also tell you that once they are past the 6 month mark and eating a good amount of solids, you’re almost out of the woods. Believe me when I say, it gets better. I promise.
Fisher Price Rock and Play
Before we found this amazing inclined sleeper, we were “sleeping” in our glider with our son. Of course, we didn’t really get sleep because we were so worried about dropping him. This solved that! We had tried putting things under our son’s mattress to prop it up but nothing worked until he was older. This amazing sleeper is great for under 6 months. It keeps him upright, but maintains a natural sleeping position. Because it is gusseted, they also can’t roll over to their tummy. It includes breathable mesh sides and strap to secure your infant.
2. Dr. Brown Bottles
I’m not joking. I tried every bottle in the early days of my son’s reflux. I spent hundreds of dollars and nothing helped. Nothing, until I found Dr. Brown bottles, that is. I can’t stress enough how good they are for colic and reflux. They have a special vent system that breaks up air and controls the flow. If you have a reflux baby, don’t settle for anything less.
3. Angelcare Movement Monitor
Once your little one outgrows the Rock and Play, you’ll have to make the transfer over to the crib. This is definitely optional, but making the transfer was scary for us. We were worried he could spit up at night. With babies sleeping on their back there is always the worry of choking. So this movement alarm gave us peace of mind. It’s very sensitive and it senses if your baby has stopped breathing. After a few seconds, a sound alarms. It can be used all the way up to toddler years if still in the crib. You also need to purchase an additional wooden board that helps keep it accurate.
4. Owlet Smart Sock Baby Monitor
An alternative to the Angelcare is the Owlett. Again, this is totally optional, but it does help your peace of mind. Your child wears it like a sock and it transmits information to your phone. It measures your child’s breathing, in particular their oxygen levels It also measures his or her heart rate. Any concerning drop in vitals sounds an alarm. It’s extremely sensitive, but it’s also a little on the pricey side. This really helped us sleep better at night.
5. Similac Spit-Up Formula
I would absolutely consult your pediatrician regarding formulas, but this formula helped us tremendously. It was the only formula, my second son would drink. Before that, every feeding was like a battle of the wills. He would struggle and spit up most of what he drank. This formula saved us since he wouldn’t eat the hypoallergenic one. Its available in powder and 32 oz ready to feed bottles.
6. Enfamil AR Forumla
This was my first son’s formula. Like the Similac Spit-Up formula, it is contains a rice starch which makes the formula heavier and harder to come back up. It’s available in powder form and 8 oz 6-packs.
7. Similac Alimentum Formula
Again, consult your physician before changing formulas. Doctors may ask you to try a hypoallergenic formula like Similac Alimentum. Our son didn’t care for it and wouldn’t drink it. It has a vitamin kind of smell and taste. But a friend of mine had a son that did amazingly on it! It may not be tasty, but doctors use this hypoallergenic formula to help manage reflux with great success.
8. Ergo Baby Carrier
One thing you’ll have to accept is that your reflux baby will need to be carried a lot. That can be really hard, especially if you have other kids to tend to. But having a good carrier makes all the difference! This definitely kept me sane. I was really hesitant to spend the money. I actually went through two cheaper carriers before finally splurging on this. It was worth every cent! As your baby gets heavier, you’ll need a quality carrier. Trust me, your back and shoulders will thank you.
9. Dr. Brown Formula Mixing Pitcher
If you plan on using powdered formula, this is a Godsend! It is a pitcher with a built-in manual blender. Because it’s made by Dr. Brown, it’s designed to mix your formula without introducing extra air. Then you just pop it in the fridge and pour from it. It holds about 36 oz comfortably. It’s also dishwasher safe.
10. Extra Absorbant Cotton Padded Burp Cloths
Before I had my son, I had the cutest little burp cloths that matched outfits. But honestly, they were no match for my son’s projectile spit up. They were too thin and not absorbent enough. If your baby has reflux, you’ll soon learn everything will get covered in spit up. These burp clothes are great and they have extra padding to catch spit up and vomit.
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