Our baby has got silent reflux.
First month he vomited maybe 5 times, so we did not consider it as a problem. Second month was OK but lots of wind (gas) and he didn’t eat well. Third month he had greenish stools and I’d say diarrhea. Doctors were saying “do nothing, it is fine”. We used probiotics to normalize his stool and the probiotics worked well!
Fourth month the reflux became more severe but all we noticed was he started sleeping less and breastfeeding became a real struggle for us both. The doctor said he did not see a problem – our baby increased his weight, was smiling, looked healthy. I was trying to say that breastfeeding is a nightmare and we want to keep it for as long as we can… he did not listen.
At the end of 4th month we changed our GP and I said that I had read about reflux – my conclusion was that my baby had it.
At the beginning of the fifth month we started Ranitidine (zantec). 1.5 ml twice a day. The progress was slow and for the first two weeks there was no improvement. Then he started to sleep better.
After a month with ranitidine we started solids. We were hoping for better. Baby rice cereal did not go well and potato lead to constipation. Also all symptoms of reflux came back.
One week on the breast only, no gaining weight. At the same time we started Omeprazole 10mg for 2 weeks and now we are on Losec. It works better – Losec helps to improve competence in my baby to suck the breast. With the losec we started oatmeal. Great!
But he is not eating much – we progressed to 8-10 teaspoons per day. We also started pears – went well, but only 2 teaspoons. Three day ago decided to combine 2 teaspoons of pears and 8 of oatmeal. This went well, but as he is not increasing weight we started oatmeal twice a day. Went well. Also introduced carrots!
Next day pooing was a problem and he slowly started refusing the breast again. Today we did not feed him oatmeal in the morning, at noon we gave pears and he ate around 4 teaspoons. Poo was OK today but I make him suck the breast at least for a minute then he stops.
We are a week before 7 months. I find my life as a hell. All we can do is to believe it will get better! We must have a lots of patience as our little ones suffer a great deal! I can see in my baby’s eyes that he is in pain and he hugs me lots – mommy everything gonna be OK?
Aaaaaah! A site where everyone’s story sounds incredibly similar to my own.
My baby, Narrah, is now 6 mths old and has suffered extremely since birth with silent reflux.
After 6 mths of nothing but incredible frustration at the health system I finally stumbled across Novalac reflux formula. This instantly took away my baby’s screaming whilst feeding and all day due to hunger. Instantly he took his bottles magnificently.
It took 3 wks for the poos to subside into a sort of normality. And he’s been starving in day and sleeping at night, well only one wake compared to 2 hrly at 3mths old.
So he now is being offered 3 meals a day but just wants the bottle. I am now guessing after reading this I have given him too much variety too soon. Mainly apple and pear, but those sachets that have other things too. Will now try to give pear and rice cereal again and go back to basics.
Thanks for everyone’s comments. I now rely on mothers intuition and other mothers internet input to guide me cos doctors just keep failing me. Yes of course I have met amazing ones too.
Now, I am very keen to find out a good routine for solids and a reflux baby and when to introduce different foods and which order best and what to try and not try. I am finding it really difficult to source this info if any one help with websites or personal experience that’d be great. Love to all.
For anyone reading these comments about silent reflux, you should seriously consider taking your baby to a paediatric allergist.
My baby had serious silent reflux and I held him continuously for six months of screaming, this is the most depressing and upsetting thing you can possibly imagine.
I tried everything and finally when he was one year old I took him to have the skin prick allergy test. He was found to be allergic to wheat, egg, potato and peanuts. Breastfeeding him after eating these foods myself was also part of the problem.
Now that he is upright much of the day and he is avoiding the problems foods there is a huge improvement. I am going to try taking him off Losec soon, fingers crossed.
There is light at the end of the tunnel and don’t give up, there may be a trigger for the reflux so investigation is worth it if you have a good doctor. Many doctors I initially saw were too scared to refer babies for tests but you need to make it clear to them that they have no idea what it is like to look after your child and short-term discomfort is better than long term pain.
I’ve had the skin prick test myself and it isn’t that bad and is only 30 minutes out of their life which they won’t remember.
I have a one and a half year old daughter and she still suffers from silent reflux.
From the day she was born she was very different to my first child, she was fussy on the breast but liked lots and lots of feed small regular feeds which meant she gained lots of weight, she would only sleep for 20-40mins max day and night, she swallowed a lot, she hated movement like riding in the car or pram and just seamed uncomfortable most of the time.
At 10 months old I was so exhausted I changed doctor and he put her omeprazole and it helped a lot.
We have tried dairy soy and gluten free diets hoping to take her off the drug but it didn’t help, we did find that curry and pastry make her reflux much worse however. I am so tied sometimes I think I am going crazy, I still breastfeed her through the night because it I get more sleep doing that then not.
My doctor finally referred me to a specialist, we stayed overnight at the hospital under observation, he thought maybe she had a fistula, hernia, or eosinophilic oesophagitis. So we have been referred to Starship hospital in Auckland.
Some nights are great now some are terrible, I can’t wait to work out how to help her sleep! I feel for all other parents going through this!
I have similar problem.
My 3rd child has been to the doctors on and off since birth. He is a big boy as he comfort feeds – just turned 5 months and 9.2kg.
He originally was on 2ml of Zantac 3 times a day helped but didn’t do it, now is on Losec. I got my local chemist to put in a liquid form – costs more but worth it. He’s meant to have 10mg but it’s made to a form that he only needs 1ml daily at night 1/2hr before bed he has 2ml Zantac.
I still breastfeed him and it is a challenge with a two yr old and three yr old that need attention too. I was recommended to start solids at 12 wks by GP – it helped. He hated rice cereal so I gave him pear/banana from a jar – took a few goes but loved it… less crying/constant screaming.
He now at 5 months loves the Jolly Jumper – on odd occasions he’ll spit up, but I can leave him on it for 15 mins at a time and longer if he wasn’t so young. He squeals with laughter.
I found the Bumbo helped head control and the Jolly Jumper 2-4mins at a time. He then got great head control.
He’s not fan of mat play and hates tummy time. He’s now been diagnosed as lactose intolerant so was told to put him on formula. He didn’t eat /sleep for 2 days it was heart breaking so I spoke to the doctor and because he doesn’t have diarrhea and is thriving he said to keep up medicine, slowly wean and increase solids. So in the next few months that’s the plan.
I’ve also tried cutting lactose from my diet and it’s helping. So far 3rd day, going well.
Hi Ladies, I am very touched by all these stories.
My little boy had reflux from 6 weeks. It nearly disappeared within one month and a half of treatment (I’ll explain). But now, its back and much worse than before since we stared solids (I started VERY late at 6.5 months, he is not 7 months).
Our effective treatment for the first go-round: I was breastfeeding till 5 months, which is very hard for reflux. I really did not want to switch to formula (though it’s easier to manage the reflux with formula because there are lots of thicker formulas out there, which really help).
I ended up pumping my milk and mixing it with a thickener called, I kid you not, “Magic Mix.” some Italian thing (I live in Paris). For those breastfeeding with reflux, I strongly urge you to continue if you want to. But at first, pump and mix the milk with a thickener.
Keep him/her upright at LEAST 10 mins after eating and well, try to keep him/her up or at an incline at all times, and be very gentle in all manners of handling the baby, not much rough play or bouncing or fast moving through the air.
Then gradually, move back to one feed, mid-day directly on the breast (he will be very happy to find the breast again) and when that goes well, try other feeds. But try to keep a little incline when you feed.
For me, this worked and we transitioned into fully going back to the breast, floor play, flat bed, no thickening at all, the works. For us, it was a matter of healing the esophagus and the stomach first and then seeing how to manage the problem. This worked for me anyway.
HOWEVER, now that we have started solids, its all back, and much worse than before…. So HERE WE GO AGAIN! I hope this was helpful to some. I’ll be reading up on reflux and solids now….
My heart goes out to you all – my little one has reflux from 2 weeks old. She is now almost 6 months and the prevacid 2x a day helps a lot.
I have been reading about which baby foods helps vs harm the reflux and I have been giving her the wrong ones – no wonder her reflux seem to have gotten worse the past week or so–FYI–pears should be good and all else seems to be highly acidic–just kidding not all else but a LOT so I’m going to try to stick to pears and the recipes that I found and go from there.
Living with reflux is a whole different experience from a non-reflux baby – no putting them down on an activity mat, holding up after eating, timing everything carefully - even to change a diaper. There should be more support groups out there!
It felt good to see a GI specialist and know we are treating the issue and keeping a watch on it–what a world of difference with the meds. Our baby can now be happy and sleep and breathe easier.
I hope you all give you little ones extra kisses and do plenty of research and testing to see what works for your little angels.
Hi Alena, my fourth child is now 6 mhs old and is a reflux sufferer. My second and third children were as well.
I discovered with them that they were wheat/gluten and lactose intolerant. So with my fourth child I went on an elimination diet and now don’t eat wheat/gluten or lactose, so that I can breastfeed her. This has helped her reflux significantly.
She still suffers but no where to the same extent that she did when I was eating those foods.
She is on Losec twice daily and this also helps. We are introducing solids at the moment and I feed her a rice cereal that is gluten, wheat and lactose free and she likes this and it doesn’t cause reflux.
Where as she reacts badly to carrot, pumpkin and sweet potato – is is the salicylates in these vegetables ( they contain acid) which worsens the reflux.
A book that has been helpful to me with all my kids is ‘The Failsafe Cookbook’ by Sue Dengate.It is often said that babies that suffer from reflux are also allergic or intolerant to many foods. It is this intolerance that makes the reflux even worse and if a breastfeeding mum is eating these foods it effects the baby badly.
Hope this helps. Keep your chin up, it does get better.
Hi Rochelle, do you crush the losec and make into a liquid yourself? Do not crush as it will affect the efficacy of the medicine as the active ingredient is encapsulated inside the granules, important not to crush the granules. Simply dissolve in water and draw up the required strength to administer with a 10ml syringe.
My son hates the taste and texture and will spit the medicine out which I circumvent by adding a little apple juice to it to sweeten the medicine.
Also try splitting up the dose eg if taking 20mg per day, try to split into 3 doses instead.Hope this might help.
Hi Alena and all, my baby sounds like yours too. He is 5 month plus now (though he should be around 4 months corrected being born at 34 weeks). Mine is a long story but I’ll try to summarize and leave the details.
He had silent reflux and does not vomit much though he regurgitates frequently after food. This started when he was around 6-7weeks old. He would scream and cry bloody murder all day and night long if he was not sleeping. He does not sleep well and get awaken easily even till today. Arch his back and stiffen his body and comfort feed.
He gained almost 4kg from 4 weeks old to 9 weeks old!
My days were like this before it got better when he was around 4 months: He will cry for milk when he wake from his short nap, feed, scream, arch, stiffen and cry after feed until he’s tired that he fall asleep, sometimes this commotion can stretch 3 hrs to the next feed where he will be so tired he sleep after the next feed. He needs to be held and bounced when he’s awake. I know its very painful from his cries and he can be breaking out into cold sweat when the attack happens even though I’m freezing with the air conditioning. The regurgitation got so bad that it caused choking and cough and he was admitted for fear of aspiration pneumonia.
He was started on Losec 15mg (split into 3 times a day) per day and domperidone. It took about 3-4weeks to see some improvement, less crying which eventually reduced to fussing the entire waking hours. Still difficult but at least its easier to manage.
I tried to reduce the losec dose and managed to wean it down to 5mg twice a day a month ago. When I reduced it to 7.5mg once a day, the pain came back after 2 weeks and he’s back to twice a day now.
Apparently 3 split doses are better than twice or once daily due to metabolism of the medicine. I put him on anti-reflux and anti-constipation formula (Friso Comfort) which helps a little as constipation makes reflux worse.
Since mid July, he calmed down a lot and there are brief periods when he is more willing to lie down on his own without being fussy.
This is when I noticed he’s not tracking toys or making eye contact with us. In fact he will actively avoid our gaze when he look into his eyes. He hates tummy time and so till today his head is still wobbly when held upright. He does not roll or crawl and do not show any interest or attempt to do. He does not smile too to us either. He will smile to his toys very occasionally. Other than that he is always very serious looking or fussy.
Went for a eye and hearing exam and he was cleared. Was referred to a neurologist who suspected mild brain damage and cortical blindness. Hence he is on physiotherapy now to help with his milestones.
My husband and I are very worried about the brain damage or him developing autism. I’m pinning on the hope that his behaviour and delay could be related to his reflux or just a personality…..It would be great to hear from you about your kids development.
Hi Alena,I can feel your pain. My baby boy is 5 and half months. I can honestly say this has been such a hard journey raising my boy.
He suffers from silent reflux. Since being born he had bad wind (gas) and would scream and cry all day. Then we had the whole diarrhea stage and I thought he was lactose intolerant.
Then I went to the GP they gave me Losec. This did not work well so changed my GP.
He is now on double the amount 10mg twice a day. They have crushed the tablets and it is liquid form. This is still not working.
We are off to a specialist tomorrow for some answers. Everytime he is laid flat he gags and I can see the food come up and he swallows back down. I have the opposite problem - he wants to eat all day to soothe the pain. He weights 9.6kg at 5 1/2 months.
It is so hard to see him in this pain. I have had enough of being told they will grow out of it. I would ask your GP for a referral to a specialist. I want answers now and explained why this keeps happening. I cant leave my boy with anyone because he is such a handful. I find it hard because a lot of girlfriends around me have “text book babies”. It is hard to try and explain to them how hard it is to have a reflux baby.
I feel for you and understand what you're feeling. I know how hard it is to look into your baby's eyes and see their pain - it breaks your heart x
Hi Alena, your son sounds exactly like my son. Please continue to share your journey.
My son started solids a month ago (he is now 6 months). He was not gaining weight well so I gave him avocados to start. That really helped him gain weight.
Rice cereal caused a flare up in his reflux…. so now at 6 months he is back on medication (Losec 10mg 2 times/day).
I feel so rejected every time he refuses the breast. He feeds well when drowsy or asleep, but if he is awake, I cannot get him to nurse for more than 2 min.
It has been a very challenging road. I am terrified of introducing formula since I worry it will cause another flare up… but not sure how much worse it can get from here as he wakes up every hour at night.
Please keep us updated on your progress.
Alena, I am sure that breastfeeding can only help and you are doing your best by your little one by continuing. Are there any breastfeeding counselors in your area that may be able to help you with the feeding difficulties you’re experiencing?
Thank you, Christine! Our GP suggested we increase Losec from 10 to 20 mg. Some times I think it is not reflux but something that triggers it.
We are doing the 4th day on 20 mg of Losec. Can say he is better. He slept OK through last 2 nights but does not sleep during the day. Today we both tired and he eventually fell asleep. Symptoms seem easier – no cough, not that many burps, no spitting but tummy still sounding bad.
In this situation for me, as a mother who decided to breastfeed her second baby for longer than 6 months, it is a horrible time. Sometimes I say enough – but if I say enough and stop breastfeeding, what the baby can say then? I believe that breastfeeding a baby with reflux is important and needs lots of patience.
Tomorrow I think to start offering pumpkin. Hope it will go well. I will write next week how we doing!
Alena, it sounds as if things have been very difficult for you, but you’ve done an excellent job of listening to – and responding to – your baby, even when you were being reassured that nothing was wrong.
I do hope your little son’s condition improves.