One of my unhappiest mommy moments ever occurred shortly after the birth of my second son. At night, he cried non-stop. Actually, it was more of an endless curdling scream that went on for hours. His shrieks were coupled with what seemed to be gallons of spit up—ten-fold the amount my older son spewed as an infant. It didn’t matter if he had breastmilk or the formula I needed as a supplement. It all came up.
Many showers ended abruptly as I dripped water in a trail to my unhappy baby in the crib. The second I’d pick him up, he’d spit up all over my temporarily cleaned body and hair. I knew it wasn’t normal.
Several visits to his pediatrician led to colic suggestions to endless attempts at new formula—from soy to Nutramigen, which is the most expensive, and sadly, the only brand that at least decreased some of the spitting up.
Finally, my mom had the answer. Her neighbor was experiencing the same issues with her infant who was diagnosed with acid reflux. The condition is caused by a weak esophagus that prevents breastmilk or formula from entering the stomach. This causes a burning feeling in the esophagus, especially when baby lays down flat, and it all comes back up. I can’t tell you how many sheets, towels and blankets were soiled during that first year.
To keep the vomiting at bay, I slept with the baby on my chest or propped him up with pillows. It helped. Since many foods also triggered his acid reflux, I sprinkled Acidophilus on his meals and in his bottle. It helped some too. And I made sure his clothes were loose around his tummy.
Today, my son is three years old and no longer needs to sleep at an incline. He does, however, vomit when a certain food doesn’t agree with him or when he has a cold. I suspect he’s still “growing out of” the reflux. I’ve met many mothers whose children had it, and they’ve assured me that it continues to taper off. In the meantime, we’ll hold onto our extra sheets, towels and that helpful bottle of Acidophilus.
Please note: This is not intended as medical advice. If you have concerns about your child’s health or suspect your child has acid reflux, please see your pediatrician.