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Reflux babies and sleep - an interesting thing I just learned

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NCdreaming Posted: 06-10-2011 6:07 AM

At my DD's 2 month appointment, the ped and I were discussing her mild reflux issues - she's gaining fine and is happy so no meds, but she cannot sleep flat on her back, nor does he want her to (she sleeps inclined).  Anyway, he told me that the best (i.e., most comfortable, least spit up) position for reflux babies is upright with a slight FORWARD incline - not a position that any crib, seat, etc. will allow, obviously!  So later that day I realized that is the exact position a baby is in when asleep tummy down on your chest, especially if you lean back a bit - my baby's preferred sleep position, for sure!

Anyway, I know it's not exactly breaking news that babies like to be held and may prefer to nap that way, but I didn't realize that, for reflux babies anyway, this may be their way of instinctively finding the most comfortable and  safest sleep position.   So between the comfort of the physical positioning and the emotional comfort of mama, it makes total sense.  Again, not rocket science, but it's always nice to find out that something you and your baby are doing instinctively is not only okay, but even ideal!  Of course, one can't hold a baby for every sleep period but I thought this might be interesting information for those who are feeling a bit desperate about having to hold their babies for them to get any sleep.  It also gives you something to say to those like my mom who say that holding the baby all the time will make her still want to sleep that way at age seven Indifferent - trust me, my 5yo has zero interest in sleeping in my arms, and hasn't for some years!

me - 35  DH - 41

My sweet babies:

Clara - 5

Cecily - 4-3-11  two weeks early and perfect!

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stephanie9105 replied on 06-10-2011 8:59 AM

This is interesting...DD never had reflux issues, but she slept this exact way (on our chests, with us slightly reclined) for every sleep period until she was 11 weeks old. In fact, she's only spit up 5 times her whole life. 

When she was one week old, we discovered she slept best this way..and since she was sleeping, so were we. And for the record she now sleeps on her own, just fine :)

Me (32), DH (33), Vince, the yellow lab (3), Wylie, the disgruntled cat (9), and Lily, the baby!

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alc1113 replied on 06-10-2011 9:45 AM

DD had silent reflux and slept on me for weeks before we knew she had it, it was the only way she got any sleep....once we discovered it we elevated the one side of her crib so she was on an incline and she always slept on her stomach, she HATED her back.......and yes agreed, my 15 month old does not look to sleep on me all of the time now because of that! Flowers

Amy- 34 DH- 36 Mom to 4 furbabies & 3(2 furry, 1 not) who went over the rainbow bridge

Angel 1/09-blighted ovum after trying for 1 year Broken Heart

Angel 4/09- chemical

Angel 5/09- chemical

Cycle 4- TTA just for a couple months but had an "ooops" CD 12...BFP 9DPO on an CBE and 10DPO on an AE.....STICK!!!! Pray started progesterone 6/23 appt 9/3 heard HB! nuchal scan 8/24 follow up bw 9/18 negative Yes 15 DPO- 199 23 DPO- 7883 Fingers Crossed u/s 6w4d- HB 130, measuring 6w4d Yes[/size] 20w u/s 10/12... 22w follow up u/s.... 

Baby GirlCharlotte Elizabeth- born March 6, 2010 at 7:11pm, 8lbs, 15 ozs and 22 inches long. She is perfect!!!!!

Currently TTA, waiting till next year to decide if we will have another

 For Mother with Child O almighty and Everlasting God Who through the operation of the Holy Christ, didst prepare the body and soul of the glorious Virgin Mary to be a worthy dwelling place of Thy divine Son; and, through the operation of the same Holy Ghost, didst sanctify Saint John the Baptist, while still in his mother’s womb; hearken to the prayers of Thy humble servant who implore thee, through the intercession of Saint Gerard, to protect her (me); that it may be cleansed by the saving water of baptism and, after a Christian life on earth, it may with its mother, attain everlasting bliss in Heaven. Amen.

 Prayer To Avoid a Miscarriage Humble Virgin and Doctor of the Church, in thirty-three years thou didst achieve great perfection and became the counselor of Popes. Thou knowest the temptations of mothers today as well as the dangers that await unborn infants. Intercede for me that I may avoid miscarriage and bring forth a healthy baby who will become a true child of God. Amen.

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1fitmama replied on 06-10-2011 10:13 AM

DS had severe reflux (saw GI docs at the children's hospital for it), and this was the way DS loved to sleep, and after careful consideration, we did allow him to tummy sleep early on (around 6 weeks or so).  He was miserable any other way.  I think empygirl (Mary) on here had this neat contraption that allowed her to incline her DD's mattress, and tummy sleep her DD w/out worrying about her sliding around b/c it was this strap thing that went b/t her legs like a sling and attached to either side of the mattress to sort of hold her in position....there's a name for it, but I am drawing a blank...maybe she'll chime in.  I think she did that and used an angelcare monitor...

Anyway, my DS also liked to sleep this way as a newborn, but was my rock star sleeper and wasn't sleeping like that (on my chest) for long!! Flowers

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empygirl replied on 06-15-2011 12:27 PM

I have been having so many problems with this forum lately! It just deleted a very detailed post. I'm sorry that I can't write it all again, but take a look at the Tucker sling. It is possible to elevate a firm crib mattress 30-40 degrees with pillows underneath so that you can easily use this sling. We chose to put Adele on her tummy in it at about three months old, and her situation drastically improved. Some doctors would approve of this decision, and many would not. We also use an Angel Care monitor (it works under both the mattress and pillows) and a fan in the room (which is associated with a decreased risk of SIDS when babies are on their tummies). 

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NCdreaming replied on 06-16-2011 10:30 AM

Mary - thank you for posting this info.  The Tucker sling looks interesting - did your baby find it comfortable?  I also want to thank you and the PP who mentioned letting your babies tummy sleep because of reflux.  My deep dark parenting secret is that I have been letting mine nap on her tummy.  I just got an Angel Care monitor which has helped my peace of mind.  I haven't been able to let her sleep at night that way though - she sleeps inclined in a seat by my bed.  Of course, then I worry because she isn't on the monitor.   I still have a few guilty feelings, like I am somehow putting her at risk just so that she gets some sleep (boy, does she sleep well on her tummy!)  but then when she is flat on her back and can barely breathe because she refluxes through her nose - well, then I feel like tummy sleeping is the safer choice.  

What kind of fan do you use?  Is it a ceiling fan or a small room fan?  Have you had problems with it interfering with the monitor?  I've read that a fan can create enough air movement to trigger the motion sensor.  

Anyway, thanks to all who responded - any other tips for dealing with reflux?  My DD's seems like it's getting worse.  I wasn't that concerned initially but I do feel it is getting worse. 

me - 35  DH - 41

My sweet babies:

Clara - 5

Cecily - 4-3-11  two weeks early and perfect!

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alc1113 replied on 06-16-2011 12:03 PM

DD was on meds, it may not hurt to look into them....she used them from when we discovered it(around 8 weeks) till about 10 months of age when she just outgrew the reflux.  There is no way she would have gotten through it without some medicine....we tried different bottles, formula etc....she was still in pain and was refusing to eat(she had silent reflux).  Obviously it is up to you but once she started them she was a different baby, in a very good way!

As for the stomach sleeping, don't feel guilty......personally I would feel more comfortable with her on her belly then her choking and being uncomfortable on her back due to the reflux. Sleep is so important and I am sure she feels better when sleeping that way.... with the monitor you have, and if running a fan helps, maybe give it a try?  Obviously totally up to you!

 

Amy- 34 DH- 36 Mom to 4 furbabies & 3(2 furry, 1 not) who went over the rainbow bridge

Angel 1/09-blighted ovum after trying for 1 year Broken Heart

Angel 4/09- chemical

Angel 5/09- chemical

Cycle 4- TTA just for a couple months but had an "ooops" CD 12...BFP 9DPO on an CBE and 10DPO on an AE.....STICK!!!! Pray started progesterone 6/23 appt 9/3 heard HB! nuchal scan 8/24 follow up bw 9/18 negative Yes 15 DPO- 199 23 DPO- 7883 Fingers Crossed u/s 6w4d- HB 130, measuring 6w4d Yes[/size] 20w u/s 10/12... 22w follow up u/s.... 

Baby GirlCharlotte Elizabeth- born March 6, 2010 at 7:11pm, 8lbs, 15 ozs and 22 inches long. She is perfect!!!!!

Currently TTA, waiting till next year to decide if we will have another

 For Mother with Child O almighty and Everlasting God Who through the operation of the Holy Christ, didst prepare the body and soul of the glorious Virgin Mary to be a worthy dwelling place of Thy divine Son; and, through the operation of the same Holy Ghost, didst sanctify Saint John the Baptist, while still in his mother’s womb; hearken to the prayers of Thy humble servant who implore thee, through the intercession of Saint Gerard, to protect her (me); that it may be cleansed by the saving water of baptism and, after a Christian life on earth, it may with its mother, attain everlasting bliss in Heaven. Amen.

 Prayer To Avoid a Miscarriage Humble Virgin and Doctor of the Church, in thirty-three years thou didst achieve great perfection and became the counselor of Popes. Thou knowest the temptations of mothers today as well as the dangers that await unborn infants. Intercede for me that I may avoid miscarriage and bring forth a healthy baby who will become a true child of God. Amen.

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empygirl replied on 07-04-2011 6:00 PM

 

I'm sorry for never responding to this post! Adele has been very comfortable in the Tucker sling, obviously more comfortable than when lying flat in the crib. The only issue I have with it is that I can't put her in it until she's fast asleep, because I don't feel comfortable leaving her confined while awake. It seems rather cruel. Here is a picture of her napping in it today:

We tried to get rid of it, but her cold hung on forever, and I realized that she was having both reflux and drainage, poor thing. So I started her back on the meds and put the mattress back on an incline. She stopped most of the coughing and started sleeping better. I guess her reflux isn't gone yet at 7.5 months.

We use the Angel Care religiously and also use an air purifier that keeps air circulating constantly in her room. The purifier is right at the head of the crib, out of view in the picture. The air intake and output are away from the crib, so it does not interfere with the monitor - we've checked a lot of times! The monitor will go off if Adele is not moving in the crib, even if the purifier is going and the white noise and air conditioning are all going in the room. We have the monitor set on the highest sensitivity because the monitor pads are located so far below the mattress (there are two pillows under the head of the mattress and one under the middle to create the incline).

Adele's doctor frowns upon her sleeping on her tummy, but it is the only way that she sleeps comfortably. I am okay with my decision, but I understand that not everyone will be. I also know that the doll is a no-no. We don't leave it in there. :)

 

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NCdreaming replied on 07-05-2011 2:58 PM

Mary - thanks for the picture and the info.  I think I'll be transitioning Cecily into the crib at night soon, so I'll definitely look into getting a fan.  If things get worse, I'll get a sling.  It looks perfectly comfortable!

me - 35  DH - 41

My sweet babies:

Clara - 5

Cecily - 4-3-11  two weeks early and perfect!

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