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How-To-Help-A-Newborn-With-Reflux-To-Sleep

How To Help A Newborn With Reflux To Sleep

Lack of sleep is pretty much the norm for parents of newborns, but it can be an even bigger cause of distress if your baby is suffering from reflux. 

Reflux, or spitting up is quite common in younger babies and can be caused by a number of factors including overfeeding, a slow digestive system, weak abdominal muscles, or in some reare cases it can be due to food allergies.

One of our mums had an issue with settling her little one down to sleep and asked our Facebook community for some advice and tips to help her get her little one go back to sleep in his own cot so that she can get rest as well.

Hi moms. I’m looking for advice. I have a five week old little boy. I’m having difficulty with his sleeping. His favourite way to sleep is lying on my chest. He will settle and sleep for a number of hours.
However when you go to lie/put him down, either in his cot, bouncer, etc. he will whimper in his sleep and won’t sleep soundly. He’s very unsettled. He suffers with reflux which he gets medication for. I keep him up for at least 30 minutes after feeds where he will be settled and sleep but as soon as I put him down, he will start this whimpering and crying in his sleep – anything from five to 20 minutes after I put him down and will continue this. I never lie him completely flat due to the reflux and at night I place him on a baby mattress where he is elevated and cocooned. I have tried lying him in bed with me, but he whimpers here also.
I don’t mind keeping him up and holding him during the day, but I obviously can’t sit up all night holding him. I would appreciate any advice or suggestions. Thanks a million

Different Meds

Sinéad: My little girl suffered from reflux. Gaviscon infant is what we used in her feeds and she was a lot more comfortable.

Andrea: I went through this for 10 months. Silent reflux is torture! Losec prescribed by the GP was a godsend.

Elevate The Cot

Orlaith: We got a baby pillow for the cot and also elevated the top of the cot so the baby wasn’t lying flat.

Andrea: We could only ease our baby’s discomfort at night by laying him down on his right side with the mattress elevated. It’s not ideal, but it was the only relief he would get at night to sleep.

Sleeping In Cot During Day Time

Julie: It was the same with my baby. During the day I started to put him more into bed so that he won’t get so used to lying on my chest. When I was with him, I let him sleep on his tummy as he seems to like that. I know it’s hard at night when you’re tired, but it does get easier.

Other Types Of Treatment

Noelle: Bring him to the chiropractor. It’s very common for babies to have a neck out of place after birth, which causes reflux overeating.

Toni: Try reflexology. It’s amazing for reflux.

Laura: Try cranio-sacral therapy. It worked for my little one.

Grainne: The only thing that worked for my wee girl’s silent reflux was a chiropractor. I tried cures, etc. and it didn’t work. I elevated the top of her cot, put her to sleep on her side, and had a cot mobile that played white noise. All this worked after visiting the chiropractor and her reflux had gone (after three visits).

Catriona: I went through this with my first baby. I took him to two sessions of baby acupuncture. He was like a new child. We could not get over the improvement.

Linda: I had this problem with my little boy. He slept on my shoulder for three months. I brought him to get a cranial message and it helped him instantly.

Heartbeat Sounds Or White Noise

Grainne: The white noise is the best thing ever for my baby. It always settled her.

Amy: Could you get a sound machine for the cot that mimics heart sounds or in utero sounds? You sound like you’re doing a great job of managing the reflux, so maybe he just likes sleeping on your chest for the sound of your heart?

Janice: Put on white noises on your phone or iPad. Babies love the sound. My little girl (three months old) will only settle with the vacuum white noise on. Try it. It definitely will settle him.

Jo: White noise worked for my little girl also. We brought the pram upstairs and used the carrycot part with a blanket underneath the base to keep her elevated a bit. She loved being so cosy and we were able to rock her to sleep in the pram – it was a godsend!

Mimicking Your Body

Helena: It might not be anything apart from comfort. My little one was the same. She just loved her comfort.

Sarra: Our three week old wasn’t great at settling after his feed so hubby read online that wrapping/swaddling him in a blanket helps them settle – and it’s been a Godsend!

Sinéad: I found warming her bed with a hot water bottle before I put her to bed for a nap or for the night worked. It helped because it was cozy and warm like mammy would be.

Pauline: I found that when you put the baby down after being on your chest, they missed your body heat. I got a hot water bottle and left it in his cot for a while to the spot where he would be sleeping before I put him down. It really helped me to get him in his own cot with no fuss. Obviously remove the hot water bottle once he’s in the cot.

Lynn: My little girl loves sleeping on my chest. I found putting something with my smell in her cot helped. As well as a hot water bottle on her mattress before putting her down.

Normal Behaviour

Melissa: This is normal infant behaviour. He is so small and new. You are all he knows and you therefore are his safe place where he knows he’ll be fine. Get yourself an ergonomic baby carrier or sling and keep him close.

Click here to see more advice on baby sleep issues.


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