At around the age of 4 weeks it became apparent to us that something was going on with Baby B which was causing her some major upset. She was repeatedly pulling away from her bottle and would have sudden episodes where it looked like she was choking and panicked at any moment. Thankfully I at least had an inkling of what this was.
The wonderful joy of silent reflux.
Unlike normal reflux this usually doesn’t involve the baby actually being sick – oh no, that would have been a blessing in comparison. Instead, Baby B was effectively bringing up stomach acid into her throat and trying to swallow it back down at the same time. The only indication she was doing this was the panicked look on her face and sudden thrashing of her arms. This was also always followed by a scream of pain which I can hardly blame her for, I imagine it was making her throat very sore!
We struggled to get her to stay asleep with this as well. Laying her down flat on her back frequently induced one of these episodes so we raised one end of her moses basket with a pillow underneath. This helped somewhat but we still were not getting any sleep as we couldn’t keep her down for more than about 30 minutes at a time, so off to the doctor we went.
I had (yet another) bad experience as a new parent here. Our GP implied that we were just moaning because she’s a baby and babies cry, so I had to actually be forceful and tell him what I thought was wrong before he would really talk to us. And then he Googled it! Right in front of us! Needless to say, any faith I may have had in him then flew out of the window. Following his Google search he advised of a thickening powder for her milk which we could purchase over the counter so we thought we might as well give it a go.
Carobel – somewhat helpful. Even though we were mixing it up way below the recommendations on the box we struggled with wastage of the bottles as the milk would become too thick for the teats very quickly. This might have been due to them being specialised teats with slightly smaller holes but was very frustrating as it meant that half of my precious expressed milk was being poured down the drain.
Once we hit the 7-8 week mark Baby B seemed to be coping a lot better with the silent reflux so we stopped using the Carobel. She does occasionally have an attack of the silent reflux still but appears to have mostly outgrown it and is doing much better. One of the few triggers I have found now that we have hit weaning are the sips of water she has throughout her meals. We’re hoping she outgrows this soon too so she can move forward and we can all have a much more settled day!