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A Grandmother holding hands with a baby

I am the grandma to my two and a half year old granddaughter. She was diagnosed with acid reflux in the first few months of her life. Firstly, I suggest that the term “acid reflux” be changed to something else that would more accurately describe the seriousness of this condition. It is not merely a “heartburn” or “colic” situation that causes intermittent discomfort. This condition affects the infant, the parents and the immediate support system in a dramatic way. Hopefully, the diagnosis would come quickly so that the full-range plan could be put in place.

My role, as grandmother, was to help my daughter and son-in-law as much as possible so that they could help their new daughter. However, all the things that one does to help new parents have to be sustained for a much longer time when there is an infant with acid reflux. This condition can last for months. There is much to learn about pediatric reflux. I urge anyone raising an infant with acid reflux to reach out for help and information.

Lastly, I want to underscore an aspect of infant acid reflux that I found to be profoundly challenging – sleep deprivation. Not only is the baby experiencing sleep deprivation, but the parents are as well. Because this condition can last for many months, the lack of sleep, severe in many cases, can continue for a long time. Judgment can be compromised; decision making cloudy; patience severely lacking. Be aware and take it seriously.