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Medications, Routines and Teething

Medications

Zantac, Tagamet, Prevacid, Prilosec, and Mylanta are some prescriptions available to treat infant reflux. They are usually available for babies older than 6 weeks. Speak to your pediatrician regarding the differences and side effects of each. It may be a difficult choice to make and consider that if you are severely sleep deprived then so is your infant. If you choose to medicate, you must keep dosing in mind. It may take several weeks for medication to stabilize your infant. Monitor for dosing changes due to baby’s weight gain. This may sneak up on you as you watch your baby begin to spit up slightly more than usual, become fussy which may appear to be teething, chronic crying when you lay them flat and stop when you place them vertically. If you find yourself placing your baby in the stroller or car seat more frequently, then consider speaking to your pediatrician about a dose adjustment. Keep a record of dosing amount, date of dosing change, and baby’s weight. You may begin to see a pattern of dosing adjustment every few pounds or every 2-3 months. This knowledge will assist in preventing the severity of symptoms between dosing increases.

Treating acid reflux in infants
Gastroesophageal relux treatment

Establish Routine

Establish a solid routine. Your life is most likely unpredictable and dictated by your baby’s chronic crying or frequent awake state. If your infant started medication, it may take 2-3 weeks to see significant improvement. Once you have some of the symptoms stabilized you need to create a routine. Some mothers who experienced infant reflux shared that an establishment of a routine had the greatest positive impact on their family.

The benefit of a solid routine is that it will allow you to determine your baby’s needs better. You will also see certain patterns emerging, and that of course, reduce the chaos of your own life. There are several books to assist in behavior modification and routine setting, Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg being the gold standard. In addition, teaching your baby sign language or learning baby language will help discern a chronic crying infants needs.

Focus on feeding schedule first. On the first day, start at 7am, and go approximately every 3 hours (while breastfeeding or 4 hours with formula feeding.) Keep feeding even closer if you want to ensure that hunger is not an issue. End the day with a 7pm feeding no matter what time the last feeding occurred. Lessen the amount or duration accordingly. There is of course one late night feeding based on the baby’s needs. Repeat the next day using your “anchor feedings” to guide you. Track the schedule on paper since memory loss is associated with sleep deprivation and stress.

Nap schedule: This pattern may appear: eat ½ hour, alert 1/2-hr to 45 minutes following eating, then sleep and so on, throughout the day. For nap time, you may need significant wind down time, props, and monitoring of the baby’s cues compared to babies without reflux. You may be thinking about other new parents who are wandering the malls, eating at pizzerias, and laughing in the parks. You may not leave the house. Stay put until you are familiar with your infant’s routine. Extend feeding an hour as he/she grows. The feedings dictate the rest of the day’s routine. You will be at the mall and restaurants soon enough.

Teething

Speak to your pediatrician before using any over the counter products. You may be instructed to avoid orajel due to the possibility of your baby swallowing the product and numbing the throat. This may be a choking hazard in a baby that is vomiting frequently.

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Basics of baby schedules
Start and keep a routine for baby
Setting a routing
Teething infants and acid reflux