Reflux and daytime sleep - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 4 Old 10-11-2007, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone!

My 4 month old has pretty severe reflux, which now seems to have messed up any kind of natural rhythm for him. I can basically find 2 consistent points in his day: he wakes up somewhere between 7 and 8 am, and goes to sleep "for the night" (Usually with one feeding around 4 am) at 11pm. Everything between that is hit or miss, and while I think that there's no such things as an enforced schedule, I think it would be better for him if he had some more predictable sleeping moments in the day? As in: he'll go for a longer stretch of sleep one time in the morning, and one time in the afternoon, or whatever his needs are. Right now it's 10 minutes sleep here, often wake up screaming because of the reflux, no matter the position or place where he is, sometimes some longer sleep there, often while we're in the car, and the occasional long afternoon nap. But most days it's just the 10 minutes here and there, usually in my or daddy's arms. Keeping him upright in a wrap or sling doesn't really seem to help him unfortunately.
Because of this non-rhythm, I'm also unable to set any kind of naptime routine or anything the like. He usually falls asleep at the breast, rarely in daddy's arms.

Does anyone have some general pointers or ideas on what to do to help him get some better sleep during the day? Or am I having skewed expectations here?

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#2 of 4 Old 10-15-2007, 07:51 PM
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I'm sorry your ds has reflux. I'm glad to hear he is sleeping pretty well at night. Any way you can recreate the environment during the day? My refluxer never had any schedule - day or night -so I really don't have much to suggest. She absolutely hated being worn, but many times strolling her : did the trick. Maybe if he were in something mobile you could "catch" when he is starting to wake and soothe him back out?

Good luck, I never did figure it out! And she's a bright, spunky, happy little girl who has never had a routine thanks to reflux, so try not to worry too much about it!
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#3 of 4 Old 10-15-2007, 09:54 PM
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Well, nap patterns are just forming at that age...but 10 minutes in is not a nap.
So you didn't mention how the reflux is being treated. If he is in pain the treatment isn't adequate. This website talks about appropriate PPI dosing with children. The doses are often not adequate. Kids metabolize the medicines faster so they need frequent (often three times a day) doses in higher amounts. Zegerid really helped my son.
Another thing that really helped was sleeping on an incline. We used a tucker sling for that. He no longer needs medication but still sleeps on an incline (though of course doesn't need a sling at this age). I know you are trying for the incline; the sling and wrap could possibly aggravate reflux if the tummy is scrunched.
I'd focus on getting his pain under control first. I'd also see if he likes swaddling maybe (miracle blankets are great). Then if he is still not sleeping well think about sleep habits and helping him sleep when his body is ready (for many kids that age that is a morning nap around 9 give or take an hour...expose him to daylight when he first wakes up for the morning; watch for the very beginning signs he's getting tired like not making as much eye contact or engaging as much not the fussy tired stage; help him learn to fall asleep on his own; make a dark room environment for naps; etc. the afternoon naps are more irregular at the young ages; his bedtime is late imo...which is probably just because he is so over-tired anyway I know) If he is not getting enough sleep for his age at night it can make naps very difficult...a rested baby naps better.
I hope something here helps. Sounds to me like your son needs medication.

Rachelle, mommy to 8 year old boys! 

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#4 of 4 Old 10-15-2007, 11:59 PM
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My now almost 4 year old son had pretty severe silent reflux from after his early surgery onward (before that he never ate!). He has always been well medicated for the pain, but the physical refluxing has always disturbed his sleep anyway. As a baby he never really settled well into long naps, so he would take a lot of short catnaps throughout the day. One favourite position for napping, and for early night sleeping was prone lying up against us when were were lying at an incline of 30-45 degrees. For him what helped immensely was to instigate a really early bedtime, like around 6, so that he had a very long night sleep where he could really get some good deep sleep. He would wake refluxing and nurse, still does wake at night, but still he'd have a really long good deep sleep between the wakings. With that in place, he could cope better with the catnap schedule. Eventually he settled into having two naps a day and then one, as many older babies and toddlers do, but his daytime naps were always short ones.

Another thought: ds has always had problems burping, so our routine has always been to dance him to sleep (hold him vertically upright against our bodies and dance with him to music, applying gentle pressure to the tummy so all the gas comes out but no liquid with it, since he's vertical). This helps him to sleep much better. And at many stages we would have to get up with him at night and do it again, sometimes repeatedly -- I think he swallows air when he refluxes, in swallowing it back down, then does not want to release to burp -- or can't -- again because of the reflux. Even now I go in and sometimes he wants to sleep on his tummy on my tummy on an incline, and an amazing amount of gas comes out... We don't have him sleeping on an incline because it seems to be a really HIGH incline that he needs, but now that he's bigger he has several pillows in the bed so he or we can set up a high incline if needed. Often he just prefers to lie flat though. Lying partly curled up on his side also seems to help.

That was kind of rambling but I hope there are some helpful ideas of things to try.

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