Dealing with a baby with Reflux is overwhelming for both parents, especially if it’s the first child in the family. You may be experiencing sleep deprivation, self-doubt, intermittent meal times, difficulty in getting ‘me time’, for both of you. Perhaps since the birth, the baby’s Mother will be feeling some degree of compulsion to have all things going well and even frustration at not being able to make baby completely comfortable and happy, all the time. The sensation a mother feels when her baby cries/screams for long periods of time is almost primal. The baby’s cry is tuned to stimulate the mother in many ways, physically and mentally. So when the crying is prolonged, it can be exhausting for the mother too.
The most important message is that You are not alone! But you have to reach out too.
Ask For Help – Recruit family, baby’s grandparents, extended family or trusted friends and neighbours. Include older siblings to help in ways appropriate or entertain your older children while you take rests or complete tasks. It’s important for you to have some time to regroup both physically and mentally. Even just 10 – 20 minutes of personal time and a shower can totally change your frame of mind.
Change of Scenery – If you feel completely overwhelmed just thinking about leaving the house; don’t panic, just take things on stage at a time. Consider a small trip, perhaps just a short walk or a visit to a local park or shop. Just far enough that you can get back if you are anxious or need to change you baby. Don’t worry that you will probably not be looking your absolute best or have managed to dress how you wanted. People understand that babies are sicky and cry a lot, so just smile at people when they look over at you.
Set expectations of yourself – Learning to manage day-to-day activities with a baby with Reflux can be very hard. Each day is different, and it’s important to set your goals realistically so that you can achieve some of them – even making and drinking a cup of tea (before it goes cold!) When you venture out, take the tools you need to keep things calm. Pack enough spare clothing, bibs and burp cloths!
Web Help –
It’s helpful to “talk” to others who are going through the same feelings and sometimes easy to grab 10 minutes online, than it is to actually go out and meet someone. We have a community called Little Refluxers
which concentrates on Infant reflux in the UK.