Reflux baby doing well during the day, but night is a problem!

Reflux baby doing well during the day, but night is a problem!

Our little one has silent reflux and cmpi. She is on ranitidine, omeprazole and neocate and whilst she is so much better than she was & is much calmer during the day, she is still very uncomfortable at night. Either coughing / lots of mucus, and / or tummy ache / wind.

Good question! Day and night are very different places for a baby and it’s not always obvious to us adults as we are used to it!

During the day distractions occupy a baby. They can follow you around the room and their senses are triggered by noises, smells, sights and the routine of feeding/drinking and regular medication and more upright or inclined daytime positioning. At night, things are very different and a baby may struggle more; for several reasons:

  • In general terms, the house is quiet and dark and babies can sense a feeling of insecurity. Sometimes a baby will cry for a reassuring cuddle and a little feed. As baby grows they will learn the difference between a daytime nap and a night time sleep and things like day follows night.
  • Having said that, with a reflux baby, you have to take all this into account aswell as coping with the effects of reflux, congestion, discomfort/wind etc.
  • Medication is the next consideration. Usually medication is given over the day and before bedtime and expected to last throughout the sleeping period. Sometimes this doesn’t work out and the medication doesn’t quite last as long as you need to help baby to stay settled. Sometimes moving the medication a little later towards bedtime can help it last over the night time sleeping hours. All medications have a peak time, and its getting that peak time to work for your baby while they sleep.
  • As your baby grows, their medication levels will need to be re-measured. If your baby is gaining weight quickly, after a slow start, they may need to have her meds reviewed already. This may account for it not working as well as it was.
  • Sleeping in an elevated position is also very important at night. It helps to control the movement of fluids up and down the oesophagus. An 18 degree elevation should be enough and this can be achieved either with bed blocks or a cot wedge. Positioning is key to improving bedtime sleeping.

A young baby takes a while to learn the difference between a nap during the day and a full sleep at night.

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