Baby Sleep Problems ... Reflux?
Does your baby spit up often after eating? Does your baby complain and pull off the nipple after drinking a small amount of milk? Is she taking a long time to feed? Does your baby cry when you put him flat, even when he is sleeping? If you answered YES to any of these questions, your baby may have INFANT REFLUX.
This is a condition where internal muscles in the stomach are relaxed, and don't contain a the feeding well. This can cause baby sleep problems. I often have parents call me and report that every time they put their baby down, she cries. For the first 12 weeks, this is a common disorder and creates a pattern of having to hold baby to go to sleep. Usually after 12 weeks of age when baby has more developed muscles, this condition improves. But, sometimes it continues into childhood.
You can help improve your baby's sleep and comfort by elevating the head end of the bassinet about 4 to 6 inches. This helps take pressure off the weak stomach muscles and seems to make baby more able to settle and sleep well.
When your baby is awake, you can also help improve this condition through exercise. Offer lots of movement opportunity, especially tummy time. This helps build your baby's core strength and helps reflux improve as well. So, be your baby's personal trainer! Help him lift his legs, roll from side to side, do bicycle motions, touch opposite hand to opposite foot, roll him over onto his tummy and let him move, move, move!
Another thing that can help improve reflux is offering daily infant probiotic drops. This can help balance the good bacteria in the intestinal tract. Research shows that after 2 weeks of treatment, 80% of babies improved with this natural remedy. Ask your pediatrician or health practitioner to
recommend a product to you or look at probiotics.
Some babies have severe cases of reflux and need special beds to sleep in during the first 6 months. Your doctor can help diagnose this problem, so if you think your baby needs sleep and isn't able to stay asleep for more than an hour or two, reflux may be the problem. Usually babies who cry more than 2 hours a day are likely in this category. There is help and a way to improve this condition.