“There’s nothing worse than having twins with GERD.” That’s what our gastroenterologist said to me at our first visit. Thanks for the encouragement doc.
Kaitlyn and Ava were diagnosed with GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) in January. Here’s the tale of our journey of colicky nights, incessant crying, plus tips to survive. Six months later our turbulent journey has leveled out, but our girls continue to take their meds. If we accidently run out of meds, it’ll be a sad next 12 hours. Here’s our story.
3 Weeks Old. At 3 weeks, Ava started displaying signs of tummy trouble after meals. A week later, Kaitlyn followed. Ava started projectile vomiting. Both girls threw up, not spit up, I’m talking 3 to 4 ounces of milk, during and after every feeding. We’d feed them a bottle and have to re-feed them 30 minutes later. Kaitlyn even vomited while nursing. It was very discouraging. Our family doc placed them on Zantac and switched their formula to Alimentum, and said call her in a week.
- Meds: Zantac twice a day, simethicone drops before every feeding.
- Milk: Breast milk, Neosure (for preemies)
- Tips: Feed upright, short frequent feedings, frequent burping, hold upright for 20 minutes after eating
1 Month Old: A week of Zantac was useless, so our doc switched to Prevacid, but the crying continued. Ava would cry consistently from 1 pm to 8 pm. She began crying half way between a feeding, cried for the next 2 hours, drifted off to sleep for 30 minutes, and we repeated the cycle. It was torture for all of us, so our doc referred us to a GI.
- Meds: Prevacid twice a day, simethicone drops before feeding, gripe water
- Milk: Breast milk, Similac Alimentum
- Apply a home made heating pad to baby’s stomach. Microwave a wet burp cloth for 30 seconds. Place in ziploc bag wrapped with a dry burp cloth. Place heating pad on your belly and hug baby to you so you’ll be able to monitor the heat.
- Adjust the crib to an incline by placing books under one end of the mattress. A wedge wasn’t enough incline for us.
2 Months Old: After after a month wait for an appointment, our GI had us add 1 tbs. of rice for every ounce of milk The formula was so thick, we had to cut bigger holes in the nipples. The strategy was less milk with more calories in effort to keep the formula down. It didn’t matter what type of formula we were using, he said the problem was a mechanical one. Their preemie underdeveloped tummies couldn’t keep it down, plus the acid was burning. The girls would projectile vomit at the slightest incline or pressure on their belly. Ava would vomit 1 to 2 hours into her sleep, so we couldn’t let them sleep unattended. Several times I believe we saved her from drowning in her own vomit. It was scary. The GI told us to avoid laying them flat at all times. This meant feeding them sitting up, sleeping at an incline, changing diapers at an incline. He was right. If we laid the girls down, within a minute they would vomit. This treatment alleviated their symptoms slightly, yet in a few weeks, we were back to 6 to 8 hours of crying a day. Every time they cried incessantly during the day, I thanked the Lord it wasn’t at night.
- Meds: Prevacid 2/day, simethicone drops before feeding, gripe water
- Milk: Breast milk, Similac Sensitive
- Add 1 tablespoon of rice to 1 ounce of formula. Cut holes in nipples to allow milk to flow.
- Never let the baby lay flat. Use a wedge to incline your baby’s changing pad. Use an adjustable swing to elevate it a a steeper incline.
- Let the baby sleep in a Rock N Roll. Our best purchase, it elevated the girls more than a wedge, and is safe enough to allow your baby be left unattended. It significantly reduced the vomiting.
- Special bottles did not help, save your money.