Managing babies with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease can be extremely challenging, not least because these babies want to be carried and comforted because they are in pain. Babywearing is just one tactic in helping to manage both the baby, your own household and any other kids you might have running around. And it provides another option to help you get out of the house.
Give yourself rewards and take pride in even the smallest achievements (this includes managing to have a shower in a 24 hr period!) Get out of the house! The crying doesn’t seem so loud when you’re out of the house. Try to eat regular, healthy meals.
While dummy use is often controversial as they have known advantages and disadvantages, some infants with reflux seem to benefit from using a dummy. Dummy use is a personal choice and this may be one option you could consider. There is no evidence to suggest you should not use a dummy; however, you may like to discuss this option with your doctor or child health nurse.
Lifestyle changes can help reduce reflux, and an important strategy is that infants or children of any age completely avoid exposure to tobacco smoke. This includes addressing an older child’s exposure where possible.
Be aware of your child’s position in the seat as baby capsules and some car seats can cause pressure in the stomach area. Keep an eye on your infant or child over longer journeys to ensure correct positioning in the car seat.
Dealing with reflux can be very stressful, and many people think that they are being helpful by offering advice. Even though their suggestions may be helpful, the constant advice, and inferred criticism of your parenting, can make your journey all the more stressful. In addition to that, the advice may conflict with your beliefs or the advice you have already been given e.g. someone will tell you that you should not nurse a baby to sleep as it ‘will create a rod for your back’, while someone else will tell you that you should. As a result, it can leave you feeling very confused, inadequate, frustrated and resentful.
Always follow the SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping recommendations for positioning your infant for sleep. These suggestions are to help them sleep safely and reduce the risk of sudden infant death.
Tummy time is important for all infants as it contributes to their motor development and reduces the risk of infants developing flat spots on their head. Tummy time should be started soon after birth; schedule as many tummy time sessions as possible each day, before feeds and while your infant is awake and alert.