We wanted to tell you about a wonderful article drawn to our attention by one of our lovely RISA members, titled My Baby Cries Too by Tracy Cassels from Evolutionary Parenting, a parenting website out of the US. We’ve linked to this article with permission of the writer and would encourage you to browse this excellent site if you get a chance.
This article should probably be titled ‘Reflux and Lack of Sleep’, as many refluxers experience both day and night time sleeping problems. Indeed lack of sleep is one of the main causes of distress for parents of refluxers and can put immense strain on your relationship with your child, partner, family and friends. It is helpful to start by clarifying what is ‘normal’ sleep behaviour and I use that term quite loosely, as every child is very different.
While reflux is a common issue for babies and children of all ages, we need to be careful of reflux being the catchall diagnosis for a crying baby. Even though there are a lot of different symptoms of reflux (see “How Reflux Presents”) and in some cases it can be difficult to diagnose, it is important for us to keep in mind that reflux is not the only possibility and it isn’t always to blame. If your baby or child is distressed or unwell, or reflux treatments don’t seem to be effective, it is important not to jump to conclusions, as hard as that may be. Even if your child does suffer from reflux, it may not always be the culprit.
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.
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.