Symptoms

You need to take your baby to a doctor for a proper diagnosis if you think they may have gastric reflux.


SYMPTOMS MAY INCLUDE:

  • Chronic COUGHING.

  • SORE EARS or ear infections (Most of these are viral, but in those children that have other symptoms of reflux and frequently require antibiotics for these infections, they might be due to reflux also.)

  • May be DISTRESSED during or after FEEDING. ARCH their BACK in an attempt to relieve their pain or REFUSE to FEED. Others may COMFORT FEED (gorge constantly) and be unhappy unless feeding, and therefore have HUGE WEIGHT GAINS. Most gain weight well, but a few will FAIL to THRIVE (have a slow weight gain.)

  • GAGGING.

  • CAN BE HAPPY when DISTRACTED (making the parent feel like a fraud when their constantly upset baby smiles and babbles throughout the consultation with the doctor!)

  • Frequent Hiccups.

  • IRRITABILITY – may include SCREAMING, WHINGING, CRYING, FUSSINESS and will be inconsolable at times due to PAIN. Irritability is more common during or after feeding, or when laid down. Crying may start quite suddenly especially after hiccups and burps, or may be constant/almost constant. Parents and Health Professionals may suspect colic but the irritability does not follow a regular pattern such as colic does. A baby with reflux may have colic also, which confuses matters. If you consider your baby’s crying to be excessive seek medical help.

  • OVER-SENSITIVITY to NOISE due to tiredness.

  • Restlessness.

  • Some may hold their head to one side in an unusual position to ease their discomfort – SANDIFER SYNDROME is the term used to describe this.

  • May SLEEP LITTLE and be disturbed easily when sleeping. May WAKE FREQUENTLY at night but it is not uncommon for babies with reflux to sleep through the night due to exhaustion.

  • SPILLING or VOMITING (may be projectile, and may vomit through their nose). These may lessen as they sit up and increase when they crawl. May occur at any time including right up until the next feed.

  • DIFFICULTY SWALLOWING

  • Frequent UPPER RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS (coughs or runny noses) and/or frequent SORE THROATS. (All children have their fair share of these and most are viral, but in those children that have other symptoms of reflux and frequently require antibiotics for these infections, they might be due to reflux also.)

  • CHANGE in VOICE.

  • Chronic WHEEZING.


MEDICAL ADVICE AND HELP – More serious symptoms

If your baby has any of the symptoms on the list above in bold type please seek medical advice. Urgent medical help should be sought if any of the following occur in relation to gastric reflux:

  • Has difficulty BREATHING, is breathing faster than normal, stops breathing (apnoea), is grey or blue tinged in colour, is making grunting sounds when breathing, has decreased muscle tone (floppy) or decreased responsiveness.

  • Refuses to DRINK or drinks less than half of their normal fluid intake over a 24 hour day, has less than four wet nappies in 24 hours, or goes six hours without a wet nappy.

  • Has a HIGH TEMPERATURE (above 38.3°c, or if baby is under three months of age).

  • VOMITING is frequent and the baby fails to have four wet nappies in 24 hours or goes six hours without a wet nappy, becomes lethargic, difficult to rouse from sleep or if skin is mottled in colour. Vomit contains blood or coffee ground like material).

Always seek medical help if you are concerned about your child or yourself.


OTHER CLUES THAT GASTRIC REFLUX DISEASE MIGHT BE THE PROBLEM:

  • Many babies, especially very sleepy ones DO NOT SHOW any pain/discomfort until UP TO THREE MONTHS of age.

  • Reflux may be HEREDITARY (mother, father or siblings may have had/do have reflux).

  • About one third of infants with reflux will also have a MILK ALLERGY/intolerance.

  • Reflux is more common in PREMATURE babies.

  • The SEVERITY of SYMPTOMS may vary at different ages.

  • Symptoms may appear to WORSEN when the baby has a cold, virus, teething, infection, or allergies.

  • PARENTS MAY HAVE A GUT FEELING THAT THEIR CHILD IS IN PAIN, SO IF YOU ARE CONCERNED SEEK MEDICAL HELP.


REFERENCES:
V.I.S.A’s “When to especially seek medical advice”.
Treasures® Baby Book
Well Child, Tamariki Ora, Health Book
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS:
Rochelle Wilson (President of GRASP).

Written by Jennifer Howard (National Coordinator 2001 – 2013) and Roslyn Ballantyne (RN) (National Coordinator) for © Crying Over Spilt Milk Gastric Reflux Support Network New Zealand for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust 2004.

Page may be printed or reproduced for personal use of families, as long as copyright and Crying Over Spilt Milk’s URL are included. It may not be copied to other websites or publications without permission and acknowledgement.

  • A question on giving up dairy for relux please... Do you need to go 100% dairy free or does cutting back help? I drink ALOT of milk (ill go through nearly 4 litres a week, bit excessive). Can I still have milk in tea/a small amount of cheese etc, or do i need to go 100 % cold turkey? My daughter is 2.5 weeks old and is doing alot of regurgitating, back arching/night crying, has acid smelling breath, gets frequent hiccups, coughs and gags alot and cries every time I lay her down. Shall I book a GP visit ASAP? What is usually the first treatment they try? Many thanks :)

  • http://www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/new-baby-on-the-way-taking-probiotics/ - New story from one of our Kiwi Health, Pregnancy and Parenting Forum users. Nice to have positive stories.

    Well I thought I would update you all on our baby. She was born on 24th August, the day before her due date and on my birthday. I was taking 3 x 2 caps of Probiotics per day in the last month of pregnancy which can seem excessive, but as I can’t overdose on them and I only get one chance...

  • Are there any breastfeeding Mums out there? My little girl is about to turn 7mths and has finally been diagnosed with silent reflux (alot of people dismissed me when I suggested it months ago). We have started on Gaviscon sachets nearly 48hrs ago and she is much better especially at settling in the evening. She is usually OK at night so haven't given her the powder when she wakes at night yet. Any tips on how to use at night? I have been mixing it up and syringing it into her mouth. Packet says not to make up in advance but I wondered if I could for nighttime so I don't have to make it up when she wakes. Thanks

  • Anyone else dealing with older children with reflux would love to hear from you my Miss 11 year old seems to be having a relapse . So after nearly 4 years losec free in this household we have it back.

  • There have been some new posts - sorry I haven't had a chance to pop on over and answer. Can anyone share their experiences? Remember, no medical advice. :-)

  • As per my post yesterday, our membership form and newsletter archive for members is now available again. Please consider joining Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust for access to our Newsletters and Private Local and National Support Networks: http://www.reflux.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/grsnnz-membership-confidentiality-agreement-form/ Membership is free, and this gives you opportunities to discuss gastric reflux related issues with others in a safe and confidential setting. Thanks to one of our amazing webhosts http://www.webmad.co.nz/ for the smooth change-over.

    Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ for Parents of Infants & Children Charitable Trust Membership & Confidentiality Agreement Form / Newsletter Admin Page First Name Last name Email Street Address City/Town Area Postcode Do you live in NZ? Country and Area if not NZ Home Phone (include area code) Part…

  • The website our membership form is on and where are newsletters are archived is down for maintenance until late tomorrow evening - Monday at the latest. If you were wanting to complete a membership form, please do check back as we would love to meet you. I'll post an update when it is available again. www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz is available as usual although it the server it is on is changing tomorrow evening also - hopefully there will be no disruption.

    For infant and child gastric reflux support in New Zealand: Phone/Text 022 585 5935 Phone 0800 380 517 Contact GRSNNZ via email form GRSNNZ has brochures available which explain what Gastric Reflux is, a few simple tricks, the support GRSNNZ offers and our contact details. If you are Health...

  • A question please -my daughter has twin girls aged 3 weeks.They were premature born at 35 weeks 3 days.One of them is fine breastfed and sleep.However the other one grunts and groans,pulls her legs up and sometimes cries after each feed.She does not settle well at all.Could this be reflux or what.I know it's early days but my daughter is exhausted!!Any suggestions would be great.Thanks

  • I have a question for mothers who have tried feed thickner. Can constipation occur when using this? I have checked the karicare website but does not state any side effects.

  • I have removed the recent video to our page on how to give Losec mups that was shared by someone. These are not available in NZ.

  • Hi there, I just want to say how helpful your website is, it is jam packed full of useful info! Thank you for being here!!!!!

  • Wahoo, Ben Ataya

  • 2500 lol

  • My 10 week old son is in starship due to heart condition. His omeprizol has just been doubled to try and ease his discomfort with reflux. He is now on twice daily but a nurse said she had heard it was more effective given as a single dose? What are the advantages and disadvantages of a single dose? Sometimes the doctors listen to me and sometimes they dont so id need to have my facts straight if wanting them to change it. He has his omeproxol via ng and gaviscon mixed with pepti junior

  • 2,498...

    Almost at 2,500 likes to the Page. Please comment if you are the 2,500th so we can congratulate you. :-)

  • https://m.facebook.com/babysleepconsultantnz/photos/a.436969996364635.101637.434859906575644/809490012445963/?type=1&source=48&fs=1&ref=bookmark

  • Keep looking at the new posts to the page by others...on the left hand side...

  • My baby is 10weeks (5weeks corrected) and can not sleep on her back at all since this has her coughing and spluttering when not just straight up projectile vomiting. It seems to be worse now she is on thickened formula (alongside omaprozole) esp at night it's like she can't actually spit up the feed anymore (or multiple hours later) as its thicker and therefore she stays choking on it. Does anyone have any nighttime tips it scares me

  • Thank you New Zealand Post.