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:

  • 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.


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.

  • There are two new posts to the page if anyone would like to help by sharing their experiences.

  • Hi There I am looking for support for a toddler with reflux. She had terrible silent reflux as a baby and then we thought she had grown out of it by 1ish. Then she has been rediagnosed with it age 2 years one month - after countless ENT problems (She has grommets and has had her tonsils and adenoids removed) and constant constipation. The medication is starting to kick in but she is so upset and so angry all the time (also partly because she is a toddler). Any tips people have to soothe her and help her not be afraid of sleeping/ lying down much appreciated, We are also considering reintroducing her dummy as it worked so well last time, but are conflicted about wether it is a terrible idea or not.Thanks

  • For those dealing with a silent refluxer, what are the symptoms you've noticed? We've been treating my 9 month old for this but never had much success which makes me second guess if that's what the problem is :/ she wakes within an hour of going down at night (if we get her down!), won't settle until around midnight, sleep during the day is never guaranteed and now since starting solids she wakes very frequently dumb the night with what looks like either sore tummy or wind pain. Sound like anyone else's baby?

  • A reminder please when you are replying to messages.

    Please do not give advice on dosages, advise families to give medications in two dosages when they were told to give them once daily by the prescriber or vice versa, or give direct advice on medications, formulas etc.

    It is perfectly fine to share your experiences as long as you do not discuss dosages of medications or mention health professionals etc.

    We love you chatting and supporting each other so please continue to do this, but keep it safe and non-medical.

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ wrote a new note: POPULAR PAGES.

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ wrote a new note: GASTRIC REFLUX SUPPORT NETWORK NZ - FACEBOOK PAGE GUIDELINES.

  • Hi Team. My now 3month old has been on Losec for quite sometime now and we had a different chemist make up the liquid and it looked different to out usual dose. Well he now seems like he is back to that child he was before we started on it. I have been back to the old chemist to get it better batch...how long will it take to kick back in,if it has gone out of his system? Cheers. Very exhausted mum

  • Emma has asked a question.

  • Can anyone help us? We have an almost 8 month old she's on Pepti jr, omeprazole and gaviscon. The last 2 weeks have been not very fun for us. She goes off to sleep nicely at 6.30-7 then ban at 9.30-10 inconsolable crying. Her reflux through the day is also much worse. We give losec in the morning and gaviscon with her bottle before bed but not at other feeds because it made her constipated. She's not interested in crawling and rolling anymore because she gets a lot of acid coming up and just wants to stand all the time. She is on a variety of solids is there anything I shouldn't give her because it makes reflux worse? We thought about taking out citrus peaches and apricots?? Too make everything so much more fun she is teething just got her first tooth yesterday ... Any advice much appreciated we would just like some sleep :-(

  • We have a question from Sara now too.

  • Hi there! Im just wondering if anyone has gone down the line of bubs having to have an endoscopy and pH probe study because of reflux lasting too long? My bubs is 15 months and still on high doses of reflux meds and she gets so bad when we try to wean them down. Her Paediatrician has referred us for an Endoscopy +/- pH probe. Has anyone had this? If so, what was the outcome and did it even change their management? Thanks!

  • Hi everyone, Brylee has asked a question. Have a look at the posts to the page. Thanks for sharing your experiences in advance.

  • i keep getting an error message when trying to register?

  • Has anyone else had a major setback with reflux after their little one starts moving? I am feeling so emotionally drained and thought it was supposed to get better, he's now nearly one and we are back to square one

  • I've just hit SEND on the newsletter so if you are a member, you should receive it over the next 24 hours. I'm using MailChimp for the first time, so it will look a little different.
    If you aren't a member and would like to receive newsletters or join our local support groups, please complete a membership form: http://www.reflux.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/grsnnz-membership-confidentiality-agreement-form/
    Membership is free. It has been great to see two to three new members every day since I fixed the form! :-)

    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 Auckland Bay of Plenty Canterbury Gisborne Hawkes Bay Marlborough Nelson Otago...

  • I've just discovered our membership form hasn't been working due to some unknown glitch and I've spent the last few hours getting it working again. I suspect this has been like this for a fortnight. So sorry anyone who has been trying to join. Remember membership is free and you can join in confidential chats with those in your local area.
    http://www.reflux.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz/grsnnz-membership-confidentiality-agreement-form/

    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 Auckland Bay of Plenty Canterbury Gisborne Hawkes Bay Marlborough Nelson Otago...

  • Another Post created on our website from the Tips on Coping thread from National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week. Thank you so much to those who contributed. I might just try and add this into the Help! Menu as well.

    The following is created from a thread during National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week on our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/nationalinfantandchildgastricrefluxawarenessweek There were 38 comments with advice or tips on how parents coped with infants or children...

  • Story 2 from National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week transferred to our website for safekeeping. :-)

    Daughter number 3 was born in 2000, weighed 8lb, 6oz and fed well, but we escaped the maternity home earlier than with number 2 as she just wouldn’t settle at night easily. At eight days old, my husband found her grey and limp, but breathing. She went on to have prolonged apnoeas (cessation of...

  • National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week logo profile photos - The week finished 6th June. There are still a few people we've noticed with the logo as their profile picture. Can you please remove this now?

    Many thanks, for your support.

  • Thank you everyone who contributed to this. I think it will help others know that they are not alone in what they feel and experience. I also think it might be a great resource for health professionals.

    The following is created from a thread during National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week on our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/nationalinfantandchildgastricrefluxawarenessweek It included words or short phrases that had something to do with what gastric reflux meant...

  • Who has seen National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week Posters in waiting rooms, reception areas, play centres, consult rooms or anywhere else?

    There was quite a number posted or delivered around NZ so we would love to hear if you spotted one.

    This is the printed A4 glossy poster that has our phone number and website address at the bottom - not the digital graphic. Draft preview here:

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ shared their photo.

    Thank you so much to everyone that supported the Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ and promoted National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week by taking up the Challenge and using the logo as your PROFILE PICTURE on your PERSONAL PAGE.

    It was wonderful to see so many people doing this and I did lots of double-takes when visiting some pages as there were so many orange PROFILE PICTURES.

    I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to next year and am already making plans. Hopefully, many of you will no longer be dealing with Infant Gastric Reflux, but feel free to come back between 31st May to 6th June and give others some hope that they will get through this difficult time. Put it in your diaries. :-)

    Best wishes for the year ahead,
    Roslyn Ballantyne, National Coordinator, Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ, National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week 2015!

    (Please note the National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week logo is copyright and may only be used with permission from GRSNNZ. It may be shared using the Facebook Share Function.)

    A Challenge to you ALL except we ask that you only do this on your Personal Profiles i.e. NO PAGES or GROUPS. National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week starts tomorrow and continues until 6th June. During this time GRSNNZ would love you to create Awareness by using this logo as your profile picture. Once you have set it as a profile picture please add a comment to the picture on your page and put the link to this Facebook Page and our Website: https://www.facebook.com/cryingoverspiltmilk and www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz so others can find out more. (Please note the National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week logo is copyright and may only be used with permission from GRSNNZ. Permission is granted as above for the use of Personal Profile Pictures only. It may also be shared using the Facebook Share Function.) Example in the comment soon. Many thanks. GRSNNZ Committee.

  • I'm slowly copying over the Awareness Week happenings to the Crying Over Spilt Milk website so we don't lose them. You will also find some of last year's publicity and stories there. Here is Day 1.

    My first child definitely had very few, if no signs of gastric reflux. I can’t even remember her spilling much – mind you, she is 22 years old. Three years later we had another daughter, born 13 days late, who decided she should then enter the world in a rush. She became unsettled at about two...

  • Hi.

    Just wondering people's opinion or feedback on how they get their baby to sleep?
    My GP wants me to let my 5 month old 'cry it out' but I just don't think it's the best idea for him. At Present we feed him to sleep.

    Thanks

  • Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ shared Mum 2 Mum's photo.

    Just sharing this back to our timeline again as this was a perfect way to promote National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week.

    The logo and Awareness Week is not used to sell a product or promote the business.

    It links back to our website and Facebook page so that users can identify that the logo belongs to the Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ ,and seek support and information.

    Top points Mum 2 Mum.

    Today marks the first day of "National Infant and Child Gastric Reflux Awareness Week" - here at Mum 2 Mum we are not strangers to refluxy and spilly babies and we we know how hard it can be as parents some times. If you have any concerns about your infant or child's health or think they may be suffering from Gastric Reflux, please contact a healthcare professional - if you wish to learn more (from symptoms to real experiences), please take a look at the national gastric reflux support website: www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz or check out Gastric Reflux Support Network NZ :)