Reflux is not just a spilly baby. Reflux is… Awareness Week 2021

A post by GRSNNZ member Shannon in our private support group. 

Every night when I’m feeding my 4mo (2nd child with reflux) and reflecting on the day, I keep thinking how people with children without reflux, just don’t get what it really is. So I mentally write a list in my head about what it really is. Tonight I wrote them down… some light hearted, some not so much… Feel free to add any of your own, I’d be interested to know if others feel the same

Spilly Baby Canva

Reflux is not just a spilly baby. Reflux is… 

  • Hearing a burp and jumping to find a spill cloth.
  • Rubbing in spew with your foot into the carpet and keep on walking… Don’t even get me started about the couch.
  • Wiping your baby’s projectile spew off a stranger’s dress at a wedding while apologising profusely.
  • Changing your baby’s outfit, and yours, three times before getting out in the morning
  • Always having spare sleep sacks, onesies and sheets for over the night handy
  • Watching your child scream and cry and trying to work out what’s wrong with them
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Scrolling through your phone at 3:53 am trying to work out the root cause
  • Eliminating dairy from your diet
  • Eliminating gluten from your diet
  • Eliminating caffeine, alcohol, apples, acidic foods, from your diet
  • When people ask if your diet has helped the spilling, you don’t know but you do it anyway, out of fear of making it any worse.
  • It’s realising you’re eating fresh air so Reintroducing foods into your diet
  • Trying osteo, chiropractor, Raiding the health food store. Trying slippery elm, Rhuger, probiotics, Gaviscon, Losec…
  • Taking advice from strangers “have you tried (insert already tried and failed “solution”)…?”
  • Being up every hour and a half over the day AND night
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Seeing a hospital paediatrician and being told there’s nothing they can do for my “refluxy, colicky baby” … “she’ll grow out of it.” Feeling devastated is an understatement.
  • Many tears. From mum and baby.
  • Being told “Oh yes my baby was spilly too, they just grew out of it at 12 weeks”
  • Trying goats milk formula, soy formula
  • Wondering if you should just give up breastfeeding, even though you’ve been told breast is best.
  • Taking spill cloths and bibs with you. Everywhere.
  • .. So. Much. Washing.

From other members…

  • Finding friends where you feel comfortable at their house and sharing baby toys with because their carpet looks just like yours.
  • When people ask to hold my baby I say “Sure at your own risk!”, that way when he spews all over them I don’t feel so bad.
  • Finding other people who get it. I’ve had a couple say “I had a reflux baby, are you ok?” You can tell by the way they look at you they get it, it’s so reassuring.

© Shannon, other members and Crying Over Spilt Milk Gastric Reflux Support Network New Zealand May 2021.