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He still will not eat for longer that 5-8 minutes and only sleeps 10-40 minutes at a time

Hi, my 2 month old has pretty bad silent reflux. We have been prescribed zantac and it has improved. But, he still will not eat for longer that 5-8 minutes (will refuse the breast, if offered again) and sleep only 10-40 minutes at a time (have to keep resetteling - which is easy to do), its the constant waking up that is the problem (specially during day time, at nights it is beter, he will sleep for 2-3 hours) Can you help!

Answer: Hi, It sounds like you are doing it tough with your little one but you are doing a fantastic job; keep it up it does get better. Reflux babies are all different and they progress at their own rate, but it may help for you to know that sleeping and feeding issues like you describe are common in reflux babies. Sometimes too, they can have a lot of sleep issues during the day (difficulty settling, cat napping etc) but sleep better at night (this may be because they are simply exhausted, or perhaps because they reflux less at night). How long has he been on the zantac? It can sometimes take several weeks before you will notice a difference when medications are started. If you have given it some time and there has been little or no improvement, perhaps it is time for your doctor to review him and his medications. If weight gain is slow, it may be even more important to talk to your doctor about what is happening. It is also important your doctor is aware of the issues you are having. Have you tried feeding him in a more upright position? Do you hold him upright for 15 - 30 mins after a feed before settling to sleep? Keeping him upright for longer or sitting on the couch with him in your arms upright may encourage more sleep. Does he feed better at night when he is tired as opposed to during the day? Perhaps try a dark quiet room to feed him in during the day and see if that helps. Food sensitivities (most often cow’s milk protein sensitivity) can sometimes be an issue in reflux babies – and that can cause them pain and distress (and often vomiting too). This may be something you could discuss with your doctor. There are different ways of managing it, depending on whether you breast or bottle feed. Also you may want to keep in the back of your mind that if his body comes under stress for any reason i.e. teething can cause the reflux to flare for a few days so if things suddenly get worse he may be teething or be getting a cold, constipated or something similar. Please don’t hesitate to contact your doctor if you ever have any concerns. There are some management ideas on our website (at www.reflux.org.au) that you may find helpful as well. Best regards, Amber. RISA Inc.
Answered: 01 May 2009