Sunday, May 29, 2011

Night Life

It is almost 2 am, and I'm awake in hopes that sitting up with my son will help at least one of us sleep better. We have been navigating the challenging and exhausting journey of infant reflux. It is a journey I wish no one had to take, but one that I'm finding is actually quite common. One source says as many as one in five infants suffer with gastroesophageal reflux.

If you've read my profile, you know I have eight children. Nighttime parenting and fussy babies are not new. Coping with reflux to this degree is. I am having to make some major changes to my well-practiced methods, starting with the family bed. Babies with reflux don't do well laying down after feeding. It can cause problems for babies, like ear infections, sinus infections, congestion, difficulty breathing, and just plain misery.

Refluxing babies don't sleep well, so mama and baby both suffer from sleep deprivation. For babies who are already fussy, it just makes life harder. For their mamas, it can next to impossible. I've told my family that I'm working the "night shift" so I will be sleeping during the day. And, we're all learning a whole new level of flexibility.

The most helpful website I've found has been It has been, quite literally, a life line in this crazy ocean of spit up, tears, and agony. If you are struggling to meet the needs of a baby with reflux, or GER/GERD, do yourself a favor and check out this website. You will be greatly blessed.

My son is sleeping peacefully in my arms, breathing easily with no signs of the distress that has interrupted our sleep so many times. It has been an hour since he ate, and I'm going back to bed. If you are reading this as you deal with a reflux baby, I hope you are encouraged and don't feel alone. Check out the Pollywog site. You'll be glad you did. And hang in there. This will get better; I'm sure it will!