For new and returning parents alike, night time can be the loneliest and yet the most chaotic portion of each day.
It's when the condition known as "Silent Reflux" really turns up the volume and disrupts any chance of meaningful sleep.
As described in the article "How Reflux Presents" by the Reflux Infants Support Association:
"...Children with reflux do not necessarily vomit – this is commonly called silent reflux. Remember, all that cries isn’t reflux and it can be dangerous to assume it is..."
and "...Some babies reflux without it coming out of their mouths (termed silent reflux, although the term ‘silent reflux’ can be confusing, because silence is generally not one of the signs they exhibit).
It can present itself as painful night noises and symptoms, such as:
These symptoms can be signs of different conditions as well, so it may be hard to get a solid diagnosis from your doc. They may say to stick it out and it will pass, or might prescribe a medication to see if it helps. Likely they'll look at the same factors as regular reflux (weight gain, feeding behaviors, etc.) to help guide the course of action.
So, what's a parent to do?
This concerned parent asked Dr. Sear's online: My 5-week-old baby makes crying and grunting noises while asleep. He has reflux and is on Prilosec. Could that be the cause? Also, it seems like he isn't sleeping very deeply. Could this be a problem?
The site answered expanding on three principles as follows (click here to read the full response)
1. Lessening the secretion of stomach acids (which is why your baby is on an anti-reflux medicine)
2. Letting gravity help to keep the milk down better
3. And getting the milk to empty from the stomach faster
Speak up for yourself and your child
For more, check out Hannah's video blog Silent Reflux: Diagnosis and Treatment. I saw this about 6 months ago and really helped me understand silent reflux from the parent's perspective.
The reflux in my house was as loud and prominent and as it could be, spit up was in no short supply, leaving no doubt what was going on. As I understand it, dealing with silent reflux can be quite distressing simply due to the uncertainty and inconsistency.
Hang in there and don't give up until you and your doc figure out how to help your wee one. In the meantime, check out our sleep articles and night-waking tips to help you keep you together during this time.
Spit Up Support Blog
Yea, I went there. Nearly half of all babies spit up, regularly. Some more, some less, and for many it's just plain scary.
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