October 18, 2012

5 Weeks Old: Reflux, Rashes & Gas

Today is our anniversary. Four whole years. I will blog alllll about it - tomorrow.

Today we talk about:
acid reflux, gas, and diaper rashes.

what a great title for a foodie blog, no?

Because that just about sums it up for Edu and I as parents right now. Our baby boy is 5 weeks old today, and we're in awe of how fast he is growing. Our hearts are filled when we see his big eyes stare back at us, we giggle and coo at his milk-drunk faces post breastfeeding, and a strange, baby-talking side of each of us has become the norm. I've never heard a 32 year old man come up with so many cute, goofy baby words, I've never seen him smile so big, or worry so much in our life together.

On acid reflux: Santi has recently been fussy during his feedings. I remember touching on this very briefly in some breastfeeding post - but I thought it was completely normal. I read about my milk supply being decreased at nighttime (normal for many ladies) and this can cause baby to fuss. I read about over supply and strong letdown, which I gave myself a self-diagnosis of since I constantly found him getting squirt in the eye, choking in the beginning of a meal, and crazy engorgement on the girls side of things. He also slept so. much. better. at an incline in his Rock n' Play, and slept pretty poorly flat on his back in the bassinet attachment on his Pack n' Play. Hint hint? Uncomfortable on his back? And, oddly, he hadn't spit up at all for many weeks after birth, although I was completely expecting him to since I read about how the little flap (how medically professional of me!) that covers up their tummy and keeps stomach acid in there, preventing it from coming back up the esophagus, isn't 100% developed yet. Google searching told me that spitting up can start early and go on for a year or more, and Santi just wasn't doing that. & most babies with reflux do spit up, but today I read that many will scream and cry as the acid burns them, then they proceed to swallow before it makes them throw up. My mom, being the rockstar grandma and mom that she is, told me to talk to his pediatrician, but I'm stubborn so I didn't - which caused her to do it herself. From his doctor, and her nurse, we were given an un-official diagnosis of acid reflux for baby Santiago. We were given a little handout, as well as the following tips:
  • feed him sitting up, switch positions so the tummy acid has to work at coming back up. No more cradle-hold while feeding
  • raise the legs on his pack n' play so he always sleeps at an incline
  • work hard at getting him to burp after each feed
  • try for smaller, shorter feeds so his tummy isn't overly full, causing some milk to escape
I also was given wonderful advice from a friends whose baby boy struggled with reflux as an infant, she recommended Gripe water, which worked for her babe. So Edu and I are going to look into that, as well as continue to pray for Santiago. It seems to be getting worse, where some feedings he'll arch his back pretty violently and scream like we've never heard him scream before.  It breaks us to see him in so much pain, and I hope that the peaceful meals are enough to prevent him from associating all breastfeeding with pain. I read about babies that, because of their reflux issues, stop asking for milk since they recall how it burns their esophagus - praying this doesn't happen! The good thing, the blessing, is that Santi does have some really successful, reflux free meals - so it's not always painful for him!

On Baby Gas: oh goodness me, poor peanut! Seriously I feel like I only have myself to blame for this one. The pink-faced, legs-tensed-up, let-out-a-helpless-cry toots and poops our baby is experiencing. I know it's my diet, because the internet told me that baby's intestines are still toughening up (the walls that break down foods, I think...) so breaking down the nutrients in broccoli - that I assume he receives through my milk - isn't an easy task. At first we found it kinda funny, "our gassy boy," we'd call him sweetly, as he let them fly innocently. But recently we have noticed that it causes him a lot of discomfort, to the point of crying and pushing with all his might. It's also been more frequent (at least this morning it was) and I can't help but feel sorry for him, 'cause the child doesn't have a clue as to what's going on. Praise God for other people's experiences, though, 'cause I've found a lot of helpful tips on this, via internet.
  • bicycle legs: lie baby on their back (I incline Santi on a pillow or my legs) and hold their feet as you, well, bend their legs as if they're riding a bicycle. this works wonders! He even fell asleep as I did it the other night after a feeding -so much relief!
  • Lie him sideways across your legs and gentle rub his back: puts slight pressure on tummy to push out gas bubbles - Santi isn't really a fan of this but enjoys the tummy time in this position! I still try it each time he is fussy, it's good to try out all your options when baby is crying, since they can't use their words & we have no idea what's really bothering them at the time.
I'm not going to change what I eat, because I really don't think that, at this moment, eliminating one or two foods will help him. All vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds can cause gas - it's called fiiiber! So we'll just continue to comfort him during rough tooting-hours and keep up with the bicycle legs!

On diaper rash: Poor Santiago! Not only did he have one of his worse reflux days this past week, but that same day he also had the worse diaper rash known to man that same day. This means that eating and going t the bathroom hurt him - not an ideal way to live! I'm positive that if he could talk he would have screamed on top of his lungs to put him back in the womb so he'd never have to eat or poop again! Nothing like having zero escape options, huh? It's not as if he can decide whether or not he wants to eat or poop - he has to to live, meaning pain is inevitable. The good part of this struggle? We could fix it with a few minor adjustments.
  • apply a cup of diaper cream to his bottom
  • stop the disposable diaper liners that "catch" poo in his Bum Genius diapers and then rub against him until we change his diaper
  • change diapers often
  • give him kisses
After just a day or so of these things - his rash is almost 100% gone, and the disposable diaper liners are tucked away for another time. No more screaming each time his digestive track decides to fill his diaper, no more scared baby faces each time he has the toots (even gas irritated the rash). Oh happy rash-free baby!

So that's our five-week update. I know reflux can continue for a year or so, and gas is pretty normal for now, so we can only look to our gracious God for peace and strength as we take each moment as it comes to us. I'm so thankful for His constant presence in our life, we could not have gotten through the start of last night without Him. Be still, and know that He is God. The Lord is my strength and my song - He is the Rock in our marriage and our family, holding us together.

On to... our daily beauuutiful walk, pictures from the day, and food snapshots. Santi and I had a fun visit from our friend, who brought us veggie suuuusshhhiiii - yay!! - and filled baby boy with love and kisses.  And papa got a cute photo of the monkey in sleepy mode. So dang cute! Happy almost weeeeeekeeeend!


  1. He's so cute in his little jammies!

    I have heard that lots of babies get reflux. Definitely something to keep in mind when mine gets here in April :)

  2. hi, I'm new to your blog and I have a 4.5 weeks baby girl. I can totally relate to all the symptoms you described for gas and reflux. I'm taking notes on your tips! :)