Saturday, April 2, 2016

Acid Reflux.... Yuck!

A girlfriend's baby has recently been diagnosed with reflux. It's made me think back to the hardest parenting year of my life... Coletyn's first year. 

Starting at his third week of life, he stopped sleeping... and so did I. It was a long week until his 4 week pediatrician appointment. There he was diagnosed with reflux. In that week, the only thing I found to work was his swing. Thank goodness I bought that swing from a girlfriend. He lived in the swing as it was the only way I got to sleep. My poor guy. He was always in pain...

The pediatrician gave him a script for meds. The only other advice they had for me was to always keep him relined and to switch him to formula since it was heavier and would sit in his belly. When I scouffed back, she then recommended mixing rice cereal in expressed breast milk bottles. I let her talk, scoffed back in my head and knew once again I was in this fight alone. I would be responsible to figure it out without stopping nursing...

Hours and hours on the internet and talking to friends resulted in the following recipe that we used all the pieces together. This was the way we survived that first year... I wouldn't have removed one piece of the puzzle and recommend ALL to my mommy friends!

(This included exclusively nursing and pumping while at work for the first 6 months as recommended by AAP. No formula. No rice- yuck.)

1. MEDS- Yes, I hated the meds but I hated even more seeing my baby in pain. So, we stayed on top of those meds. I leaned the dosage calculations for the meds Coletyn was on as they are very touchy with weight gain. It only took him growing out of one dose before I was on it. I could calculate the dosage, weigh him every week and then change the dose I gave him while the doc was calling in the new script. When he would grow out a dose, it took about two days to get back on top of the reflex. I knew when we were getting close to the next dose based on his weight or my poor guy had a painful few days which meant I didn't get to sleep.

2. Sleeping- This was a nightmare until I found solutions. For the first months it was the swing. I said I would never be the mom who had the kid sleep in the swing, but let me tell you, this was survival. But not all swings are the same. It is all about the incline. What you need to look for is a straight back on a recline. Here's why... swings and carseats can (carseats do) crunch the baby in half. Well, not completely in half but some can provide no lumbar support and then the lower back rounds out crunching their tummy which then pushes the acid up. Does your baby scream in the carseat... this is why. 
Explained better here " Many car seats and strollers force the child’s pelvis into a backward-tilted position, like a “sad dog” with its tail tucked between its legs. This disrupts the angle of the sacral platform in relation to the spine that sits on top of it, causing the spine to round and collapse."  Click here for full article
So the rock n play below was a God send for when Coletyn grew out of the swing. The new ones these days vibrate and have music. Back in the day (2012!) they were boring but still wonderful! Coletyn slept in this until 6 months ish.

 3. Carseat Screaming (ALL THE TIME)- This one took a while to figure out. Longer than it should have but the jury is still out on if this below is safe.. I didn't care. Remember the whole lack of lumbar support. Well those infant carseats are the worst. I wasn't able to find the exact one I found for Coletyn. I was only able to find the Hug Me Joey. The one we used for Coletyn we made out of stiff foam and had a bit less of a curve on his back than the picture below. Why are these controversial? Well, safety regulations caution against using anything other than was was sold with the carseat. Part of me thinks it's really a liability issue. The foam we put in (cut from the craft store because we were desperate and didn't want to wait for the one we saw online to get shipped) made car rides livable for my baby boy. It took up the empty space that his lower back was filling resulting in crunching his tummy. I'd do it all over again...

4. Chiropractic Care- It was April, (Coletyn is a January baby). The meds were helping but he was still.... not happy. I kept exploring and a girl friend recommended chiropractor. I was game for everything. I found Dr. Treeva Rademaker a highly recommended pediatric chiropractor and she was in a friend of the family's practice.. WIN! We got him in right away. She adjusted him a few time a week for a month and then weekly for a while and then I think we were at every few weeks until he was a year (the details are fuzzy, I was tired!). She recommended a probiotic (see #5 below). I didn't remember this until Jason reminded it to me this week as we were reminiscing about the year of reflux.... Even with the carseat wedge, Coletyn still was fussy but not screaming. After his first adjustment, he slept in his car seat on the way home.... BAH! Did you read that right.. HE SLEPT IN HIS CARSEAT! Jason and I were sold!

5. Probiotic- Dr. Rademaker suggested a probiotic for Coletyn to help with his tummy. She carried the metagenics brand- see specific one here. The dosing for his age was a 1/4 of a teaspoon a day. This brand is highly potent at 30 billion live organisms per serving. This probiotic needs to be refrigerated... or they die. (A story for another day!).

6. Babywearing!- Coletyn was the first baby I wore. (I wish I would have worn Cecelia!) To make him as happy as possible, he has to be upright for as long as possible after eating. Unfortunately, he got big, FAST. So I didn't wear him for long as my back gives out around 12 pounds. But man it helped. 
 (See another babywearing post here!)


By six months, Coletyn was in his crib (we reclined it with towels below). Soon he chose to sleep on his belly! I waited until he could rest comfortably to sleep train him. Until then, we rocked him to sleep, for HOURS, my poor miserable guy. But after 6 months it got easier (as long as I kept up with chiropractic and watched his weight for med dosage changes).

By a year he was off of his meds. We did baby led weaning with Coletyn. (Click here if you are unfamiliar with baby led weaning.) By a year, he was eating all real foods (no baby foods) so they weighted his stomach down. By this age, they spend most of their time crawling or walking so gravity helps too. 

Our first year with Coletyn was anything but easy. I learned many lessons. I didn't realize how hard it was with Coletyn until Charlotte came along (easiest baby ever). I think in the time I just thought it was life with two kids... oh no, it wasn't.

The big guy's first birthday. See his birthday posts below:

Happy Boy with- Meds, carseat wedge, rock n play, chiropractic, probiotic, babywearing and lots and lots of momma cuddles!

This was our recipe. I hope you can add one of these to your recipe to get a happy, pain free baby!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Charlotte is ONE!

Our Sunshine is ONE....  (Commence momma balling here.) I can't believe it. Every day now she will be closer to being two than to the day she was born. (Continue momma balling here.)

Below are the pictures from her first birthday. While I still get to pick her cakes, I chose a theme I've wanted to do for years but the other kiddos always had better ideas they wanted! "You are my Sunshine!"

There are pics from her actual birthday and then her party. She's pretty adorable in all of them!!

To make a sun I baked a cake in a pyrex bowl!

This rocking chair we got from Jason's Grandma and Grandpa's house. She that post here. It was unfinished. Jason finished it and now it is Charlotte's. I have foam and material to make a seat for it so it won't be so slippery. She won't be able to get into it her self for a while longer so I have time!

Charlotte's photo shoot happened on my mother's kitchen floor. Jason has been talking about taking a picture on it since she put it in. We just threw some wrapping paper along her cabinets for the backdrop and plunked her by a window with some natural light coming in. We worked hard.. she wan't stoked! There were a few cute ones. Just like her sister, she disliked greatly the cake idea. (Recognize that sun? I plucked it right off of her cake from her birthday. Boom! Genius!

Our sunshine is one.... We love you Miss Charlotte Josephine!

Sunday, February 21, 2016


My main man asked for an Inside Out cake for his birthday. His mommy delivered!!

Cecelia made Coletyn a book for his birthday!

This little hunk. He is simply hilarious and adorable:
  • a little man

  • creative

  • the way he uses his facial expressions when he talks
  • he attempts to use air quotes
  • he still uses a foot pillow (residual from his broken leg!)

  • I get my hugs, squeezes and kisses at night now only if my hair is in a pony tail
  • the vocabulary he uses correctly and incorrectly make me smile

Happy Birthday to my baby boy! Momma loves you!

Your Third Birthday - here
Your Second Birthday - here