Jonathan will be two months old tomorrow! It’s amazing how time flies! I’m calling this post “reflux part two” because our third son Owen had a rough time with reflux. It was kind of a nightmare, really, except that we couldn’t wake up from it! Owen was never really a good eater, and by the age that Jonathan is now, he had started arching his back and crying during feedings.

Jonathan has reflux also, and his was actually diagnosed much earlier than Owen’s (6 weeks), although the symptoms were very different! We did a modified barium swallow study for Jonathan at 6 weeks because he had been choking during feedings since he was born. The test showed that his swallowing looked great, which was good news! Unfortunately, the test showed reflux. The assumption is that the reflux is causing the choking. I had never heard of such a thing! And after googling “choking and reflux”, it sounds like it’s not very common. A lot of babies have choking related to reflux episodes, but not necessarily during the feeding.

So far, Jonathan has been gaining weight really well. He is 11 lb. 2 oz, which is the 50th percentile. Owen was never above the 10th percentile and spent a lot of time below the 5th, which was cause for concern. Overall, Jonathan’s appetite is good. He just had about a week where the reflux didn’t seem to be an issue at all, but now the past two days he has been doing a lot of choking. He wants to stop eating after choking a few times, and who can blame him?

We shall see what the future holds! It’s a little scary to think about going down the reflux road again – Owen’s feeding problems were exhausting and very hard on our family. It has been a daily choice to trust the Lord and know that He made Jonathan and knows what is best not only for him, but also for our family as well.

Have any of you dealt with infant reflux? What were your experiences?

6 Comments

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  1. Betsy Mar 2, 2012

    My son had reflux as a newborn/ infant. It was SO frustrating as he would nurse really well and then throw it all back up within minutes. I never felt like he was getting enough. He would just cry so hard after, too, which was heartbreaking. He has always been in the 10th percentile for weight. He is almost 5 now and still complains of heartburn. :(

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    1. Sarah Mar 4, 2012

      That sounds so frustrating! I've been thankful that I have not had a big spitter! It's hard enough to get the food in them when they have reflux, and then to have it all come back out - ugh.

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  2. Shelly Smith Mar 2, 2012

    Yes! @ of my three sons also had significant reflux! My middle son (now 6) had projectile vomiting after every feeding, and I mistakenly thought he was eating too much, as my milk supply seemed overabundant! :) However, he soon began the back-arching and screaming when he "spit up" after feedings and the doc recommended treating the reflux with some meds, which helped his discomfort, if not the vomiting! My third son also had similar symptoms except his reflux was "hidden" because the vomit didn't always come out his mouth, sometimes it just went up and down his esophagus, and burned (causing the constant crying!)
    Both boys found some relief with the use of Prevacid. I hated that we had to "try" the other meds first (forget the names!) But our older Pediatrician wanted to go "in order" with older (more traditional)meds first- but they were very high in alcohol and tasted horrible! They never wanted to swallow it (and I don't blame them!)
    A good book with helpful advice (which I am still reading) is called What's Eating Your Child? by Kelly Dorfman- I would highly recommend reading it for any family with children who have food or allergy issues of any kind!!

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    1. Sarah Mar 4, 2012

      How old were your boys when they were on Prevacid? We tried it with Owen when he was 3 months old, but we couldn't get it down him! How did you do it? Owen was on axid, which didn't control the reflux enough to avoid feeding aversions.

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  3. Amy Mar 3, 2012

    I had one child who had reflux and it was so frustrating! He did not choke with feeds so that was good. I'm a speech pathologist and have done swallow studies and worked with children with reflux. I was just wondering if a speech pathologist was there at the study and did he/she have any recommendations as far as positioning during feeding or thickening the milk? Did they try any different things during the study?

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    1. Sarah Mar 4, 2012

      Yes, we had a speech pathologist at the swallow study, and she was very helpful. Jonathan is doing a combo of nursing and drinking breast milk from a bottle right now, and I am trying to keep him as upright as possible during both types of feedings. Position helps a little, but what seems to help the most is keeping him calm. He gets very frantic when he is hungry, and the faster he gulps, the more he chokes. I don't really understand it, since the reflux is supposed to be what's causing the choking, but he often does a lot of choking on an empty stomach when he's really guzzling. We are not thickening at this point since we didn't see any aspiration on the test. The SLP also said that if he is aspirating, it would be better to just aspirate the breast milk and not milk plus thickener!

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  4. Ali @ At home with Ali Mar 4, 2012

    My youngest has silent reflux. It has been very difficult, she is an awful sleeper and an awful eater and sometimes the screaming was unbearable... poor little thing. She is getting much better now with medication and putting on weight. I hope all goes well with your son.

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    1. Sarah Mar 4, 2012

      Both of mine have had silent reflux. It seems to be worse (in our experience) than the spitting up type of reflux as far as pain and refusing feedings. It's just so tough on a mom when they aren't eating and gaining weight! Jonathan is not on medicine yet, but we will try it if things get any worse! Owen was on medicine for about 18 months (age 4 months to age 2 with a couple breaks in there). Owen is now symptom free and doing well at age 2 1/2!

      Reply
  5. Caroline May 8, 2015

    Dear Sarah,
    Even though this blog is 3 years old, I hope you're still willing to reply to a fellow reflux mum ;-)
    I so relate to your story as both my 2 boys seem to have the drinking-choking kind of reflux. My oldest son (now 3,5) eventually took medication, which improved somewhat, but he always continued to have fussy feeds from time to time (he's now a good eater, but still drinks very little). My youngest boy, now 6 weeks has the same issues. Starts drinking and then after a few minutes he starts choking and you can hear food coming up. Then he pulls off and cries, but he's obviously still hungry. May I ask you what you ended up doing with your youngest boy Jonathan? Did he take medications? Were there any food allergies at play? I hope you can find some time to answer, that would be great! Best, Caroline

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  6. Svetlana Jul 29, 2016

    Sarah Hello! Just ask forgiveness for my English, because I'm from Russia - distant city Vladivostok Sea of ​​Japan. Search the web led me to your website. And I am infinitely grateful to you! Medicine in our city is bad. I have a daughter, she is now 1 year. From birth, she does not eat well, gaining weight and often cries. With 2 months of her life she started to pull away when feeding, doctors sent us to a neurologist. All this time, I remember with horror. When she was 10 months, we accidentally hit a gastroenterologist the best in our city. We lay in the hospital, we have made a gastroscopy. It identified gastritis. The esophagus is a good, not seen reflux. But choking symptoms point to it. More precisely I myself understand it, the doctors shrug !!! She spits as many people think !!! When looking pediator her throat she chokes and very scared, she then begins to vomit all the food back. The daughter constantly thrust her fingers into his mouth, cough, hoarseness, and almost did not eat. We were born with a weight of 3330 grams when she was 1 year old, she weighed 8,500 gramm.Ya cried constantly, it hurt to look at her. After a gastroscopy (no more surveys we have not appointed, we do not) the doctor has appointed us to "Nexium" at a dose of 10 mg per day (as a suspension). The doctor can not prescribe anything more to us because the other drugs are prohibited for children under 18 years. I give the morning for nearly 1 month. Alice began to eat a little better, but there is only a cartoon. Happy behaves normally, and at night again puts his fingers in his mouth and coughs. Apparently the drug ceases to be effective. Pieces of food can not swallow, gagging. Although she is trying very hard. Nothing new taste of the food does not want any fruit or berries and so on. Please tell me that you have become a major treatment in Owen? What medications and what dose you gave him? When she started to eat normal food? We still drink a lot of mix when you stop drinking the mixture? I'm so tired of these bottles ((Worried that her daughter gets enough vitamins. What is now your son years old, he eats? I read a bunch of articles on the Internet, but an acid reflux is not enough information for such small children. Please answer me (my mail [email protected] )
    Many thanks!!!!

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