Ask Meg: Battling Reflux & Colic

Battling Reflux Colic

Are you battling with reflux and colic? A new mom whose baby is struggling with reflux and colic asks me how she can help her little one to establish a better sleep day and night sleep routine.

My baby won’t sleep. Help!

Meg, please help. My little 9 week old has reflux which is under control  but now also has terrible colic. He used to scream for 2 hours every night but for the past 2 days, he refuses day time naps. By the evening he is inconsolable. I’m exhausted and so is he. I have tried everything: calm environment, dummy, swaddling, a warm bath…every thing… I’m at a loss.

Meg Faure answers:

That is so tough! You are having a difficult time.

Firstly, from a medical perspective,  have him checked by your doctor – specifically for lactose intolerance (read more about here) and also try probiotics – they do sometimes really help.

Secondly, it is useful to understand colic in the context of over stimulation – please read this article.

4 Tips to calm your crying baby

Then, you mention all the right things but here’s a little more guidance on them to improve their effectiveness:

  1. Calm environment: Don’t bath him in the evening. Limit stimulation after 5pm and for 15 minutes before each day sleep.
  2. Dummy: Persist with non nutritive sucking – it helps a lot if you have a very irritable baby.
  3. Swaddling: Swaddling needs to be snug and containing otherwise it won’t make a difference.
  4. White noise: White noise can also help him to sleep better.

Day sleeps are,  as you mention, linked to evening colic. If a baby has no day sleeps, the evening colic can be severe. So watch his awake times and try to settle him after 45 minutes so he sleeps after an hour of awake time. Don’t worry if you have to use sensory strategies such as rocking or holding – he is still very little.

Finally, know that this stage does pass. If he is not much more settled by 12-14 weeks, take the Your Sensory Baby Quiz and download the Parent Sense app for expert advice at your fingertips.

Meg faure

Meg Faure

Hi, I’m Meg Faure. I am an Occupational Therapist and the founder of Parent Sense. My ‘why’ is to support parents like you and help you to make the most of your parenting journey. Over the last 25 years, I’ve worked with thousands of babies, and I’ve come to understand that what works for fussy babies works just as well for all babies, worldwide.