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Thread: spit up and sleep problem

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Default spit up and sleep problem

    I'll try to keep it as short as possible:

    My EBF 4 week old spits up ALOT..up to a few times after a feeding. He often gurgles, chokes, gags, & then spits up. Usually he's a happy spitter but sometimes he'll cry. He often wakes up screaming.

    He is not happy unless he is being held and gently rocked or nursing. My mom says he's spitting up so much being he is eating too much. She is telling me to distract him and feed him well past 2 hours. This in itself is tiring trying to distract him for sometimes an hour or he'll scream and scream. But he is distractable...

    When do I know to feed him. If I offer it, he'll take it but I sometimes can delay if I walk around with him. He won't just sit and play usually. Sometimes I'm so tired I'll just latch him on and he'll eat and spit up after. What to do??

    Also, He has never been a good sleeper, but this week he is especially not sleeping all day/night. Within 5 minutes after I've gotten him to sleep, he grunts and then starts crying. He won't sleep more than 15 min unless on the breast or being held while walking around. Possibly once a day, he'll sleep an hour and a half but only if he's on his tummy in which case I'm awake watching him the entire time. Help! Can't get more than 15min of sleep at a time!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    71

    Default Re: spit up and sleep problem

    Spitting up, sometimes called physiological or uncomplicated reflux, is common in babies and is usually (but not always) normal. Most young babies spit up sometimes, since their digestive systems are immature, making it easier for the stomach contents to flow back up into the esophagus (the tube connecting mouth to stomach).

    Babies often spit up when they get too much milk too fast. This may happen when baby feeds very quickly or aggressively, or when mom’s breasts are overfull. The amount of spitup typically appears to be much more than it really is. If baby is very distractible (pulling off the breast to look around) or fussy at the breast, he may swallow air and spit up more often. Some babies spit up more when they are teething, starting to crawl, or starting solid foods.

    A few statistics (for all babies, not just breastfed babies):

    Spitting up usually occurs right after baby eats, but it may also occur 1-2 hours after a feeding.
    Half of all 0-3 month old babies spit up at least once per day.
    Spitting up usually peaks at 2-4 months.
    Many babies outgrow spitting up by 7-8 months.
    Most babies have stopped spitting up by 12 months.
    If your baby is a ‘Happy Spitter’ --gaining weight well, spitting up without discomfort and content most of the time -- spitting up is a laundry & social problem rather than a medical issue.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    29

    Default Re: spit up and sleep problem

    my girl likes to spit up a lot too, and it happens mostly if i put her down after feeding. so i try to keep her upright after feeding and that reduces the spitting but it still happens. i've just given up on changing my sheets so often now lol!

    i also try to burp her more often during feedings.

    she gets the bottle every now and then, and i find that she tends to spit up more after being bottle fed then breast-fed. it could be because she drinks a lot faster from the bottle.

    i find that the easiest way to calm a crying screaming baby is just to offer the boob. and it's a bit easier for latching too, because their mouths would be open W-I-D-E as they're screaming and you just pop the boob in so let your son comfort suck and things will get ok.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2007
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    Default Re: spit up and sleep problem

    What if the comfort sucking results in increased spit up? Is it normal for baby to nurse/comfort nurse all night?

    Also, should I shorten feedings on purpose to decrease spit up or let baby stay latched on as long as he wants even tho i means more spit up?

    AHHH!!

  5. #5
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: spit up and sleep problem

    Have you discussed the spit up problem with your doctor?

  6. #6
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    Sep 2007
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    Default Re: spit up and sleep problem

    I called but the nurse said to give sugar water to aid in digestion. I've never heard of this before and it didn't sound good to me so I haven't done it yet. I'm actually away from home staying with parents so I could focus on BF w/o worrying about housework and have help. I was hoping to survive until I see his dr at the 2 month check...

  7. #7
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: spit up and sleep problem

    I've never heard of that either, but I'd try it to see if it works. It's worth a shot. The only side effecdt that sugar water will have is that it will fill the baby up and stave off hunger. Nurses have been known to give sugar water in the nursery in the hospital when babies get fussy between feedings.

    I'd try to give like 1/4 ounce or so before a feeding to see if that helps.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2007
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    Default Re: spit up and sleep problem

    from what i understand, spitting up happens becoz babies' stomachs are small , so if you fill it up with water before feeding, wouldn't that fill it up even more?

    this at has more information about spitting up and reflux.

    frequent, and thus shorter feedings can also help. i'm also staying with my parents and on some days, can spend all day just nursing. whatever gets me off from doing housework i guess

    with babies, i find it very difficult to define 'normal'. there are nights when baby sleeps throughout, and there are some nights when she seems to stay latched on forever. she tells me what to do, and i just do it

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    228

    Default Re: spit up and sleep problem

    Hi! What a frustrating time, having a fussy newborn!

    In my experience, 4-week-old babies are very fussy. They cry a lot. They nurse all the time. There is nothing wrong with this. From what I understand, a breastfed baby cannot be overfed. When your baby is fussy, nurse away!

    Here's how I dealt with my fussy 4-week-old twins: I nursed them a lot. At least they would stop crying! And then, sometimes, I would cry -- so tired, so confused, so frustrated! But that frequent nursing of a fussy baby was nature's way of building up a really good milk supply for both babies. Nature is telling your baby to be fussy so that you will nurse a lot, getting a great milk supply for the months to come.

    If you have a hard time getting sleep, you might try sleeping while you nurse in the side-lying position. I didn't figure this out with my first baby until months into her life. I could've gotten much more sleep if I had just brought her to bed.

    I think that LLLI would not recommend giving supplemental anything, like sugar water, to a baby until after 6 months old. My experience with the nurses at the pediatritian's office is that they sometimes use home remedies or old wives' tales. You can always ask to talk to the doctor directly. He/she might recommend something different.

    Giving your baby sugar water won't help the spitting up. There's probably no connection between the spit-up and the fussiness.

    I'm so glad you have your parents' house where you can stay and focus on you and baby! Remember, that baby was sent to you for a reason. You are the best person to decide what's best. Moms' advice can sometimes be overwhelming. Do what you feel like is the best thing.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    16

    Default Re: spit up and sleep problem

    My baby used to do that too, in fact still does. Every single thing you mention: cry a lot, spit up a lot, mom saying he is not getting enough etc at around 4 weeks, so a big hug to you. The things that worked for me:
    - just offer him the boob rather than try to make him go longer between feedings. Yes it is tiring but atleast he is not screaming and bringing the house down.
    - ask your ped about an antacid, my LO has been on zantac since week 4 and he does not scream when spitting up signce. Just spits up happily and does not wake up to spit up. Waits till he is awake
    -I wouldn't give your baby sugar water, it is tempting but it is not the best idea. Your baby needs calories from you to grow, and sugar is not going to help.
    -ask your nurse/ped about gripe water, I've had people suggest it to me, never tried it, but my mom says it worked for me. Yep I was a spitter too.
    -Last but not least give yourself pat on back, get a big thing of icecream/chocolate whatever works for you, wear your fave nightgown and settle down with baby. If you are stressed, baby will know and breastmilk transfers stress hormones. Deep breath!

    Feel free to send me a private message for more on screaming, spitting up, breastfed babies :-) and exasperating, well meaning mommies

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