Re: Growth spurt, reflux, overactive letdown, or a just fussy baby?
Based on my experience, I would like to suggest the possibility that ALL of the things you suspect, as well as the suggestion of dairy intolerance, may be at play. That may sound like bad news, but it is so much easier to manage things if you are not forever trying to pin down the ONE thing causing issues, instead seeing the interrelationship of all of them.
Congestion, comfort nursing and Milk/Soy Protein Intolerance (MSPI) are common among babies with reflux, with the congestion and comfort nursing being especially common among babies with silent reflux. Growth spurts can exacerbate reflux, and MSPI and OALD can trigger reflux episodes.
As for the sleep, addressing all of the potential issues may help, but I would also like to forward the possibility that a baby who sleeps poorly and has difficulty breathing due to reflux and/or congestion, may be doing the best thing she can do to keep herself alive. The ability to remain in a light state of sleep and wake when breathing is interfered with is an extremely valuable gift...
Since it is frowned upon by physicians, I will not recommend it, but I will say that some babies with congestion and reflux issues do best sleeping on their stomachs, which allows fluids to drain more readily.
I encourage you to explore the Kelly Mom site regarding all of the issues you are concerned about. For more information about reflux, you may want to visit www.reflux.org where there is a Reading Room, as well as a forum for questions and advice, and volunteers who can help as well.
Mama to Lorenzo, born 4/25/2007. NICU graduate, Gastro-Esohapgeal Reflux, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Sensory Processing Disorder...alive and thriving thanks to breastfeeding and co-sleeping.
Those who say it can't be done should not interrupt the person doing it.