Reflux comes in different types, but can be an annoying jammer when it comes to sleep. What exactly is reflux and how can it affect sleep? And, of course, not unimportantly: how can you ensure that a child with reflux can still sleep well? We will tell you that in this article.
What is Reflux?
Children who suffer from reflux, the stomach contents flow back through the esophagus. Because the sphincter between the esophagus and stomach has not yet fully developed, this often occurs in babies. With most children, this problem resolves itself again. Nevertheless, the period before that can be very intense and your child can suffer a lot from the reflux. The gastric juice that flows down the esophagus every time can cause a lot of pain in a child. Sometimes you notice that your child has reflux because your child spits a lot. But it may also be that your child does not spit, but still has reflux. This is called hidden reflux. Meer informatie over de verschillende soorten reflux, vind je hier.
With hidden reflux, your child does not spit out the stomach contents, but the food flows back down. This is often twice as painful for a child because the aggressive gastric juice flows twice down the esophagus. It is also often more difficult for parents to recognize, because your child does not spit. You often recognize it because your child does not like to lie on his or her back, cries a lot and drinks restlessly. Your child is hungry, but it hurts to drink. These are some of the symptoms that can identify hidden reflux.
Advice for (hidden) reflux
As a parent, it can be very intense to have a baby or child with reflux. Sometimes you no longer know what to do and it hurts you to see your child hurt. There are a number of things you can do.
Call a doctor
Do you suspect that your child has reflux? Then I always advise you to discuss this with your doctor or at the clinic. If you don’t trust it, you can always ask for a referral to the pediatrician. This is especially when you notice that your child is developing a growth delay, but if you have any doubts: consult a doctor. In severe cases it may be necessary to give a child medicine or even have an operation. So always follow your own feelings and ask for help where necessary!
Visit an osteopath
What many parents do not realize is that an osteopath can also help with these types of complaints. In an additional insurance policy you have the chance that an osteopath visit will be reimbursed. Often an osteopath can indicate during a first visit whether he / she thinks he / she can help you. In addition, some parents notice a significant difference after 1 or 2 visits, so it is often worthwhile to give this a try.
Keep upright after feeding and small amounts
Always keep your child upright for at least half an hour after feeding. This gives the food the chance to descend better and will therefore come back up less quickly. In addition: give your child small amounts more often instead of one large bottle. Your child can often process this better.
Sleeping and reflux
Because your child often cannot sleep well during the period that he or she has suffered from reflux, your child cannot learn a good sleeping basis either. He or she is therefore dependent on mom or dad to sleep well and prefers to lie up straight.
As long as your child is in pain and / or is suffering from the reflux, make sure that you offer your child comfort and comfort. There is no point in letting your baby cry, in fact, this can only do more harm than good. What you can do during this period is use special reflux pillows. These hold your child up a little bit, so that your child has less pain / problems from the food that flows upwards.
You can also make sure that you let your child sleep on time. You can keep to the waking times and help your child to sleep at that time. Alle wakkertijden vind je ook in onze slaaphandleiding. For example, you can let your child sleep in the baby carrier.
Once the reflux is under control, you can work on a good sleeping basis. You have been able to help your child to get a good rhythm during the period of reflux by letting your child sleep when it is tired (for example in the baby carrier). The next step is learning to sleep independently. Try to put your child in bed more awake each time, so that your child can gradually learn to fall asleep on its own. Your child has probably experienced a lot of restlessness, so try to be there for your child as much as possible.
Do you need help to learn the proper sleeping basics? Neem dan contact met ons op. We are happy to help you sleep in a loving way.