She Says… The Littlest Peanut

On Tuesday I started a new Mommy Group. It’s sort of like the next generation of the group I did for the last 6 weeks. It’s a little different in that it’s more for the babies than the moms… there is circle time with singing and book reading and playtime with a parachute. Then we let the babies nap and fuss and coo while we talk mom-talk. Pretty awesome.

Owen is one of the younger babies in the group, and BY FAR the tiniest. My little peanut looks even LITTLER in this group of chunkers. There is another baby named Owen who was born on the exact same day as my Owen (what are the odds?!) and he weighs like 15lbs. My Owen weighs in around 11. Even his head seems smaller… he’s just a teeny tiny little guy. (Just for the record, he still out performs everyone at tummy time!). Given how small he seemed, I popped him on the scale just to see what he weighed. To my surprise he weighed THE EXACT SAME THING AS THE PREVIOUS WEEK. Ummm, what?! Aren’t babies supposed to gain 1/2 – 1 ounce per day?! I know we have been struggling with breastfeeding, but I had no idea he was not gaining weight.

So on the way home I stopped at the pediatrician’s office to verify his weight (since their scale is more accurate and I have a recorded weight from my 2 month appointment, which was October 1st). He weighed 10lbs 15oz. That is only 4.5oz more than he did 19 days ago. Yikes. I made an appointment immediately to see the doctor and went home very nervous about my little peanut’s development. As it turns out, a baby’s weight can fluctuate by 6-8oz depending on a full/empty tummy and full/empty bladder, so although the number seemed scary small, it was maybe just a result of when I last fed him.

I saw the pediatrician yesterday and when the nurse weighed him before his appointment, he tipped the scale at 11lbs 3.5oz. A little better (out of the “oh my goodness my baby is starving” zone). The pediatrician seemed to think that since his overall trend was gaining (albeit a little less than they like to see), she thinks he’s doing just fine and will bounce back quickly once we get his eating issues under control. Once I discussed our issues with her and let her know that the Mylanta seems to be the one thing that has made a visible improvement in him, she diagnosed reflux and prescribed baby Zantac. She said the tricky thing about diagnosing Owen was that he wasn’t spitting up (the classic symptom of reflux) and was a generally happy baby. But he has all of the other symptoms, and if Mylanta is helping, that’s most likely the issue. I had prepared myself for her to say that I needed to be supplementing with formula at this point, given his slow weight gain, but she didn’t. She said that we’re likely through the worst of this (HURRAY!) and that we should just nurse, nurse, nurse as much as possible once he gets comfortable.

I AM SO RELIEVED AND HAPPY.

We started Zantac last night, and I’m hoping to see Mylanta-esque calmness during today’s feedings. So far the morning one went great. Poor little goober had stomach acid crawling back up his throat — it’s not a wonder he didn’t want to eat! I’m sure I have a bit more Googling to do on other things I can do to help him (I’ve read that sleeping flat is particularly uncomfortable for babies with reflux, so maybe I will prop up his mattress).

Have you dealt with reflux? What have you done to help your baby deal?

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7 responses to “She Says… The Littlest Peanut

  1. Poor kiddo to have reflux, but HOORAY for a solution that really seems to be working! My kids were sort of the opposite – they spit up CONSTANTLY for months and months, but were always happy as clams about it and didn’t have trouble eating. Definitely the messier of the two options.

    Anyways, I’ve known a ton of babies with reflux (it’s more common in preemies, twins are more likely to be preemies, and I know mostly twins… it’s a skewed world I live in). The good news is that it really does tend to get better and they grow out of it. A lot of people prop up the mattress with a big phone book or a foam swimming noodle. My kids were much more spitty when lying flat, so I actually had them sleeping in their bouncy seat, swaddled, inside the crib. It was a strange arrangement, but it worked, and they grew out of the need for it.

  2. I am glad he is doing well and I hope the zantac helps! We found out Parker had reflux when he was around 6 weeks old and he now takes prevacid. It took a while to find the right dose that worked for him, and in addition to quitting dairy because of his allergy, and he is so much happier and content now.

  3. We dealt with reflux with our first son and it definitely was a challenge. He was diagnosed and started on Zantac around 2.5 months. I think he was totally off Zantac by around 6 months with significant improvement around 4.5 months. We did switch to Prevacid for a while when it seemed like Zantac wasn’t working, but after a scary coughing/crying episode after a feeding, we went back to Zantac and it worked very well. Just stick with it and it will get better. Our son also did not spit up due to reflux, so it was more of an arched back, balled fists crying where you knew he was really uncomfortable. We tried everything to make sleeping better: a rolled up towel under the mattress to elevate it, sleeping in the carseat, etc. Ultimately, the thing that worked best was the Zantac and just time and growth. My wife also stopped nursing him earlier than she planned, around 4.5 months. It just wasn’t working for him any more and he was much happier and more comfortable with formula bottles and cereal with fruits and vegetables added eventually. It got to the point where the continued nursing seemed to be making things even harder on him, so it was the right decision to stop when we did.

    He grew out of the reflux and is now a healthy, happy two year old who is a great eater, sleeper and talker. Also, our second son is almost 8 months old and has never had even a hint of reflux! Hang in there with Owen. It won’t last forever and it will be a great thing to have behind you.

  4. Our ped told us it was ok to let him sleep on his stomach because of his reflux, apparently it helps them to sleep better. Nico has a lot of trouble being flat on his back right after eating, so during the day I make sure he’s upright for a while afterward. Otherwise he’ll fuss and gurgle and make urping swallowing noises and maybe spit up. Nico has “silent” reflux as well. He rarely, if ever, spits up.

  5. My little girl is pretty tiny too – 8lb 60z at her 8 week appointment. Her growth curve when straight up since I started her on the Zantac. I feed her sitting fairly upright, burp her often and keep her upright for at least 40 minutes afterwards. I put 2 towels under one end of her crib mattress and even put a small towel under the pad on her changing table. She gets solely expressed breast milk in a bottle and the pediatrician said after 2 months I could add rice cereal to thicken it if I felt it was necessary – I haven’t. I hope your little guy feels better – the Zantac really helped Rowan!

  6. I’m glad you found something that works. Even if your ped had said that you should supplement with formula, it’s always a good idea to get a second opinion before making such a major change. Especially since, as you noted in another post, peds don’t always know what they’re talking about. Their education in breastfeeding and nutrition is often sparse.

    Many are still using growth charts based on formula fed babies from 1977.

    http://phdoula.blogspot.com/2010/10/what-growth-chart-to-use.html

  7. If it makes you feel any better, we went through a lot of the same issues with breastfeeding! My baby, Hayes, is now 5 months, and I breastfed him for 16 weeks, every second being a struggle or worry since Hayes was so teeny (3rd percentile). He has a really small appetite, and I never made enough milk, and I was stressed the whole time. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that you’ve done a great job hanging in there and trying to work out all of these issues! You’re certainly not alone in the breastfeeding struggles. Good luck to you and your sweet little Owen! 🙂

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