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Need Advice - Sleep/Travel/Reflux issues - UPDATE


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  #1  
November 9th, 2009, 07:57 AM
kellyanne's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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This will probably be long...I apologize in advance. My mother is a barrel racer (not professional or anything, just a hobby) and the two of us have wanted to go to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas for as long as I can remember. We didn't have tons of money, though, so I've never even been to Vegas. Well, I bought tickets and flights yesterday and for two performances. It will be a surprise for her birthday. I'll drive across the state and tell her the evening before we fly out. My DH will stay will Cori and Ana. That means I need to be storing at least 6 oz of breastmilk a day for the next 24 days. Since I stay at home and have just been feeding on demand, that might be tough to do. My other problem is that Juliana is not sleeping unless she is next to me, snacking all night long. Even the co-sleeper won't do, she must be touching me. I really don't sleep well with her next to me, but I don't sleep at all if she isn't. I rarely sleep more than 2 hours straight. I'm pretty desperate here. So, I've been considering giving one bottle of formula (at night) and perhaps thickening with a bit of cereal (she's nearing 6 months). It would allow me to pump breastmilk and might help her sleep. I feel kinda terrible about this because I bf Cori for 16 months w/o a single drop of formula and didn't start solids until 6 months at least. I'm really proud of that, too (I'm not judging anyone who ff, I stay home and CAN bf exclusively). Maybe I'm grasping at straws here, but I also wonder if the formula/cereal might help her reflux. So, what do you guys think? Don't mess with a good thing and pump my buns off (probably literally, as I'm already losing weight)?? Tough love and CIO? Or try the formula? If so, do you have a recommendation? Since it would only be a small amount per day, I could afford any brand. She doesn't have a well-baby check until the end of the month, so I can't really ask the pediatrician.

I feel I should add that Juliana HAS been diagnosed with GERD and is medicated....I Know thickening is very controversial and I wouldn't do it if it was just for sleep, it would be an attempt at helping her reflux.

Thanks for reading!!
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3 angels Feb, Mar, Aug of 2008

Last edited by kellyanne; November 21st, 2009 at 03:21 PM.
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  #2  
November 9th, 2009, 09:01 AM
Pitridge's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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There is nothing wrong with giving her formula. I know she BF on demand, do you pump after each feeding? If you don't want to thickening the bottle with a bit of cereal, you might want to just give her the cereal before you nurse her at night and pump after that.
Whatever you do, remember that happy mom means happy baby.
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  #3  
November 9th, 2009, 09:26 PM
ShannonMVT's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Well, I'll just tell you my experiences with a reflux baby. Starting him on cereals (not in a bottle just solids) did not help him sleep better at night. His sleep seems to be not based on anything really. It got really bad for several weeks (I started co-sleeping to save going up and down stairs) and just recently is getting better. Either something in my diet or starting the solids really worked a number of my guy's tummy so we cut solids out again.
Anyway, formula can be a little tougher on baby's tummy than breastmilk, so I'd pump if you can but don't beat yourself up if you don't get enough and she needs some formula. You might ask for tips on the pumping board. I know eating oatmeal is supposed to help. You can try pumping after her morning meal when supply is highest (though I know even that is not all that great if she is snacking all night).
Okay all that said, I know some ppl do have success with starting solids and their baby sleeping better. I can't really say whether the solids helped with Matthew's reflux because I recently took him off his meds. Who knows, the cereal my help her or the formula might help.
You might try just calling your pedi and talking to the nurse if you can? That's what I do when I have question between visits and they are happy to talk with me about whatever issue I'm having.
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  #4  
November 9th, 2009, 10:57 PM
dee68's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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there is nothing wrong with giving some formula if you need to.
Katie was a formula baby and I have NO regrets (bfing did not work for us)
have you introduced solids at all? Maybe trying some cereal will help fill her up so she doesn't need to snack all night. I started cereal w/ Katie @ 4 months.
Katie was a big time spitter upper! Similac makes a formula for babies that spit up. Sensitive RS.
IMO, since she has issues, I would try to give her ready to feed formula and not the powder. Some babies just can not tolerate it. Katie was one of them. After buying EVERYTHING out there in powder form, we realized we needed to RTF...no spit up after that.
As for the sleeping, I co slept at first, well she slept, I did not
enough was enough, I was running on empty, I started putting her in her crib for naps and the eventually at night and she was fine....and everyone slept better.

Do whatever you need to do to make the 2 of you happy !
Good luck and feel free to pm me if you need to !
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  #5  
November 10th, 2009, 04:09 AM
IAMommy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Kelly, I don't have much input as far as giving formula goes....you could always try it for a night or two and see how it goes....no harm in trying. Also, my SIL gave me this advise about pumping extra ((she is a SAHM and it was hard for her to save-up too) She said that she would only feed from one breast at night and let the other fill up, then get up very early and pump off the full breast. The next night she would switch and feed with the other breast and let the opposite breast fill and then pump it off. She said it worked wonders for her, and she didn't have to concentrate on pumping during the day when she was busy.

About the co-sleeping....We do it too, and Cecil is the same way. I think that I would be nervous to leave him too, so I understand the anxiety in that. But it could turn out that while you are away, dh has a chance to comfort juliana in a new way. Juliana could be just fine and sleep OK and dh may find new confidence in caring for his little girl. If he has troubles though and she does not sleep OK, I bet he will be calling you, and you will be able to help him through it. Are you away one night or more than that??
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  #6  
November 10th, 2009, 05:40 AM
ShannonMVT's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IAMommy View Post
Kelly, I don't have much input as far as giving formula goes....you could always try it for a night or two and see how it goes....no harm in trying. Also, my SIL gave me this advise about pumping extra ((she is a SAHM and it was hard for her to save-up too) She said that she would only feed from one breast at night and let the other fill up, then get up very early and pump off the full breast. The next night she would switch and feed with the other breast and let the opposite breast fill and then pump it off. She said it worked wonders for her, and she didn't have to concentrate on pumping during the day when she was busy.
Great idea!

Another thought is maybe before you go let Dh have some "practice" nights where he is charge of comforting her and getting her back to sleep. That way he's more comfortable doing it before you go.
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  #7  
November 10th, 2009, 08:33 AM
kellyanne's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Thanks everyone!! The more I think about it, the more I really think that her reflux is more painful at night. I had always assumed it was better because she rarely spits at night. She lets go often when nursing, archs, and cries. She wakes often and is just restless. So, I'm going to call the doc today and ask about giving her meds at night instead of in the morning as we were directed. I think I'll also start with cereal just from a spoon. If she tolerates it, maybe we can give it to her before bed too. I'm pumping like crazy, I figure I'll give it a try and see if I can get my supply up. Juliana is no help....she only nurses for food. As soon as milk isn't coming out FAST anymore, she lets go. I'm not too worried about DH being able to comfort her....she'd probably snuggle with him just the same as me. I'm just the one who takes care of her at night because he works and I have the food. She actually prefers a bottle....its easier to drink. I feel sad that we don't have much of a "breastfeeding bond".....but I think she just associates it with discomfort. Last night we went back to me on the couch, her in the swing and it worked out ok.....in the past she has done fine for awhile and then totally freaked out and thrashed around until I thought she was going to knock the whole thing over! I'll keep trying it until it stops working again....we've also tried carseat (about the same as the swing) and crib (she naps there, but at night just rolls to her belly and screams. The crummy thing about reflux is that she has good days and bad......so every time I think I've found the "trick" she just happened to be having a good night.
Dee - if I do try formula, I think I will try ready-to-feed
Sam - the every other side idea is great, I'll try it
Shannon - I'm eating oatmeal for breakfast!
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  #8  
November 10th, 2009, 01:09 PM
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Max is a super duper huge spitter. They just switched him to Enfamil AR. It is a rice cereal based formula that thickens when it hits the baby's tummy, thus making it less likely that they spit up as much. Max is still spitting up, but, it's definitely less than a few weeks ago. Ask your pediatrician about using it.

Max won't sleep long periods of time without touching me either. He sleeps best when I'm giving him his bottle and holding him. Once I lay him down, he sleeps for a short period of time and then wakes up and screams until I pick him up. He naps fine during the day...it's night that has been the problem. If you find something that works, PLEASE enlighten me
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  #9  
November 10th, 2009, 08:32 PM
dee68's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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when she sleeps at night, try elevating her a bit...it sometimes helps reflux !

and please do NOT ever think that you and your baby are not bonding if she has a bottle. Bottle fed babies bond just as well.....trust me on that!
BFing was terrible for Katie and I...we were both in tears...once I went to formula w/ her feedings were a joy !!!!
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Last edited by dee68; November 10th, 2009 at 08:34 PM.
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  #10  
November 11th, 2009, 08:43 AM
Mommy2Makenna's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Kelly,

If you decide to feed formula, I would recommend Enfamil Lipil. It was recommended to me by the lactation consultant when I was unable to breast feed. I tried a couple of others (organic ones) just cuz I really wanted her on organic, but I went back to Enfamil Lipil because it was the only one that didn't cause spitting up issues, gas issues, constipation issues (or all 3). Makenna still battles constipation issues, but it is much better than with the other fomulas I tried. They make a ready to feed in 6oz glass jars. (Small servings so you don't have to worry about storing what's left from a big can). That is what we use when we are traveling. You can just attach any standard size nipple unit right to the glass jar, but I would recommend pouring it into your own bottles. (The glass jars have no venting systems so the nipple would often collapse for me when trying to feed her and Makenna doesn't like taking breaks -- she wants it all NOW lol).

I hope you are able to pump enough, but if not, formula can work well.

Good luck.. let us know how it goes.
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  #11  
November 11th, 2009, 10:32 AM
dee68's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Enfamil was terrible for Katie....Formula is all about trial and error......
the ONLY one she could handle was Similac...
BUT BOTH Enfamil,Similac make sensitive formulas for babies w/ all different issues.
I would not stock up on anything until you know for sure....
and that even takes almost a week before you see if it agrees with her or not....fun stuff huh?...lol
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  #12  
November 11th, 2009, 11:39 AM
kellyanne's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I agree that formula is trial and error. I've never done any formula with my kiddos, but went through it all when caring for my nephew. He was very very constipated and cried all the time. The winning formula for him ended up being Nestle Goodstart. Similac was bad news.

I'm going to give pumping, meds at night, and cereal by spoon a shot and see if I make any progress. If she is still having issues, I think I'll try Enfamil AR ready to feed once a day before bed.
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  #13  
November 11th, 2009, 01:29 PM
dee68's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I hope it all helps !
KUP !!
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  #14  
November 13th, 2009, 06:03 PM
ShannonMVT's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Good luck, sounds like you have a good game plan!
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  #15  
November 21st, 2009, 03:33 PM
kellyanne's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Well, we ended up trying formula. There was just no way that I could pump enough for my trip and our sleep issues didn't improve much when we changed the meds to evening. We give her one 6 oz bottle of Enfamil AR each night before bed. She seems to tolerate it just fine. The very first feeding she took three big gulps, then let go and gave me a quizzical look, then went back to eating. It hasn't been a miracle fix....but she is sleeping a bit better. She wakes up to eat twice a night, but sleeps more peacefully between feedings. She still gets her Prevacid at night. I don't know if it is the changes we made or if its just her age (reflux usually tapers off at this age) but she is spitting up a bit less too.

I'm hoping that by giving her the formula now, I'll have enough milk saved to keep the exact same routine while I'm gone.

She is fighting off her first major cold now. She got it from Claire, the other baby I watch. She is snotty and sleeping more, but otherwise happy as usual.
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  #16  
November 21st, 2009, 05:08 PM
dee68's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I am really glad things have improved !
I hope Juliana feels better soon and continues to do well with sleeping and reflux issues !
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