they cry thru most of their bottles

so I think my twins have GERD. The pedi prescribed liquid zantac for both of them, which I give them 2x daily in a little formula. I am BFing but I am also giving formula, and unfortunately they're probably getting 80% formula and 20% breast milk at this point. They both cry (actually, they scream, arch their backs, etc) when they eat, not every time, but more than half of the time. I've found a way to position them when giving them bottles that keeps them comfortable and enables them to eat without being in pain but I can only do it for one baby at a time and they often eat at the same time. It's very frustrating for DH and I, as well as my MIL, who comes over to help out a few days/week. MIL almost started crying the other day because one of the boys was crying so hard through the bottle and she couldn't get him to finish it.

 The crying usually starts about halfway through the bottle. Burping does NOT fix the problem. 

1. does anyone else have experience with this? Is this really GERD or something else? 

2. Does anyone have a suggestion about another formula I can try? They were on Similac Neosure for 2 months but About 2 weeks ago I switched them to Similac Sensitive with the red lid, which is lactose free and has rice starch in it to reduce spit up- my hope was that it would help with the GERD. Right after I switched the formula they did GREAT for like 3 days and now it seems to be getting progressively worse again. I'm wondering if the Zantac dosage needs to be increased again but it was just increased like 3 weeks ago.  Plus I hate giving them Zantac- they're so little.

HELP please! 


Re: they cry thru most of their bottles

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    I am so sorry. My LOs both had GERD but not nearly as bad as what your LOs are going through. It is heartbreaking to know your babies are in pain and there's nothing you can do to help. Both of my DDs were prescribed 1ml of zantac 2x/day at about 1-1/2 months. One DD grew out of it a few weeks ago and is now completely off zantac. My other DD is still on it and spits up a lot but she doesn't cry from it anymore. It can take up to 6weeks for the ulcers to heal. Hopefully all your LOs need is just a little more time and they find relief soon. I know thats not much help but just know this is temporary. Hang in there. I know its hard, but you're doing a great job (((hugs)))
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    My experience was that Zantac was not an immediate fix, but that it helped over the long term, if that makes sense. I am sorry, this will get better. Talk to your pedi about formulas and maybe get some better advice.

    My LO with reflux drank EBM and I took everything out of my diet imaginable that could bother him, which helped a little. So don't put pressure on yourself about not being able to provide more milk, if you are doing that.

    Oh and sometimes we fed them over our shoulder. I would sit reclined and hold both babies so their heads were on my shoulders, and DH would stand behind me and hold the bottles. This forced them to tilt their heads up a little.

    ::Hugs:: and hang in there.

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    janjagjanjag member

    yup, sounds familiar.  audrey was like this.  we were on neosure for about 4mos or so with her.  we tried zantac, and then prevacid.  ped said zantac isn't necessarily so effective, just the one that insurance co's will cover.  annoying!

    when we switched to a regular formula ped recommended goodstart, which is made with whey protein.  she did well on it.  i have no experience with any others.

    not sure if the prevacid worked, or if she just grew out of the reflux.  we tried gripe water and it did nothing for us, but some say it helps. 

    sounds like you are pumping, so i'm sure feeding separately would be hard... i know, b/c that's what i did.  what about holding one, and using something like this:

    with babies this young you'd have to be very vigilant watching baby when using something like this, if it would even work.  we got one, but then started feeding tandem right after.

    good luck!

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    Our babies have GERD and we use Dr. Brown's bottes with preemie nipples. I don't know if the special bottles help or not, but they might be worth a try.

    We also are BFing and bottle feeding formula (and EBM). We tried Similac Advance and Similac Sensitive before switching to Similac Alimentum. Maybe something to ask your pedi about. The Alimentum is expensive as all get-out, but if it helps, it's worth it.

    Also, we stagger their feedings so we're only feeding one at a time. It sounds like you know of a position where they are comfortable eating, so maybe it is worth considering feeding them one after the other rather than both at once.

    married 03/08/08 -- ttc with PCOS (dx 2005) & DS
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    I have this problem with my daughter.  It started when she was 2 months old.  She started refusing the botle, screaming, turning her head, arching and becoming stiff.  Zantac did nothing for her.  She's been on that for about 2 months.  They then added Prevacid, which she's been on for 3 weeks.  Still the same thing!  She is on Neosure and I called the pedi yesterday to see what the next step is.  They said before that it would be an upper GI to check for any issues before giving her any other medication.

     I can totally sympathize with you.  I cry several days a week over this and her lack of not eating.  Its the most frustrating situation and it does not help when you have another baby or in my case babies crying for their turn.  I have to walk my daughter around the house and show her pictures, curtains, the clock, t.v......ANYTHING to distract her to eat.  After an hour of fighting and trying to distract her, I get maybe 3-4 oz into her.  I worry about her growth and if she's getting enough nutrition. 

     Through my experience with this and talking to my friends, Zantac does not help that many children.  I've had two friends that did the Prevacid/zantac combo and it did the trick.  It can take a couple weeks for Prevacid to work because its a PPI.  I wish you a lot of luck with this!  If I find a solution for my daughter, I will be sure to post. 

    I posted about this on the preemie board yesterday... you can see what others wrote to me.

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    oh, I see you live in SJ.... ...what a coincedince, so do I.
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    this is the WORST time you are going through- I know it all too well - and I only dealt with it with one baby - so i'm so sorry!

    Gray started doing this at 6w old- and I spent most of my days crying myself - b/c i felt helpless and miserable knowing I had to feed him every 3 hours- there was no break from the screaming.

    Go to a pedi GI if it doesn't get better in a cuople days --- We saw a pedi GI and he said that it can be many different things- not just GERD --- milk protein allergies can sometimes manifest just like GERD, etc...

    Zantac is safe- don't worry about giving it... and yes, you will often need to increase the dose.  We gave it 3x's a day --- you might want to try that - morning, noon, night. 

    It started working well for Gray after about a week --- with increases needed every month or so as he got bigger - I knew right away when he needed an increase b/c he'd start arching again and screaming... It's not easy- but there is a light at the end of the tunnel!   He's almost 11mo now and I have almost completely gotten him off of zantac and he's doing well.

    The pedi GI might change them to Prevacid- which is much better than Zantac - and very safe (I used to sell prevacid and know it inside and out - it's approved for babies as young as 1 y/o but often given to infants by pedi GIs). 

    Again- see the GI if it doesn't get better... regular pedis are often not knowledgable enough to treat really bad reflux.

    prayers for you - i know how rough it is! those couple weeks before we got Gray's reflux under control were truly the worst couple weeks of having the twins.

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    Thank you, thank you, thank you again to everyone for your replies and advice- it helps to know I'm not the only one:).

    I'll look into a pediatric GI :)

    .. side note, I called my pedi's office (I normally have no complaints about them, they're great) this morning and spoke to one of the docs, who told me that I just have to "bear with it" for now- very frustrating to hear, but obviously illustrates that regular pedis often don't know what to do about GERD..

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    I made an appointment today with CHOP GI, but they are booked out till mid June.... I'm so frustrated because I feel like I am not getting anywhere with our pedi too.  8 weeks on medication and everyday is still a struggle with no answers.  Good luck with everything!

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    It definitely sounds like reflux. I went through it with all three of the babies but Caitlin was the most severe. She was on prevacid to begin with but once we implemented the three things I listed below, her pedi took her off because she was doing better without it. Every baby is different but this is what changed everything for us:

    1) Homemade gripe water. I feel this one thing helped more then anything else and we still use it now. I tried the store bought kind but it didn't make near as much of a difference as the homemade. (I use chamomile, fennel, dill seed, and brown sugar now and it has worked the best for us). Give 5-10ml prior to each feed.


    2) If you are not using Dr Brown's bottles now, switch to them. It made such a huge difference all around. 

    3) We had a lot of stomach issues with the Neosure (mostly constipation that caused horrible pain, which is quite common for this formula). If they have reflux I would highly recommend Enfamil AR. It has worked wonders for their reflux, spiting up, no constipation, and burping is much easier on them and us.

    Hope this helps. I know how horrible it can be to hear one baby crying while trying to feed another. For me it was heart wrenching but it does get better. Good luck and try to focus on the good moments.

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    ethansbride- I've heard of people waiting longer than that to get into CHOP, mid-June doesn't actually sound that bad! Good luck and thanks for your help!


    MomofTrips- thanks so much for the suggestions- I am using Dr. Browns. I'm going to try the gripe water and Enfamil AR:)

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