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Gastroesophageal Reflux

Dr. Christine Wood, M.D


My 3 month old baby girl has had problems since birth. She has constantly screamed in pain for most of the day, hardly sleeping. At first, the doctor said it was a formula problem, then colic, then constipation.

Finally, I got fed up and took her to children's hospital where they diagnosed her with reflux. Well, we've been keeping her at an angle, putting one tablespoon for every ounce of formula in her bottle, and she's been on Zantac 3 times per day.

Well, she's been a lot better. It's much more bearable now! However, she still has fits starting around seven or eight at night. It doesn't last very long, and we usually just have to let her cry it out. It takes anywhere from 15min to an hour. Then she cries herself to sleep. It's the oddest thing.

The hospital ran a milk scan to see to what degree she is refluxing but I haven't gotten them yet. Also, her lips, hand and feet tend to quiver quite often. Almost like a nerve. I don't know why that is. I'm also worried that she will gain too much weight.

Gastroesophageal reflux, or spitting up can be a cause of babies being very fussy and irritable. It sounds like you are doing the right things to take care of the problem. The brief evening fussiness may be just normal evening fussiness that many babies go through. Some babies have difficulty with some formulas, and a hypoallergenic formula like Alimentum or Nutramigen may be helpful.

However, if she is not very fussy at other times with the formula, this may not be the problem. Quivering of the hands, feet and lips is common in babies, and they usually outgrow this around 3 to 4 months of age. I would suggest that if you are continuing to have problems with her fussiness that is increasing, you may want to seek consultation with a pediatric gastroenterologist. A weight check at the doctor's office will help you monitor weight gain.

Dr. Christine Wood is a practicing pediatrician in Southern California. She is the author of "How to Get Kids to Eat Great and Love It," a book that addresses the issues of why and how to feed kids healthy. You can visit her website at

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jennifer Aug 3, 2011 05:59:12 PM ET

My baby girl has the same thing with her reflux we whent to her pediatrican and she said oh its normal till it got to the point that she was gasping for air and chocking we then had to take her to the childrens hospital and they too diagosed her with this reflux no help from the stupid pediatrican which we got her a new one because of that but we just found out that her medication she was taking the liquid zantac is now discontinued so we when back to the pediatrican we hate and said can you get her on liquid previsid and she told us no and to not give her the medication that shes on now when the medication runs out and i just dont want my baby to en up back in the hospital again so we had to sqroung around that day from pharmacy to parmacy looking for the zantac stuff and every one we whent to said that its discontinued so im mad about that and shes got her first apointment with her new pediatrican on the 10th of august i hope that we cant get the previsid for her it would be such a shame if we cant get it for her heres to luck i hope

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Veronica Mar 11, 2009 07:25:58 AM ET

Sorry to hear that your baby still is having reflux symptoms. my baby is five months old and she was on zantac three times a day as well, however, she continued being fussy, pulling her legs to her stomach, and was having a hard time sleeping. i took her to a gastrointestinal specialist for children and she is a complete different baby since. she is able to sleep now, she is on prilosec 2.5 ml twice day, is a little stronger that zantac. i would recommend to ask your peditrician to prescribe the liquid form, because is the best way and the easiest for the baby. hope everything gets better. sleep deprive mom:)

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