Pain associated with untreated acid reflux can cause babies to display long periods of inconsolable crying, wakefulness leading to sleep deprivation, and distressed and avoidant feeding behaviour resulting in poor growth.
So my son cannot have dairy, soy, gluten, egg … what on earth do I feed him!? This is a question faced by many parents who have infant and toddler ‘refluxers’, as food can often be the culprit for a reflux flare and cutting out gluten, dairy, soy, and/or egg from their diet can sometimes help (AND there may be other foods that need to be avoided too!). Food allergies show on allergy tests but there are no skin or blood tests for food intolerance and both can cause symptoms of reflux in susceptible children
What is food intolerance, and what does it have to do with reflux?
Managing a feed refuser can be a tough assignment and quite exhausting work. And everyone has their bit of advice to give. Its made that bit more tricky with kids who are also allergic or intolerant to a variety of foods so please take all of these hints and tips with a grain of salt and consult your doctors / dieticians and other medical professionals with regard to new foods that might be an issue for your child. Please also take into consideration the developmental milestones of your child.
We didn’t have a failure to thrive (FTT) baby, or a baby who needed to be hospitalised, however the first twelve months with our first child Rachael were the most difficult in my life. As everyone said parenting was hard, I just thought that it was normal to never be able to put your child down without them screaming, to scream inconsolably for hours and hours and to only sleep upright.
I’ll start with the good news … even though we were told that there was virtually no chance Jordan (now 12 weeks old) wouldn’t have severe reflux and food issues like his sister, I really haven’t seen much evidence of either of them. He reacts a little to a couple of foods (tomato, spicy foods, etc) but that’s pretty common, and while he vomits constantly he doesn’t seem to be in pain, and on the odd bad day, we just use Mylanta. Plus he’s thriving at about 7kg!
Belle’s issues were a little more complex, but she’s a bright, bubbly and very energetic little girl and coming up to 3.5 years. She stopped feeding altogether between about 5 and 7 weeks of age, and was tubed at 7 weeks. We were told it would be for 48 hours, but we ended up tube feeding for 2.5 years. After a year on the NG tube, and lots of admissions, they did a couple ofoperations to set up a PEG and then Mic‐key button [low profile tube].