This article should probably be titled ‘Reflux and Lack of Sleep’, as many refluxers experience both day and night time sleeping problems. Indeed lack of sleep is one of the main causes of distress for parents of refluxers and can put immense strain on your relationship with your child, partner, family and friends. It is helpful to start by clarifying what is ‘normal’ sleep behaviour and I use that term quite loosely, as every child is very different.
While reflux is a common issue for babies and children of all ages, we need to be careful of reflux being the catchall diagnosis for a crying baby. Even though there are a lot of different symptoms of reflux (see “How Reflux Presents”) and in some cases it can be difficult to diagnose, it is important for us to keep in mind that reflux is not the only possibility and it isn’t always to blame. If your baby or child is distressed or unwell, or reflux treatments don’t seem to be effective, it is important not to jump to conclusions, as hard as that may be. Even if your child does suffer from reflux, it may not always be the culprit.