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
My daughter, Evie is 3 and a half years old. This is her (medical) story. Evie was born in June 2009. Right from the beginning it was a rocky start. My milk failed to come in adequately and she failed to gain weight. We had to give her formula or we would be staying in hospital. I battled on trying everything to increase supply and meanwhile, supplementing so that she gained weight. At about 5 weeks, she became VERY unhappy. She cried for almost every waking moment for 3 days. The only thing that stopped her crying that weekend was me breastfeeding her (although I think she was using me more as a dummy) and walking her around outside, talking to her and holding her very upright.
Ella was a very much wanted baby who was our little miracle after assisted conception medication was taken and then a high risk pregnancy. Almost as soon as she was born she was crying and screaming for long hours.
I wanted to be a mum more than anything else in the world. So that was the plan… meet a boy, get married and have a baby (or two!). I actually thought I’d be really good at it, but over the last 21 months I have considered myself wrong countless times.
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.