Baby Baker · Being a mom · everyday life · Family · Parenting · Uncategorized

How to get your infant to take medicine – It’s a miracle!

As you know, Charlotte’s been dealing with some reflux issues {aka GERD}. She has silent reflux, meaning the spit-up comes up into her throat and mouth but then is swallowed back down instead of being spit out {most of the time} – not a lot of clean-up for mom {unless I do something silly like put her on her tummy too soon after eating…. bad mommy!}, but more pain for her because the acid passes through her throat twice! Poor little lamb. Here’s a video of me torturing Charlotte with tummy time – spoiler alert: someone {I won’t say who} spits up.

Yikes, who’s manning the camera anyway?! Don’t quit your day job!

I do think I should get some brownie points for not screaming or gagging, though. Yay me!

At her one month check-up Charlotte’s pediatrician and I opted to try some postural techniques to alleviate the reflux instead of using medication. The amount she was actually spitting-up {spitting out really} greatly reduced with just a bit more work on my part:

1. We keep her upright for about 30 minutes after each meal {This means not laying down, but also not in a sitting position that squishes her belly}. This isn’t too difficult, although in the middle of the night it does make for a very long process. During the day I like to sit with her propped up against my thighs – that way she’s upright and we can get some good ‘face time’ while we’re at it – woohoo, efficiency!! At night I just keep her up on my shoulder so she can go back to sleep.

2. One of Chris’ coworkers let us borrow “The Reflux Pillow“. It’s a wedge that the baby sleeps on to keep them at a 30* incline. The first night I put Charlotte on the pillow she slept for 6 hours! Initially, though, I was very skeptical- mostly because the pillow looked outdate, the website looked outdate… everything looked OLD and I didn’t want to put her on something that was no longer safe. I did extensive internet research for any reviews/complaints/recalls but couldn’t find much. The only comments I read were regarding older babies wiggling themselves partially out of the straps which could be dangerous if they get stuck in a bad position. I will have to make a decision about whether or not to continue using the pillow when Charlotte gets older and is moving a lot more. For now, she stays perfectly strapped in throughout the night and continues to average 6 hours each night, sometimes more!

3. I nurse her in more of an upright position, rather than a cradle/laying down position.

These postural changes definitely helped reduce the amount that she was spitting up and improved her comfort level throughout the day. However, the biggest issue continued to be while she was actually nursing or taking a bottle. She would pull off frequently, arch her back, cry, cough, choke, spit up  while she was actually drinking. It didn’t seem to make a difference whether she nursed or took a bottle of expressed milk. It is so hard to see her in pain and I didn’t want her to begin associating meal time with pain.  At Charlotte’s two month check-up the pediatrician prescribed a small amount of Zantac to help. I’ll keep you posted on whether or not that helps, but the issue then became giving her the medication! It has a very strong ‘mint’ odor, so I’m sure it tastes strong too. I used the medicine syringe and put the first dose inside her mouth along side her cheek to reduce the amount of contact with her taste buds. Fail. She immediately spit it all out and began screaming, which seems to usually activate her reflux even more. She may not be able to say ‘yuck’ yet, but she certainly got the message across with her facial expression. PLan B. It was time for some ingenuity and good ‘ol fashion sneakiness. I remember reading this trick somewhere {maybe Pinterest?} but I couldn’t find the source when I went to look for it. Just know that this was not really my brain child and that someone out there is way smarter than me and deserves credit for thinking this up.

I took a pacifier {one of the giant ones with an open back that they gave us in the hospital} and made a cross-cut in the very tip. This is what a cross cut looks like – though I made my cuts even smaller.

Here’s our set-up. Medicine in the syringe, hole cut in the pacifier, and a baby {that last part is optional…. I mean,  you could be someone who gets their kicks cutting holes in pacifiers, I don’t know?! sicko}

This was her before the medicine… I think she suspects some sneakiness is going on.

Keep in mind, this only works if your baby takes a pacifier {obviously} and is wanting one at that moment. Sometimes Charlotte refuses a pacifier and sometimes she loves it; we just got lucky with this experiment.

As soon as she latched on I injected the medicine into the bowl of the pacifier and she sucked it right down. Keep in mind, I didn’t squirt the medicine into her mouth through the hole in the pacifier – that would probably have made her choke. Instead, I put the medicine into the bowl and let her suck it out at her own pace.

If you try this technique be sure to pull the pacifier out once the medicine is all gone to prevent your kiddo from sucking down air. Also, be sure to wash the pacifier thoroughly to remove any medicine and to remove any lingering medicine taste, which might thwart your efforts if you try this technique again.

Any hint of trickery and the game is up!

I’m just sayin’.

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