Colic should be a four letter word. Nothing shatters the overwhelming sense of joy that comes with a birth of a newborn baby than the constant and relentless screaming coming from your sweet bundle of joy. As a parent of two acid-reflux babies, I understand the pain and heartache that comes with colic. From the sleepless months and constant feelings of inadequacy to the rude comments from strangers (and/or friends and family members), a baby with acid-reflux is a journey only understood by those whom have truly walked the walk and not just talked the talk. So in dedication to those whom pleas for help often fall upon deaf or naive ears, I’ve decided to take a quick detour from my standard playroom posts to share some of the lifesaving tools that helped me survive two tours in the land of colic.
Eight Essential Tools for Infant Reflux Survival
1. Colic Solved: The Essential Guide to Infant Reflux and the Care of Your Crying, Difficult-to- Soothe Baby by Bryan Vartabedian M.D. Written by a noted pediatric gastroenterologist and the father of two babies with acid reflux, Dr. Vartabedian will provide you with the peace of mind and understanding as to why your baby acts and reacts the way she does. As you acid-reflux bible, this is the you will quickly find yourself quoting to all your friends, family and even your doctors. Average Amazon Price: $10
2. The Happiest Baby on the Block book or DVD by Harvey Karp: First, don’t let the title fool you, your baby won’t be the “happiest baby on the block,” so don’t feel guilty when it doesn’t happen. Harvey Karp however, does a great job explaining the innate comforting mechanisms ingrained in newborns. While these mechanisms may not “cure” your baby, knowledge of them will certainly help you understand why swaddling, shushing and swinging your baby may help them to feel better, even if they are still crying. Average Amazon Price: $10.05
3. BABYBJÖRN BabySitter : Plan a bake sale, have a garage sale, eat rice and beans for a week, or anything else you need to do in order to afford this miracle chair. Half baby bouncer, half portable crib, this upright chair will provide you and your baby hours of much needed sleep. Don’t be fooled by significantly cheaper vibrating chairs, as they don’t provide the necessary incline needed to prevent the acid in your baby stomach from traveling up into their esophagus. Average Amazon Price: $129.00
4. Miracle Blanket – Baby Swaddling Blanket: Quite simply the only swaddling blanket that works. Other swaddling blankets are either too complex or aren’t strong enough to keep the fussiest babies swaddled. Average Amazon Price: $28.79
5. Homedics SS-3000 Soundspa Lullaby: This white machine has it all, three natural sounds (including a heartbeat), three musical selections, a timer, a plug (yeah! no batteries) and even an image projector that gently rotates one of three interchangeable disks. Even if the rotating disk dies out on you (a common complaint with this model), it is still worth every penny. Average Amazon Price: $22.66
6. Everidis BioGaia Probiotic Drops: Many studied have shown that these probiotic drops have “cured” or lessened the effects of acid-reflux in babies. While your baby may not be cured, you and your doctor will most likely agree that giving these a go is worth a shot. I used them with both of my babies with varying levels of success (but still success nonetheless). Amazon Price: $36 for a 25 day supply.
7. Britax Marathon 70 Convertible Car Seat: Acid-reflux babies and infant carriers simply do not mix. As explained in Colic Solved, these seats place the babies stomach at a angle that allows the acid to dump back into the esophagus. Britax Car Seats, while pricey, will save you hours of pain and screaming in the car as their seats allow the chair to be adjusted to a higher incline, provide more padding than the standards brands and consistently receive top ratings in crash tests. Several different models are available starting around $250.
8. An understanding pediatrician: Several different medications are available to help provide your baby some relief. Most pediatricians are understanding, but some will simply give you the “all babies cry” routine. If you truly believe your baby is not getting the medications he needs (and not all acid-reflux babies need medication), refer to Colic Solved and/or try another doctor.