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Old 02-16-2008, 12:39 PM   #1
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Not sure what is wrong with my 5 week old baby!!

Hello, I am a first time mom so this is all very new to me. My husband and I are trying very hard to figure out what might be bothering our 5 week old daughter. We are having a problem with her spitting up all the time. And it is not just a little it is ALOT and all the time. Right before she spits up she gets really fussy and cries like she is in pain so we always know when it is coming. When we put her down to sleep she is always restless and tosses and turns and wiggles around like she is in pain. She pulls her legs up to her chest and arches her back, and she wants to eat all the time, also at night when we lay her down to sleep she starts wheezing a little bit. It is very hard for my husband and I to lay her down on her back because it seems to bother her so I have been putting her on her side which seems to help her a little bit. It just seems like she is fussy all the time but not when we are holding her so I am not sure what the problem could be.

We talked to her Dr. and he had us switch formulas, we were using Gentelease and now we are on a lacto free formula but that did not seem to help. Last night we started giving her gas relief drops after every feeding to help her burp and that seems to have worked a little but not completely.

I just feel so bad for her, I know she has to be in some kind of pain cuz surely she is just not that fussy for no reason. I really want to help my baby and make sure she has no pain and can be happy. Soes anyone have any suggestions on what I can do to help my baby girl be more confortable.

Thanks
Stephanie

 
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Old 02-16-2008, 02:15 PM   #2
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Re: Not sure what is wrong with my 5 week old baby!!

Sounds like reflux to me. My firstborn had a bad case of reflux. It started at about 4 or 5 weeks and went away almost overnight at around 5 months. He was on Allimentum, Prevacid and Mylanta during this period of time and it did help although we still had spitting up. I also elevated the head of his crib which helped him sleep. He is now 3.5 and has had no problems once the reflux went away. I have an almost 1 week old and I'm praying he doesn't go through the same thing. Good Luck!

 
Old 02-16-2008, 03:23 PM   #3
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Re: Not sure what is wrong with my 5 week old baby!!

Yes, it sounds like acid reflux and maybe colic. I had 1 son who was very fussy, with no spit up, and then the other who spit up everything. My first child,had nutramigen for formula and that was what helped him. My second son, after many different formulas, for the first 4 months would only take liquid form (the premade cans) of enfamil. Then I switched him to the target generic form and he liked the powder and then I could make it at home. It was less expensive, and that was good. What kind of formula are you using, powder or liquid form? Also, maybe you could ask about nutramigen (sp?). It is expensive, but it worked. Let us know how it goes. Good luck, and you are doing a great job.

 
Old 02-16-2008, 07:29 PM   #4
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Re: Not sure what is wrong with my 5 week old baby!!

I was kinda of thinking acid reflux also but my dr just wanted to keep changing our formula. I called today and they are going to see us tomorrow, I really hope they can tell us what is wrong with our little girl, it just breaks my heart seeing her in pain. We did go out today and get her some karyo syrup to help her poop and she did once so she has been a little happier plus she did finally hold down a bottle earlier so maybe she is getting better I just don't know. A trip to the dr will hopfully give us answers.

Thanks for your advice

 
Old 02-16-2008, 08:30 PM   #5
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Re: Not sure what is wrong with my 5 week old baby!!

This sounded similar to my daughter. She did the exact same things...especially pulling her legs into her chest and grunting when sleeping. We switched to a soy formula and it worked amazingly. Sometimes it takes a good 4-7 days to really see changes though. Good luck with everything!

 
Old 02-17-2008, 04:02 AM   #6
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Re: Not sure what is wrong with my 5 week old baby!!

Wow. This hits home for me so much. I just popped over on this board (rather than the pregnancy board) to get some help. My daughter is also 5 1/2 weeks old and we really need to find a formula that doesn't cause constipation. We have figured out that this is why she is pulling her legs up to her belly, arching her back, fussing, groaning, screaming at times, and can't sleep. She is able to keep her feedings in her and spit up isn't a big problem. However, she does occassionally do projectile vomit. However, we think that might be because she ate more than her little tummy could hold at the moment. She was born 5 weeks premature and was on Enfamil Enfacare (22 calorie) for awhile to help her with her weight; however, she is now on Enfamil Lipil (20 calorie). At first, when we switched her to the 20 calorie, it helped with the constipation a little (the 20 calorie is not as thick as the 22 calorie) and she liked it better. However, now we are back to her having to struggle to poop and at times what comes out is small and very rock hard. The doctor suggested 3 things yesterday:

Enfamil GentleEase - she hated it and refused to continue drinking it.

Nestle Good Start - once again, she hated it and refused to continue drinking

1 tsp. 2 or 3 times a day mixed into a bottle - Karo Syrup. I did this once and it worked a little (although she still was struggling). I then went onto the karosyrup website and they don't guarantee that this doesn't contain botulism spores (which could be fatal to a newborn). Supposedly, they have mostly fixed the issue; however, the manufacturer themselves state that they will NOT guarantee this is safe to use for an infant. Well - I'm not going to do that again.

As I type this, my baby is moaning because she is trying to poop. Please...anyone have any suggestions for a type of formula that maybe she will like and it will help this? We plan on going to the store today to buy the small cans (hopefully) of every type of formula they have and to try them with her. The only ones I know I won't try are the low iron ones. She absolutely must have iron.

Please - any suggestions?

 
Old 02-17-2008, 08:09 AM   #7
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Re: Not sure what is wrong with my 5 week old baby!!

Dina-

We are taking our little girl to the Dr. tomorrow so hopefully I will get some answers and I will share with you what I find out.

I did talk to one of my girlfriends who has a baby and her little girl had a simalar problem and the only thing that worked for her little girl was soy formula. Maybe you could try that and see if your baby likes it. Good luck


Stephanie

 
Old 02-17-2008, 12:13 PM   #8
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Re: Not sure what is wrong with my 5 week old baby!!

It sounds to me like it could be reflux and/or a milk protein allergy or maybe both. Have you tried switching to a soy formula like Isomil? Personally, if they're having you switch formulas initially anyway, I'd try that. Milk protein allergies are very common. My first DD had a milk protein allergy with similar symptoms as you're describing and the Isomil was a miracle worker with her. With DD2 we started her out on Isomil and she was fine. With DS, we started him out on Isomil as well but he has reflux, also similar symptoms. From what we were told, it generally starts around 6 weeks and peaks at 3-4 months. He's on Zantac now and is a different baby! He still spits up, it doesn't stop that, it just cuts down on the acid in his stomach so it doesn't bother him as much. He spits up and goes on being a happy baby.

Other things to try if she's umcomfortable being laid on her back:
a wedge under the crib sheet (or elevate one side of the crib matress - DS kept sliding down, so the wedge worked better)
lay her on her side instead of her back
let her sleep in her carseat in her crib (or they make sleep positioners that are similar but more comfortable, keep in mind, though, that they outgrow these at about 6 months, so you'll need to transition her out of either of these sleep methods)
keep her upright for at least a half hour after eating
burp her more often after every ounce or so

I'd try switching to soy formula and see if that helps. Gas relief drops might help, and my SIL swears by Gripe Water for cholic, but cholic is a last-resort diagnosis after trying everything else to solve the problem. If it's reflux, Zantac (rx) or Mylanta Supreme is more effective. Most babies outgrow it by the time they're mobile. Hang in there!

 
Old 02-17-2008, 04:08 PM   #9
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Re: Not sure what is wrong with my 5 week old baby!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcummins3 View Post
It sounds to me like it could be reflux and/or a milk protein allergy or maybe both. Have you tried switching to a soy formula like Isomil? Personally, if they're having you switch formulas initially anyway, I'd try that. Milk protein allergies are very common. My first DD had a milk protein allergy with similar symptoms as you're describing and the Isomil was a miracle worker with her. With DD2 we started her out on Isomil and she was fine. With DS, we started him out on Isomil as well but he has reflux, also similar symptoms. From what we were told, it generally starts around 6 weeks and peaks at 3-4 months. He's on Zantac now and is a different baby! He still spits up, it doesn't stop that, it just cuts down on the acid in his stomach so it doesn't bother him as much. He spits up and goes on being a happy baby.

Other things to try if she's umcomfortable being laid on her back:
a wedge under the crib sheet (or elevate one side of the crib matress - DS kept sliding down, so the wedge worked better)
lay her on her side instead of her back
let her sleep in her carseat in her crib (or they make sleep positioners that are similar but more comfortable, keep in mind, though, that they outgrow these at about 6 months, so you'll need to transition her out of either of these sleep methods)
keep her upright for at least a half hour after eating
burp her more often after every ounce or so

I'd try switching to soy formula and see if that helps. Gas relief drops might help, and my SIL swears by Gripe Water for cholic, but cholic is a last-resort diagnosis after trying everything else to solve the problem. If it's reflux, Zantac (rx) or Mylanta Supreme is more effective. Most babies outgrow it by the time they're mobile. Hang in there!

Well Said!!!

Last edited by LauraLu; 02-17-2008 at 04:09 PM.

 
Old 02-18-2008, 04:44 PM   #10
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Re: Not sure what is wrong with my 5 week old baby!!

Well we went to the Dr. today and he does not think that she has acid reflux. He thinks that she may have a bit of a mile allergy and by me mixing my breast milk with the formula it was causing her to get sick. He told me to stop giving her my breast milk and just give her the lacto free formula and see how that works. I thought that was kinda weird since breast milk should be the best for a baby but I listened and we will see what happens. He also told me to delute her formula with water so that she can have softer more frequent BM so we are suppossed to give her 2 oz of formula powder mixed with 3 oz of water. I hope that works for her because she seems to struggle so hard to poop and today there was even a little trace of blood in it like it maybe scraped her little anus coming out. He still wants us to give her the gas drops since it also seems to be helping with her burping but only he wants us to give it to her every other feeding rather tha every feeding.

Anyway, I hope this all works, I really want my baby girl to be happy and confortable.

I do have another question. He thought that 3 oz for a 5 week almost 6 week old baby was alot. She weighs 8 lbs 11 oz so I thought she should at least be having 4oz, if nothing else at least 4 oz at noght so she will sleep longer. BUt he told me to stick with 3 oz which is kinda hard for me because that means she is up at night every 3 hours and it is fine now but when I go back to work that will be hard to do ( my husband does not get up and help out with her at night so it is just me) Hopefully by the time I go back to work her little tummy can handle a little more and she can sleep longer. We will see. But do you think 3 oz is alot?

Anyway, I am rambling, thanks for all the help I will let you all know how everything works out.

Stephanie

 
Old 02-18-2008, 05:01 PM   #11
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Re: Not sure what is wrong with my 5 week old baby!!

I do not think 3 oz is a lot. My dd weighed 8lbs at birth and was taking 4 oz by the time she was 6 weeks. I think the rule of thumb is to go by their weight and half that. So if she weighs 10 lbs, she can eat up to 5 oz; 8 lbs, she can eat up to 4 oz. I think you're right where you want to be. If she's hungry, she'll keep eating. If I were you, I would ignore the doctor and give her what she wants to eat...but that's me . Go with your gut and good luck to you!

P.S. my dd was sleeping through the night at 6 weeks, so you're almost out of the woods!

 
Old 02-19-2008, 04:40 AM   #12
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Re: Not sure what is wrong with my 5 week old baby!!

My daughter will be 6 weeks on Wednesday; however, she was born 5 weeks premature. She eats every 2 hours. We had to start doing that shortly after birth to get to gain weight. She could not take much at each feeding and this was a way to get more food in her. It worked well. I looked at yesterdays feedings (which was a new high record for her!) and she average 31 cc's an hour, which is 124 cc's (a little over 4 ounces) every 4 hours. She weighs 7 lbs. 14 ounces now. So, 4 ounces sounds good to me. I would not stop her if she wanted more ever. We work so hard to keep her gaining weight.

 
Old 02-19-2008, 04:53 AM   #13
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Re: Not sure what is wrong with my 5 week old baby!!

when my son was born he cried all the time especially around 6-7pm at night. i spoke to a doctor who said it was simply colic and would pass at 3 months which it did. it is very distressing as parents and yes i used all sorts of baby products to help. i found laying him across my knees and stroking his back helped a little. it ended as soon as it came on but with all small babies it is always worth seeking professional help just in case.

 
Old 02-19-2008, 06:18 AM   #14
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Re: Not sure what is wrong with my 5 week old baby!!

3 ounces doesn't sound like a lot to me either, since babies eat when they're hungry and stop when they're full, and if she's not full at 3 ounces, most doctors would tell you to let her keep eating. But, for now until you figure out what the problem is, do what the doctor recommends. If she's spitting up a lot, feeding her a lesser amount at more frequent intervals and burping her more might help her hold more down overall.

Breast milk is generally best for babies, however, when there's a possible allergy or digestive issue, it's a lot quicker to diagnose when they're on formula, and the quicker you get the allergen out of her system the better it is for her, so that's probably their rationale for having you stop the breast milk. Try not to take it personally, they're just trying to help your baby. You're still a good mom because you care about your baby and want what's best for her. But if you're not comfortable with that decision at this point, talk to your doctor about your concerns. It's your baby and you have to feel comfortable with your decisions. Your doctor should be able to give you a good medical reason to back up his suggestions so you can feel confident that that's the right decision for your baby. If they can't convince you that that's the best solution right now, they should be willing to consider other options that take into account what you feel is best if it isn't going to harm your baby, or you need to find another doctor you're more comfortable with.

Blood in the stool is usually a sign of an allergy, the most common being milk protein. But either way, lactose intolerance or milk protein allergy, it sounds like it's a problem with milk-based formula that they're trying to deduce. It's very common and most babies outgrow it by a year. Given her symptoms and the fact that they don't think it's just reflux but an issue with something in her diet, it seems like they're going through a process of elimination with the milk-based formulas while you and your newborn are miserable and sleep-deprived, when they could have you just try switching to soy for now and determine the milk issue later. Has your doctor mentioned a concern with putting your baby on soy formula? Most babies with a milk-based formula issue end up on soy anyway, and even after eliminating all of the milk-based formulas, they still don't know which milk-based problem it is anyway. Personally, having gone through all of these same things with my first DD, I've learned that it doesn't really matter at 6 weeks old anyway, because, either way, they outgrow the majority of their infant issues and you'll have to reintroduce it at a year to determine if it's still a problem then. But, doctors don't live at your house with your miserable baby while severely sleep-deprived and recouperating from childbirth, so it's easy for them to say "try this" and "try that" and "see what happens," when most likely down the road they'll end up having you try putting her on soy anyway because of one issue or another with milk-based formula, if they even figure out exactly what the issue is. Personally, at this point, I would skip the milk-based formulas altogether and try switching to soy. You'll have to come back to milk at a year regardless, but you can skip some of the trauma as a newborn, assuming your doctor doesn't have any specific concerns with your baby and soy formula. Some babies are allergic to soy as well, so it may not be the end of the road for your formula issues, but it would cut out some of the steps that you can skip and reintroduce later when her digestive system is more developed and you've had more sleep. But, of course, before you try anything new, you'll want to talk to your doctor about it and make sure there isn't a medical concern for going against the grain with your baby.

After dealing with a milk-protein allergy that young with my first (I had it, my brother had it, my aunt had it and so did our nephew, so it's common with infants in our family, not just with my first DD), I talked to the pediatrician about the possible ramifications of starting my subsequent babies out on soy right from the start and not introducing dairy until they're a year old. At first, they told me "let them have their own allergies" and expose them to see, but they couldn't give me a good medical reason for doing that as newborns as oposed to waiting a year (I wasn't suggesting never giving them dairy, just waiting until their digestive systems are more developed and I wasn't sleep-deprived and recouperating). So together we decided that there is no harm in starting out on soy and not exposing them to dairy until they're a year old and dealing with a possible allergy at that point rather than knowing from the start. But that wasn't an option they would have given me if I didn't make them think about it, because they don't live at my house with a milk-protein allergy with a newborn, so it's easy for them to say "try this" and "try that" and "see what happens" and try to figure out what the problem is when it doesn't matter at that age anyway. The only medical issue they could come up with was that if they're born before 36 weeks, there is a concern with soy formula, so we agreed that if I had a pre-term baby, we'd weigh our options at that point; obviously, I don't want to intentionally harm my babies. Thankfully, all 3 of mine were full-term, so the last 2 started out on soy. My first outgrew it by a year, my second transitioned to milk fine at a year after starting on soy formula (I don't know if she ever had the initial allergy, but it doesn't matter now anyway), and my 3rd is only 7 1/2 months so he hasn't been exposed to milk protein yet. But I'm much more equipped to handle that situation with DS if it arises now that I've recouperated from child birth and he's been sleeping through the night consistently for a few months. I'll introduce it at a year and deal with it then if it's an issue.

Of course, you don't want to do anything controvercial without understanding the possible effects on your baby, but if you're too enhausted and emotionally drained to follow their recommended course of action right now, don't be afraid to make them think outside the box and come up with an alternative plan that works better for you as a sleep-deprived new mom with a newborn who is also recouperating from major trauma to her body. I'm not suggesting that soy formula is your only option, and some babies are allergic to that too, but if "try this" and "try that" and "see what happens" aren't working for you, maybe there is a different course of action they can come up with that is better for you and your family.

BTW, if it is a milk protein allergy, most babies outgrow it by the time they are 2, so most likely it is a temporary problem and not something you'll have to deal with forever.

On another note, if you do have to give up breastfeeding, take comfort in knowing that your baby would have this same reaction whether it's with formula or breastmilk (something in your diet). Don't feel guilty about switching to formula if your baby is having digestive issues, it's not your fault, and it may be the best solution to get your baby on track quickly and thriving. I went through post-pardum depression after I couldn't breastfeed my first and had overwhelming guilt. It wasn't until a few years later that I came to the realization that it was the best thing for my baby to be on formula so we could get her on track with eating and gaining weight when breastfeeding wasn't working out for her. There is such a push for breastfeeding, which is best for babies who thrive on breastmilk, but some babies have digestive issues and you shouldn't be made to feel guilty for doing what's best for your baby.

Last edited by jmcummins3; 02-19-2008 at 08:06 AM.

 
Old 02-19-2008, 04:06 PM   #15
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Re: Not sure what is wrong with my 5 week old baby!!

We saw the pediatrician today. She suggested that we go ahead with the soy milk formula. So far, so good. Now, we just have to see if she will continue eating it and if she can poop. She understands my concern with Karo Syrup and said that I can use prune juice in small moderations instead. She suggested that if she needs it, she can have no more than 1/2 ounce once a day given to her either in a bottle or in a medicine dropper. However, for right now, we are just going with the soy and will wait until tomorrow to see how the poop is. She, at least, so far, sleeps much better after eating soy than regular formula and she's not gassing at all. Let's cross our fingers.

 
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