Reflux sleep problems
Jennifer a freelance editor and Michael a fire fighter live with their 9 month old son Tyler in Pennsylvania USA. Tyler diagnosed with colic and acid reflux had not slept well from birth.
From his first night, our son, Tyler, wasn’t a good sleeper. For the first few months, Tyler slept less than any baby we had ever heard of–about 4 to 8 hours in any 24-hour period. Also he cried for hours each day, especially between 7 and 11 at night. At 2 months, Tyler’s paediatrician diagnosed him with colic. At three months, he diagnosed Tyler with acid reflux and put him on ranitidine. Tyler’s sleep improved for a few weeks.
Often he would have one 4-hour period of sleep a night. But when Tyler was 5 months old, his sleep steadily worsened. He would fall asleep only by nursing, rocking, or walking, and he would sleep for only an hour at a time, waking up to 11 times a night! Often during one of the awakenings in the middle of the night, he would stay up for 1 to 2 1/2 hours.
At 7 months old, Tyler still woke at least every 2 hours, 4 to 6 times a night. Sometimes he was up for hours in the middle of the night. He took three 30 or 45 minute naps a day and woke crying every time.
At 8 months, Tyler’s doctor advised letting him cry it out – something we just didn’t want to do!
By this time, we were completely depleted and exhausted from so many months of poor sleep. It was taking its toll on our relationships with each other, and other people. In an Internet search, we came across Millpond Children Sleep Clinic.
Several times over Tyler’s first 9 months, we had wished that someone could help us. As the Millpond sleep consultants are all medical professionals they sounded exactly what we were looking for.We emailed them Tyler’s story, asked a few questions, and were delighted by their answers:
We decided to give it a shot!
We vowed to follow the advice of our sleep consultant, to the letter. If she said to sing the national anthem while standing on our heads next to Tyler’s crib, that’s what we would do.
We filled out a sleep questionnaire and kept a sleep diary for one week and emailed them to our sleep consultant.
Then we talked with her by phone for an hour. She asked some more questions and answered all of ours and then she gave us her sleep program.
We were very surprised and happy. The program addressed Tyler’s feeds, food, sleeping and naps, and it also revamped our entire schedule. As Mandy is a health visitor she could give us specific advice about nap times, nap routines, bedtime, bedtime routines, and more.
The first thing we were to do was move Tyler’s last feed to before his bath, so he would be more comfortable when we put him in his cot.
We were then to give him a short relaxing bath, and after this go straight into his dimly lit bedroom to settle him to sleep. Mandy outlined the gentle steps of the gradual retreat plan for us to follow to slowly teach him how to go to sleep happily in his cot. We were to implement these at bedtime and in the night when he woke.
With our marching orders, we set about the new schedule. The results were immediate and dramatic.
Within just a few nights, Tyler was falling asleep on his own, without even a peep, in less than 5 minutes! And he began sleeping from 8 pm to 5 am–9 hours straight. Even more surprisingly, Tyler began eating and nursing better as well. His mood improved dramatically. So did ours.
A few weeks later, Tyler sleeps every night 9 to 10 hours.
Just the other day for the first time in his life, he laid his head down on the floor in the living room, wanting to take a nap. Last night, as we were finishing up his bedtime routine, he crawled over to his cot, pulled himself to stand, and gestured that he wanted to go to sleep! It feels like a miracle.