A few days after we brought our son home from the hospital, it happened. He arched his back and out of his tiny mouth came a projectile of milk. Milk that took two painstaking pumping sessions to get. It landed on the floor several feet away from the crib he would share with his twin sister when she came home from the NICU. My husband and I were amazed at the amount of spit up such a tiny baby could produce. Similar incidents continued. We finally took him to our pediatrician who diagnosed him with acid reflux.
We’ve tried all the remedies our pediatrician has suggested. Our son is more comfortable, but we have yet to fully conquer the spit up villain. At first, we almost lost our minds trying to completely stop it. We eventually realized it was not worth the effort. We have accepted that the spit up may not completely stop until he outgrows the reflux. If you are losing your sanity to spit up, here are ten suggestions we’ve tried with our son to help manage it.
1. Talk to your pediatrician. This may seem obvious, but I hesitated to take our son to the doctor in the beginning. Our first pediatrician was not a good fit. I was concerned the new doctor would dismiss our concerns, too. I decided to consult Dr. Google, which yielded no real solutions. We took a picture of the spit up and took it to the pediatrician. He immediately came up with a plan to help us manage the reflux and reduce the spit up.
2. Get all the burp cloths. My sister in law gave us stacks of burp cloths at our baby shower. I thought we would never go through that many. I imagined the extra time I would save doing less laundry. Ha. If both twins have reflux, you may want to build a small house to contain the burp cloths. We keep at least 4-5 in our diaper bag. I also made a kit for the car with extra burp cloths, changes of clothes, diapers, and wipes. I put a burp cloth over the changing table and under our son’s head when he is laying down (while attended). They’re also great placed under his feet while in his Jumperoo to collect any spit up that drips down. We like flannel burp cloths best. They are absorbent and big enough for larger spills.
3. Use an infant chair during and after feedings. Our pediatrician suggested propping our son up for feedings and thirty minutes after eating. This was almost impossible when he was a newborn. When we needed to feed both babies at one time propping him was a challenge. We used a feeding pillow to prop him until he could sit up with support. Now, we have an infant chair to help prop him up.
4. Get all the swaddling blankets. Our twins never liked to be swaddled. They could always find their way out of the tightest swaddle. Thankfully, we kept all their swaddling blankets (aka receiving blankets). They are great for babies who spit up often. I like to layer two of the larger blankets and place on the floor in our living room for tummy time. If our son spits up, I can just remove the top layer. They’re great for covering any larger areas you want to protect from spit up. We’ve also used them to help elevate our son’s mattress by rolling them up and placing under one side of the mattress. We recommended asking your pediatrician before making adjustments to your twin’s mattress to ensure safe sleep.
5. Buy all the (cute) bibs. A cute bib makes a great Instagram photo op and is much easier to change than a full outfit. I like to organize our son’s bibs by season/style. Sometimes I coordinate his bib with his outfit for the day, keeping in mind he will probably spit up on it. Our favorite bibs use a Velcro fastener. Velcro makes getting a bib soaked with spit up off quickly and efficiently.
6. Help them sleep better. The key word is better. Our son does not sleep through the night at six months, but there are nights when he sleeps four or so hours at a time. This is a big improvement from his newborn stage. Our son currently takes a version of Zantac prescribed by our pediatrician. We give him the last dose before bed. It helps ease his reflux and reduce the amount of spit up. We chose to use medicine as a tool after trying all other options. Keeping him elevated while sleeping has also helped (be sure to consult with your pediatrician before trying this).
7. Try baby wearing. When our son decides he does not want to sit in his infant chair or needs a little extra snuggle time, I wear him around as I complete daily tasks. He loves getting to see what’s going on. Keeping him upright as much as possible helps keep spit up to a minimum.
8. Fit in tummy time. Our pediatrician told us to let our son have tummy time as much as possible. It builds core and neck muscles, which will give him the ability to stay upright more often. He suggested fitting in tummy time every time we change our twin’s diapers.
9. Give them opportunities to be upright or elevated. Baby wearing, tummy time, time in the stroller…all these are great opportunities to be upright. Any time we can allow gravity to work to our advantage we do it. There is a noticeable improvement in the level of spit up on days our son has had plenty of opportunities to be upright.
10. Have a sense of humor. Sometimes you just have to laugh or you will cry. On a road trip we took over the holidays, our son spit up all over his Christmas outfit, the front seat of our car, and my husband. It got so out of hand we just had to laugh.
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Melissa Titus taught Kindergarten and 2nd grade in the public school system for ten years. She is taking a break from the education field to begin her new adventure as a SAHM to her boy/girl twins born n July 2016. When she’s not spending time with her husband or taking care of her twins, she loves to write, bake using her great grandmother’s recipes, support others still in the midst of infertility, and explore the great outdoors while attempting to photograph it. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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