Babywise Success with Reflux

Having used Babywise with my firstborn son with tons of success I of course planned to use the same style with my second son. There were some nagging fears that my firstborn had been a fluke and was just naturally a good sleeper or something like all my non-Babywise acquaintances claimed. But I honestly couldn’t imagine parenting any other way, it’s just a part of who our family is now.

Peter was born at the birth center and when he came out and they laid him on my chest to nurse we heard the most awful scream ever and knew something was up. Sure enough by 2 weeks old we realized he had GERD (reflux). He screamed in our arms for 9 hours once, refusing to nurse and yet not sleeping or anything either. I had some doubts, I wasn’t sure how we’d ever get him on a routine, the poor thing tried to eat round the clock (every 1-2 hours) and then screamed halfway through meals anyway. Our house was very loud and we were very grumpy for awhile there. Eventually I found that holding him off to about 3 hours between feedings actually helped with both his ability to eat and reduced the crying! I kept that up for weeks, doing everything else the pediatrician suggested as well until she finally agreed to try medication. I also got a SnuggleU around 5 weeks old, from Valerie, and that was a true Godsend as it kept Peter from sliding down his inclined mattress and he always slept better with it than without.

Once we started medication the crying spells went down to maybe 20% of the day instead of 80%. Then after a couple episodes of Peter aspirating in his sleep we began thickening his milk at the insistence of our pediatrician and suddenly we had a whole new baby! By that time at 6 weeks we’d already made big progress, had his days and nights sorted out, and he was sleeping 4-5 hour stretches. By 8 weeks he was doing a 7 hour stretch of sleep and only had a fussy/restless ‘witching period’ in the late evenings. The rest of the day he ate and slept great. At 12 weeks, while on vacation 10 hours away, he slept through the night 11 hours and has maintained 11-12 hours since then. 

Now at 7 months I have successfully transitioned back to breastfeeding from exclusive pumping and he is a big healthy baby at 19.5lbs. He and his big brother share a room happily and both are in bed by 7:30pm every night, waking up at 7am exactly. He eats 4 times a day, 2 meals of solids.

In my former success story I mentioned my struggles with low milk supply and the discovery that it was a thyroid issue. I know there is a common thinking that Babywise scheduling causes breastfeeding supply issues and I want to say that I have successfully breastfed Peter and had no supply issues at all. Peter has gained weight wonderfully, 1/2 a pound every week from birth until 6 months. Yet Peter has had fewer feedings per day than his brother at almost every age, slept longer at night earlier, and started solids a full 2 months later. I was even able to exclusive pump for him for 3 months, getting 4-8oz. at every session so we could thicken the bottles to treat the reflux. There is absolutely more than one way to breastfeed a baby, in fact I am now a firm believer that in many cases scheduled feedings are more conducive to healthy breastfeeding than demand feeding.

~Manda, wife to Kyle and mom to Tobias (3) and Peter (7 months)