Weaning A Baby With Reflux - Our experience - What Katy Said

Weaning a reflux baby – Our experience | Part 1

Weaning your baby should be an exciting time. Introducing them to new flavours and textures and watching their little faces screw up in disgust is so much fun!

This is how it is for most parents and you will hear stories of ‘oh my baby is eating this that and the other now’. However, parents with a reflux baby will find this time stressful and upsetting.

Not sure if your baby has reflux? Take a look at my experience with silent reflux and reflux here.

We found out Lily had reflux fairly early on. Grace had silent reflux and many of the symptoms are similar, so we knew what we were looking for.

Of course, reflux is more obvious and easier to diagnose due to the huge volume of vomit brought up by the baby after a feed.

I don’t think people fully appreciate the amount produced unless they witness it for themselves. You will hear ‘all babies are sick after feeds’ but there is a big difference between possetting and bringing up a whole bottle!

When to wean a reflux baby

You will hear conflicting advice around weaning. Some will tell you to wean early with purees as it will help settle their stomachs whereas others will tell you to hold off.

My advice is to do what is best for your baby.

We tried weaning early at 4 months as it had indeed helped Grace with her silent reflux. However, it was completely the wrong decision for Lily as it made her reflux worse!

After her first experience of food (baby rice with milk) she screamed and screamed in pain. This lasted for hours and there was nothing I could do to comfort her.

Eventually, she vomited the whole day’s feed back up and settled down for the night. That was the end of that!

Trying again

At 5 months I tried again, thinking that after a month her reflux may be starting to improve. I researched ‘reflux safe’ foods and found that pureed pear, courgette and melon were good starting points.

Unfortunately, Lily only ever got to eat one pot as once again, she had an evening from hell ending in her whole room being sprayed with sick.

Food is fun until they’re one

We made the decision to hold off weaning until she was one as really they only need milk up until that point. Instead, we went down the baby-led route, allowing her to grab at food as and when she wanted.

She did go through phases where she was hungry but in those cases I upped her milk and she settled again. As long as their weight is good I don’t think you need to worry.

Do you have a baby with reflux or silent reflux? What is your experience?

Take a look at part 2 of our weaning journey to see how we got on.

8 Comments

  • Reply
    Weaning a reflux baby #02 - What Katy Said
    January 26, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    […] Last month I set the scene with my experience with reflux so far. Doctors had advised early weaning but this was a huge mistake so we had waited for baby led weaning. So where are we now?   Baby L has been sitting up at the table with us for a good few weeks now. She would happily sit and watch us eat, laughing at her sister (she finds Little G hilarious) without actually eating anything herself. However, a couple of weeks ago she started grabbing for food so I decided to put bits and bobs on her tray. The excitement on her face was a sight to see- she looked at though she was going to burst! […]

    • Reply
      Alice
      April 24, 2020 at 7:18 am

      Hello,
      Found this very useful. My 20 month old has a telephone check up with the neonatal department as part of his 6 monthly reviews due to prematurity.
      I mentioned I was a little worried the amount he used to be sick while weaning has really put him off textured foods.
      This doctor then asked his history which we have discussed many times during other check ups and she said it sounds like it could have been GORD.

      I am so gutted that this far down the line despite getting intervention it is now being raised. He even had speech therapy sessions as they worried it was a problem with his gag reflex after being tube fed.

      I appreciate you aren’t a medical expert but if you have any tips or believe some of these signs sound familiar I’d love to know.

      Newborn- never a sick baby but always seemed uncomfortable and had hiccups- constipation when a little older. We saw an osteopath who really helped.

      Dickens’s started when weaning. He would gag and projectile vomit nearly every meal if it was at all lumpy. Bedtime milk feeds also became a problem. He would down his bottle. Cry out for it if I slowed down but then projectile vomit it all up. This went on for months.
      I tried leaving bigger spaces between tea and night bottle where I could.

      Eventually it calmed down but even now at 20 months he will gag on food and bring it up. Not immediately but you can tell by the cry he knows it’s going to happen.
      This quick sick response also happens if he gets upset.
      Usually super happy when going to bed but if he cries he will vomit within mo it’s.

      Currently quite a windy child I would say. Hospital paediatrician is contacting our gp for a prescription but is this all too late?
      Gutted

      • Reply
        Katy
        May 9, 2020 at 11:25 am

        Hey lovely. What a nightmare! It seems doctors never really know the answer to these questions and it is down to the mother to use her instincts. To me it sounds like a super sensitive gag reflex. Lily was awful from birth but by 12 months it had improved. The main thing that seemed to trigger it was eating too quickly and too much in one go. So we made her meal times much more relaxed in the sense that she could just pick at her meals throughout the day rather than sticking to rigid times. I can clearly remember age 3 Easter time she gorged on an Easter egg (or 3) and was sick all over Grandmas cream carpet!! Rich foods and large portions defo a no no. She is 6 now and still cannot eat rich/spicy foods (although perhaps now by choice/taste) and prefers to eat over a long time. She’s definitely not a rusher! I wish I could help more. My advice is to do what YOU think is best. xxx

  • Reply
    Karen
    February 3, 2015 at 11:39 am

    So glad I found my way to this post, it’s a relief to see another mum going through something similar to me, although I wouldn’t wish a reflux baby on anyone! My daughter suffers with it because she also has a cows milk protein allergy – I’ve found that she has taken a while to want to eat solids as her reflux hurts her on and off, we have good days and bad days. I’m handling the allergy by going diary free myself as I’m still breast feeding, this has single handedly made the biggest difference to her and by me avoiding milk it has pretty much stopped her reflux issues, however she’s just cut her first tooth and the second is currently coming up and the acid in her saliva is causing her acid reflux now! When she has a good day though she enjoys avocado, sweet potato and parsnip and banana rice breakfast, these are the few things she actually likes and tends to keep down! When she becomes better with her grasp I shall start to give her finger food too, I’m not sure what I’ll do about milk as she can’t have regular formula, for now I’m happy to keep BF, I think taking each day as it comes is the way forward for us!

    • Reply
      Katy
      February 3, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      You sound like you are doing a fab job! We also have a dairy allergy here although I had to stop breastfeeding due to tongue tie (she seemed to have every issue going!!) so it made it easier by being on the prescribed formula. Have you seen a doctor? We were prescribed ranitidine which made the world of difference- especially during teething!!
      We found baby led weaning to be the best route for us as her reflux was so severe that anything mushy just aggravated it, but if your daughter is ok with a few spoonfuls of avocado etc that is great!
      Don’t worry too much about the dairy, most babies are supposed to grow out of it- actually we are just in the process of reintroducing dairy now so keep an eye out for our milk ladder posts. xx

  • Reply
    Rose
    July 17, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    I have just found your list and am interested to know what you let your baby eat when introducing finger food. This is my second reflux/milk protein allergy baby and he is proving t be on a whole new level to my daughter. He is on omeprozle and Alfamino ( failed Neocate) but he seems to react to EVERYTHING i am introducing. He can handle millet, brown rice, sweet potato, apple and pear if mixed with the first few options and that seems to be it. Courgette, squash,carrot, parsnip ( SO bad!)wheat, chicken, pork, peach, banana, avocado all causing issues. Bad rash around mouth and reflux really soon after and lasts a few days – did you have this problem at all? I would love to hear. My daughter can finally handle small amounts of dairy at 2yrs but still reacts badly to soya. Don’t find avoiding dairy an issue just wondering what i can feed my son! Any help hugely appreciated.
    Many thanks and i really hope things with your baby are easier!

    • Reply
      Katy
      July 17, 2015 at 9:50 pm

      Oh I hear you on the Soya!! It is in absolutely everything isn’t it??? I accidentally gave her some the other day and paid for it all through the night! How old is your little one? I didn’t give any food until she was about 8 or 9 months as quite honestly it was more trouble than it was worth. I kept her on milk and once she was old enough etc i gave her finger foods and mainly fruit. As she was sitting/ almost walking the fruit didnt cause a problem (it had a few months before).From what you describe it sounds like you are doing purees, I would honestly just stop for now. From 9 months to about 11 months she honestly just ate fruit haha! It wasnt until some teeth came through that I introduced sandwiches etc- we use Genius bread. Other than that she just eats what we eat I just but the free from stuff as an equivalent. Sainsburys is fab for free from as is Tescos. xx

  • Reply
    Claire
    August 25, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Hi,

    I have a baby who is CMA who had a reaction to Alfamino and Neocate and Is on Neocate Syneo which has prebiotic and probiotics and has worked a treat DD also has silent reflux who is currently taking 20mg Omeprazole once a day. DD is 6 months old and we started weaning at 15 weeks which was given the all clear from paediatrician and dietitian. It’s been on and off really with vomiting and diarrhoea. One day she’ll eat like a pig and other days she won’t eat at all. I’ve only given her carrot, sweet potato and broccoli. She did seem worse when on the carrot!!
    I have an elder daughter who is 10 and allergic to milk, soya, jelly, shellfish, latex, E numbers, food colourings and fructose (natural sugar in fruits) so the allergy side for me is a doddle and has started the milk ladder at 10! Baked milk products which is going very well. She didn’t have silent reflux this weaning malarkey is very hard with a reflux baby.

    I am avoiding fruit until at least 9 months due to all her sisters allergies as my baby is more severe than her sister.
    I’m still offering her food 4 times a day as I never know if she is going to eat it. I skipped it one time and she moaned and cried because she was hungry and wanted it (typical) and she polished it off.
    Help would be greatly appreciated.

    Claire

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