Summer Blog Tour 2010

The giveaway associated with the Summer Blog Tour is now closed. Mena (comment #2) was chosen from Congratulations!!! and thank you to everyone who left a comment! If you are interested in purchasing, please email me ( for a special coupon code. Thanks again!

Welcome new readers! Thanks to Holly and Abbey of The Work at Home Woman and Living My Moment for organizing the 60 days of blogs to visit.  Do you want to see the line up and follow along? Check the two blogs above for the list!

I am happy to be part of the Summer Blog Tour! I really want to be able to connect with other parents going through similar experiences that I did. It can be difficult (at best) to have a child who has reflux, ear infections, asthma or other medical issues that complicate sleeping and feeding. I hope that by reaching out as a mother and as a professional I can help or just listen. My website has some great resources in addition to the blog. I welcome your comments and feedback and look forward to connecting with you!

I am also doing a giveaway as part of being featured in the Summer Blog Tour. Enter to win a Baby Stay Asleep by leaving a comment below and follow me on either Facebook or Twitter. Please indicate where you are following in your comment. Giveaway ends May 31, 2010. One winner will be chosen at random. Thanks and good luck!


Where Were You 3 Years Ago?

Just back from the MA Early Intervention Consortium in Marlborough, MA. Baby Stay Asleep had a booth there and we met so many wonderful practitioners and parents. The theme of the day had to be, “Where were you (fill in the blank) years ago? I could have used this product!” The moms we spoke with had tried car seats, wedges, rolling up blankets, pillows and other devices that were too complicated to help their babies be comfortable and get some sleep!  They said over and over again that they would have done anything to get a good night’s sleep! However, they and the professionals we spoke with were also concerned with safety and the potential dangers of any of these methods. This was a great opportunity to talk about CPSC certification.

The Baby Stay Asleep has been developed with a professor of Human Factors Engineering and it has been certified by the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission). It was important to us that parents have a safe and effective solution. In our resources section you can check out “Why is CPSC Certification Important?” The other hot topic of the day was infants sleeping in car seats. A study has come out that shows this may lower oxygen levels in the blood. Here is the link to that article. Certainly we tried lots of different methods before I adapted my son’s crib which lead to the development of Baby Stay Asleep! 


Bonding With A Newborn With Reflux – My Personal Experience

I just recently read an excellent article about bonding with your newborn on the babyzone website. They noted, “personal interaction with your newborn is the best toy ever. Show your happiness when handling your baby and smile at her. Look deep into her eyes and watch how she stares back. Soon baby will stop crying if held and comforted.” While this is true on most cases, it was not in mine. I had a baby that cried most of the time, no matter what I did! He was what you would call a fussy baby or colicky baby.

 I like most expectant mothers look forward to the day I would coo and cuddle my baby and he would fall asleep content to be held in my arms. This however was not to be my experience. I had a baby with infant acid reflux and food allergies. I tried everything to calm my baby, but was not rewarded with a sleeping, contented baby. At first I thought I must have been doing something wrong. Then I became worried that something was wrong with him. After his diagnosis, I felt things would start to get better, at least we knew what we were dealing with.

 I was nursing and was advised to stop eating dairy, soy, egg and nut products. My son was also given Zantac. We did see some improvement in his behaviors; however, he continued to want frequent feedings and did not sleep very well. I worried over his weight gain and made frequent trips to the doctors. I became sleep-deprived, anxious and isolated. It was that feeling of isolation that was the toughest to deal with. Other moms in my mom’s groups had quiet, sleeping and contented babies and who were starting sleep for a few hours at a time. And here I was not able to console to my baby and not able to relate to there experiences. This made bonding with my baby difficult. I felt that his reflux robbed me of that newborn bonding stage.

Years down the road, in my practice, in talking with other mothers of infants with reflux or autism or other special needs, this seemed to be the case for them as well. I wish I knew these mothers when I was going through these feelings. I could have used the support, the reassurance. I now have beautiful, healthy 5 year–old boy who stills like to eat frequently and who thankfully sleeps well. I hope that I can support other mothers through similar experiences. Some suggestions to help with bonding include face-to-face contact, sucking, a soothing touch and voice, singing, swaddling as well as wearing a sling or front pack with your baby will increase the bond you and your baby feel toward each other. Sometimes you just need to take a break, walk away and take deep some breaths or reach out to others for help and this is okay too.


Effects of Infant Reflux on Activities of Daily Living 

Eating and Infant Acid Reflux

 Having an infant with reflux can be challenging. There are many additional considerations for everyday activities such as eating and sleeping. Some methods of treatment for feeding include positioning the baby as upright as possible and keeping them upright for 30 minutes after feedings. You can also try thickening formula or breast milk, burping frequently, adjusting the size of meals and avoiding spicy, fatty and acidic foods. It can also be helpful to feed smaller amounts, more frequently. In fact, some infants will fall into this pattern early on as a way of coping with reflux.

It is important that infant reflux and other digestive health issues are addressed and monitored by professionals. One complication of untreated infant reflux is failure to thrive. This is diagnosed when babies do not gain weight at an acceptable or safe rate and fall below even the low end of the growth scale. Infant reflux can cause failure to thrive in a few ways.  Even if your infant eats well, frequent or constant vomiting of entire feeds will make weight gain, or even maintaining current weight, difficult or impossible.  Even if vomiting isn't present, some babies will begin to associate food with pain and may begin to develop aversions to eating which may actually lead to refusal to eat making it difficult to gain weight.

Sleeping and Infant Acid Reflux

Infants start to develop a working memory for routines at 6 months old. This is also the time developmentally that a baby can start to self soothe. I can’t stress enough the importance of establishing good bedtime routines early on for your baby. Routines such as dimming the lights, reading a story, playing soft music and /or rocking your baby to sleep (or a sleepy state). In addition, it is important to have babies sleep in their own cribs starting at 6 months old. This can be in your room or their room. If an infant gets use to sleeping in your bed, a car seat or any other apparatus, it is usually a tough routine to change. 

Having said that, this can be difficult if you’re a parent of an infant with reflux. You are parents who are more likely to be sleep-deprived since your infants don’t sleep well therefore will do "anything" for a good night's rest. I know I've been there! Once in their crib, elevating the head of the crib can be helpful in getting a good nights rest for all! For infants with reflux, keeping them upright can reduce the number of reflux episodes. It is recommended to elevate up to 30-degrees (for specific resources see "Should You Elevate the Head of the Crib?" in the Resources Section of this website). This can be done safely with bed risers and the crib’s adjustable settings.


Infants Sleeping in Car Seats


When my son was an infant and had acid reflux, we tried everything to make him comfortable for sleeping. We were told to elevate his crib and keep him upright. Of course when we elevated his crib, he would slide to the bottom or end up sideways. So next, he slept in the car seat, the swing, the bouncy seat and on our chests if we were semi-inclined. These methods worked sometimes, other times he just didn't sleep no matter what! This is when I adapted his crib so that I could elevate it and he wouldn't slide down. We were happy to have him sleeping in his crib as we thought this was safer for him. It has been shown that infant car seats lower oxygen levels in the blood during sleep in about 20% of infants. Read on for more information that supports infants sleeping in cribs rather than car seats: