1) Let your friend know that this is a great time to cash in some proverbial "chips." This is likely one of the most intense experiences of his life, so reaching out for help from friends and family is more than appropriate.
Some of us are real hoarders when it comes to cashing in favors - worried that we better not ask for help now in case something REALLY bad happens later on. Unfortunately, a baby with reflux is one of those times).
2) Reassure your friend that you know the crisis aspect of this situation will be short-lived, and that you will still be there for her when the dust settles. Assure your friend that in time, either the reflux will be better, medical help will be found, or her family will have plenty of support in place to better manage the situation.
I remember being really afraid that my husband and I would get through the acid reflux situation, only to find that all of our friends had found other friends who were not as disheveled as we were. Instead, the friends left standing after the crisis were worth their weight in gold, and are still our best friends.
3) Offer to go to the baby's next doctor appointment to take notes and to help explain what your friend is observing in the baby. Clear communication from all members of the team is paramount in any medical situation. Unfortunately, it can be incredibly difficult for a parent to take a screaming baby to an appointment and be expected to have an effective conversation with a physician without any other adult assistance.
This is one thing I wish I had done differently in caring for my son when he was an infant. I should have taken my best girlfriend, a veterinarian, with me to my son's doctor appointments. She was well rested, knew medicine, and loved my son. But, like many other parents, I just kept thinking that things would improve right around the next corner and we didn't need any help with the doctor appointments.
4) Ask your friend with a baby with acid reflux what support he or she needs right now. He may need something to support him that you would not even guess.
For example, we needed some time to go through our bills and see what was overdue. We actually had an older couple from our church come to our house once to baby sit, and we parked at the end of driveway and looked through our mail. That in itself was such a relief to us.
5) In case she is too sleep deprived to think straight, offer your friend a few concrete suggestions of ways you might be able to help until things improve. For example, we had two good friends that each spent a night at our house with our baby while we stayed at their house with their sleeping children.
Published On: February 03, 2008