"Trial and Error" Frustrating for Parents Caring for Infants with Acid Reflux
One of the hardest concepts to deal with when you have an infant dealing with acid reflux is that there is no "one size fits all" treatment. With the wealth of acid reflux medications and formulas on the market it can be a daunting task to find the right combination for your child. Many parents have expressed to me that it took a significant amount of time in order to find this "perfect combo".
In general you should see some positive results from dietary changes or medications with in 1-2 weeks. The full effects may take longer but if the symptoms are not improved at all or are worse then it may be time to go back to the drawing board. Your physician should give you a good time frame for how long to give any changes. They may also be able to provide you with a plan should the current one fail to resolve your child's issues.
It is important to give the changes an appropriate amount of time to work. If you haven't given the change a "fare shake" it only makes it harder to get your child's symptoms under control. In contrast, waiting too long to treat painful symptoms can cause additional issues with weight gain or food refusal.
It is very hard to be patient when your child is in pain! There are medications that are sometimes used while you wait for a longer acting medication, like a PPI, to kick in. Should your child be in severe pain this might be worth discussing with your child's pediatrician or GI.
The process of "trial and error" can be frustrating for many parents and for the child that is dealing with painful symptoms. Hang in there! Once you hit that sweet spot with the right combination of medication and/or formula changes the symptoms will improve.
When our youngest daughter finally found her "perfect combo" she was like an entirely different child. Her screaming and grouchiness was replaced by a cheerful, giggly, happy baby. It was shocking to see how different she was once the pain was out of the equation.
Time is usually healing on its own as many infants have a reduction in symptoms as their GI tracts mature. Organizations like the Pediatric Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux Association (PAGER) can help provide parents with essential information and support they need in the mean time.