Don't feed my acid reflux baby!
When your little one is dealing with acid reflux it can be very hard to navigate all of the "food functions" that occur between November and January. Many of us have chosen to opt out of a lot of things because they are not worth the battle.
We just had a chili potluck with "Trunk or Treat" at our church for Halloween. The thought of rooting through the candy was going to be bad enough but to add insult to injury, the chili!! All three girls ended up missing due to illness but I was not looking forward to fighting another food war! I honestly had not decided if we would be attending and the main reason was the level of difficulty the situation would be with my youngest refluxer. I just knew I would be telling her "no" all night.
I have spoken with many parents who have had similar issues. Many have also mentioned to me the numerous times that family members have fed their babies something that caused them weeks of pain. We are not talking about people who were not aware of reflux. These parents are fuming because people they have told about their child's issues still chose to feed them something that was "not allowable".
I often joke that we need to make t-shirts for our kids that say:
"Don't feed the reflux baby"
In all seriousness, these kinds of problems can cause huge stress between family members. To avoid looking like the "hysterical mother" many of us have carried the weight of our child's problems on our own. So, while we may think we have explained the severity of our child's illness to family members they may not actually understand.
I also tend to use humor as a method of explaining things. I recall a family member asking me if Ella could have another cookie. I jokingly said, "Yes, she CAN have it but it will make a return visit to your carpet". While it made the point sometimes humor can unwittingly downplay the severity. For my family that has not been an issue, they all "get it". However, if you have a family member that isn't understanding humor may not be the best method.
From my experience the best tactic is to be very clear and to the point. Give the person some time to ask questions. Some may even like to see the resources on websites like Health Central or PAGER. Once they understand GERD is more than "just heartburn" you may want to clearly state your "rules" for who is allowed to feed your child. I have also asked people to ask me, not my children, if they can have something. That also helps to limit some of the drama. There is nothing worse than having to rip something out of your child's hand as they are about to eat it.
If you still have problems you may have to draw a firmer line. I know of parents who have had to limit time with relatives who were constantly giving their children things they could not eat. Sad but true. I hope that none of you have to make that kind of decision. If you do, have your family read this article first!
Bottom line: Anyone who loves your child would not purposefully inflict pain on them!