Philippa Murphy is the founder and director of BabyCues (aka Natural Winding), and a leading international postnatal educator. She has specialised in a wide range of childcare roles for 25 years, and now focuses on teaching parents her proven, original findings and techniques to enable digestive harmony for all newborns. In this extract from her book, Prevent and Remedy Colic, Reflux, Lactose and Dairy Overload: Natural Logical Answers, she notes the behaviours common to reflux babies.
The release of small or large amounts of milk – spilling or projectile.
Varying textures of milk – clear or cottage cheese.
Habitual swallowing of the burp – often called ‘silent reflux’.
Irritability, grizzling, inconsolable crying, screaming, bloating, cramps, excessive gas.
Heightened communication around and during bowel motions from excessive wind passing through intestines, frequent frothy and/or explosive bowel motions or constipation.
Wakefulness from discomfort with episodes of longer periods of sleep, but the latter is often from exhaustion through crying and lack of sleep rather than the newborn feeling comfortable.
Frequent searching for something to suck – exhibiting the ‘rooting reflex’.
Weight gain may be at the lower recommended level, but is often steady and above recommended levels because of unbalanced feeding practices.
Arching backwards or sideways, writhing, wriggling.
Gulping their milk, seeming very hungry while being restless – sometimes refusing to feed, pulling off the nipple or when bottle fed, having flailing arms and legs with much turning of the head because of digestive discomfort.
Hiccups – a newborn’s natural reflex for releasing ingested air. The more overloaded they are by wind, the more hiccups they experience.
Blueness or darkness around the mouth, which will come and go. This can be visible above the top lip, under the bottom lip, or both simultaneously and can sometimes spread as far as the bridge of the nose between the eyes. This sign of wind is present for all newborns because all newborns experience natural levels of ingested air. It becomes more prominent as wind accumulates to overload levels.