- Family and Parenting
Relieve Baby Reflux with a Cot Wedge
If you have a baby with reflux, you''ll know that anything that can help relieve the condition is a must. For us, this cot wedge is one such thing.
Reflux in babies is where the milk and stomach acid comes back up the oesophagus (food pipe), causing pain and discomfort (much like it does in us when we have acid reflux or heartburn). It is caused when the valve between the food pipe and stomach has not fully developed yet, and can last for up to 7 months, or until the valve matures.
It can be both exhausting and distressing caring for a reflux baby. Our son has silent reflux, so while he's rarely sick with it (he only possets a small amount of milk up now and again) he experiences the pain and discomfort, and does go through crying spells due to it. All we can really do for him is keep him as upright as possible, especially after a feed. To begin with, this meant him sleeping on our chests during the day and evening, and at times even in the night, which of course, was exhausting and impractical, especially with a 3 year old to take care of as well.
I came across the concept of wedges after researching reflux in babies, and finding this site, which explained all about wedges and how they help reflux. I bought a cot wedge, which I placed under the fitted sheet, and the difference it made the first night was amazing - our son got much more sleep than usual!
But why buy a wedge, rather than propping baby up with a towel or something else? Firstly, a proper cot wedge is designed at the right angle to be safe but effective. It is also made of safe and breathable material for baby to sleep on, and comes with a washable cover, like a mattress. And it fits the width of the cot, staying in place unlike a makeshift wedge.
I have highlighted this particular wedge because it is the closest to the one we bought here in the UK. I wanted one that was good quality but not too expensive, as I had spoken to other mums and learned that wedges help some reflux babies but not others. So in case we were the latter, I didn't want to spend a fortune. Choosing a wedge like this one turned out to be a great decision because it works perfectly. Do you even need a more expensive one? I would say not, as ours does the job no problem.
My son Luca in his sleep positioner, laid over the cot wedge (which is underneath the fitted sheet). As you can see, the incline keeps him more upright than lying flat in the cot alone.
The initial purchase of the cot wedge was a brilliant decision for helping our son with his reflux. However, he did have issues with sliding and moving about due to the incline, so I then bought a sleep positioner, along with another wedge for his play gym.
Judging by the reviews of the wedge, the main problem people seem to have is with this issue of babies sliding down in the cot. This is easily solvable, so please don't let it put you off!
The sleep positioner helped, but he did still tend to slide, so we used the "Y" shaped towel to keep him in place, just like the reviewer on the product page describes (take a look for full intructions on how to do it!). Once this issue is resolved, the wedge is a gem to have, because it relieves so much of the discomfort from the acid. Our son would make awful straining noises in the night - to begin with we thought he was waking up and would rise to tend to him, but after reading about reflux online, we realised he was actually asleep, but reacting to the pain of the acid. Once the wedge was in place, these noises and strains were significantly reduced. Some nights there are none at all, and he sleeps so much more peacefully now.
So, would I recommend one of these cot wedges to parents with a reflux baby? Absolutely, 100%. It has made such a difference to our son, and when it comes to easing any discomfort in an infant so small, it's the little but effective things like this that are worth their weight in gold!