Our poor little Casey had a lot of problems with her feeding as a baby due to her having a condition called russell silvers which resulted in her having a lot of gastric reflux and not gaining her weight very quickly.
After trying numerous other things which either didnt work or had really bad side effects this was suggested to us by our peodiatrition at the hospital.
Infant gaviscon has two active ingredients sodium algenate and magnesium algenate which are both quite natural substances found in seaweed although i wouldnt fancy eating the seaweed itself.
These work by acting directly in the stomach to stop its contents being allowed to go back up out of the stomach and be regurgitated which is what reflux is.
Regurgitation as any parent will know is normal in babies as the muscles at the bottom of the osophogus isnt formed properly which is what allows babies to bring back small amounts of there feed without discomfort like we would have if we were sick and it is normal for babies to bring back a bit of milk but in Caseys case she was bringing back way too much which was seriously effecting her weight gain so we had to use these to control it.
I was happy to give this medicin a try as it was natural and worked directly in Caseys stomach to thicken her stomach contents making it harder for her to bring her feeds back but didnt contain anything that would go into her blood stream so shouldnt have caused any nasty side effects.
This worked really well for Casey to our relief unlike all the other things we had tried, it is available to buy over the counter for use with children over a year old but we had to get it on prescription as Casey was a lot younger than this. I was not convinced something so natural would work after everything else we had tried but this was brilliant, Casey used to still bring back really small amounts so it didnt stop her reflux completely but it helped loads and allowed her to keep enough down to gain weight and get the vital nutrition she needed from it which was the main thing.
When my first daughter was born we had an absolute nightmare feeding her and getting her to keep milk down she would scream and scream then throw up milk and clear liquid with a strong acid smell (lovely huh?!). After lots of trips back and forth to the doctors she was eventually diagnosed with acid reflux. She was prescribed with infant gaviscon.
Because she was prescribed with it and is obviously under 16 we didn't pay for the infant gaviscon just picked it up from the chemist. You can buy it over the counter though and are looking at paying £4.50. Personally I would recommend checking with your doctor first though so you are treating the right thing and then you get it free too!
Infant gaviscon comes in a greenish coloured box with the gaviscon logo and infant written under it. There is also a picture of a mother and baby. Inside the box are 15 dual sachets of the medicine, giving you 30 invidual doses. Unlike adult gaviscon infant gaviscon is in a powder form. To use you mix 1 or 2 sachets into their milk or into a paste if you breast feed and give as instructed by your doctor. The gaviscon thickens the milk thus making it harder to throw up.
From using gaviscon with my both my girls I have picked up some useful tips along the way.
Firstly if you are bottle feeding I suggest you mix in the gaviscon first into the hot water using a spoon as if you just put it in with the formula it will clump together and block the teat.
Again if you are bottle feeding you will probably want to consider going up a teat size especially if you are using newborn teats as baby will have trouble getting the thicker milk through such a small hole.
Give it time! Don't expect it to work from the first feed it will take a while for it to be effective.
Each dose of Gaviscon Infant Sachets contains: Sodium Alginate 225mg Magnesium Alginate 87.5mg Also contains Mannitol and is sugar free.Each sachet contains approximately 21mg of Sodium.
How it works-
Aswell as thicken the milk to make it easier to keep down infant gaviscon also mixes with all the contents of the stomach and stabilises it which in turn helps prevent sickness and reflux of any acid.
For us it worked amazingly. I went from having a unsettled fussy baby who screamed constantly and began to refuse feeds to one who was settled, feeding well and sleeping better. It was like having a totally different baby. My first daughter was on it for the first year and my second only needed it for 6 months so it really depends on your baby and how bad their reflux is as to how long they will be on it.
Infant gaviscon should never be used on babies under one year unless prescribed by a doctor.
Dosage information and possible side effects are listed in the instruction leaflet that is included in the box with the sachets.
Overall infant gaviscon was a total life and sanity saver for me and my girls. Its so hard watching your little one so distressed and gaviscon made that better. They would still spit up a little but it didn't cause distress to them or me! It takes some getting used to on how to mix it properly and the correct dose for your baby but it is so worth it in the end.
5 out of 5 stars for making my girls happier and giving me settled babies!
Gaviscon Infant sachets were prescribed for our baby when it was suspected that she had reflux - a condition by which milk/stomach acid is regurgitated in the babies' throat and they cry for more milk, the milk soothes the pain of the burning but then the cycle starts over again. Babies who cry when they are lay flat on their backs and babies who cluster feed may show signs of having reflux. They are often 'sicky babies' and may throw up more than just a bit of milk.
== My Opinion==
I should say that after just a few feeds of using this, it became clear that reflux was not the issue, more like over indulgence of milk/being unable to produce dirty nappies - both of which caused our baby to be sick. For us, the Gaviscon Infant made no difference to whether the baby could keep the milk down or not. However, I have heard many a parent saying they swear by it if indeed the baby did have reflux. However, having used the Gaviscon for over a week for six feeds a day, I feel qualified to have an opinion on it. Firstly, it comes in sachets which you have to fiddle around with to make into a paste with boiling water, add 5ml first then make it into a paste then add another 10ml to make it into a solution - mine never seemed to go into a paste, 5ml always seemed way too much given the amount of powder our little one was supposed to have (varies with weight/age of baby - check box!). It is then suggested to give it to the baby in a bottle. Going out of the house with enough sterile bottles for both the milk and gaviscon separately was a pest for me. I also felt like the baby was sucking in more air trying to drink a small 15ml out of the bottle and ended up giving herself more wind and caused her to be sick more often. Surely it would just be simpler to provide a non-needle syringe with the sachets or better still provide a syringe PLUS a liquid that could be syringe'd into the babies mouth or added to the babies bottle really easily and quickly? I'm sure there is some reason why they must provide it as a powder but for me it was just a nuisance, although obviously you'd try anything to make the baby feel better, I felt the manufacturers could have thought about it a little bit more!
The Gaviscon didn't work for us but although it was diagnosed as suspected reflux, I don't think it was which is why I don't think the Gaviscon worked particularly well. I do think they could produce the product in a more parent-friendly manner, so for that reason I'm giving the product a 3 out of 5. However, if your baby does have suspected reflux, it could help so don't rule it out as a possible solution
My youngest daughter struggled keeping her feeds down so at 5 weeks she was started on Gaviscon infant by our doctor to see if it could improve the situation.
The Gaviscon comes in little sachets and are packaged in a box of 30, it is very easy to see the product is Gaviscon it has the same colour as seems to run through most of its products and the well known logo across the top of the box, there is a faded out picture of a mother snuggling a baby on the box.
Gaviscon works by thickening the feed and hopefully as it keeps thickening it will remain in the stomach, obviously it only thickens for a set length of time but because it thickens the feeds you cannot make them in advance. My daughter had to use one sachet of the product to begin with but then as she put on weight she moved to 2 sachets, the doctor told us at the time what weight to increase at but I can't actually remember what the weight was, the Gaviscon can only be put into 6 feeds per day but that's all Emily was having by 5 weeks of age so that wasn't an issue for us.
The sachets are really easy to use, you simply cut or tear across the top of the sachet and pour into your babies bottle, it can be mixed with breast milk, water or formula. The powder dissolves easily into the bottle although I did find it was best to swirl it from side to side until most the powder had dissolved and then give it a good shake otherwise occasionally the powder would clump in the teat.
The Gaviscon did make a difference to my daughter although not enough of a difference on its own so she ended up being put on SMA Staydown and the 2 products together were fantastic.
I would say this product is worth a try if your child is struggling with reflux, Emily ended up staying on this until she was about 6 months old and then stayed on the milk until she was weaned onto cows milk so we no longer had any problems with her which was brilliant and made for a much happier baby.
My baby has been sick constantly since birth. He would be sick all day long, and all night. He would throw most of his feeds up, straight after his bottle and for hours afterwards, he would still be throwing it up! When I took him to the doctors, I was told he had reflux, and he was prescribed this infant Gaviscon after months of trying other things such as sitting him up for half an hour after feeds etc.
Gaviscon is meant to help the contents of your stomach stay down by thickening it. I got a box of 30 sachets, and was told to mix one sachet in his bottle, which was 4 ounces/120mls at the time when I tried it. He was under 10 pounds though at the time, he was very young, if they are over 10 pounds, the dosage is 2 sachets in 225ml of milk. You can't give them more than 6 in 24 hours, so he had 2 bottles without, as he was drinking 8 bottles a day at the time! It can also be made up with water, or with breast milk.
The sachets are to be mixed with your babies milk, and it did dissolve really easily. The sachets are quite big for the amount of powder in them, they are about half full. They are really easy to rip open, you just tear at one end. The powder is very fine, and I had no problem mixing it in with my babies milk. My baby couldn't have tasted it either, as it didn't affect him drinking his milk at all.
Unfortunately, this Gaviscon did not work for my son. I can't even say it made a slight difference, because it didn't. It had no effect on him at all, even after persevering with it for a weeks and weeks. My health visitor told me it does take a long time for it to work, but I was just not seeing any improvement at all, and felt I was giving my baby medicine for nothing. My baby is now 8 months old and has just got better on his own since he has been eating solids. He is hardly sick anymore, only now and again, so I am glad I gave it a go to help him when he was younger, I couldn't just ignore it and do nothing, but he has just got better on his own, which a lot of people also said would happen.
I would recommend Gaviscon if you wanted to give it a go, even though it didn't work for my baby, it may do for yours! It was easy to use and make up in his bottles, and my baby had no problem drinking it, it's just a shame it had no effect on him at the time!
Gaviscon Infant is a pharmacy only product and you can therefore only get this product with a doctor's prescription, however I have seen it for sale on Amazon UK. I first noticed a problem with my little boy when he was around 3 and a half weeks old he began projectile vomiting between feeds and also having small bouts of diarrhoea I was concerned as I knew it didn't take long for babies to become dehydrated and I was worried at the fact it was projectile and not normal vomiting. On seeing the first doctor they prescribed this as they presumed it was Reflux, we later found out it was a minor case of Pyloric Stenosis but it does not require surgery. Anyway, we received one box of this to try it at first and he is now on repeat prescription due to its effectiveness in minimising the vomit in which my son was bringing up.
Firstly, the box contains 30 doses which are attached in 2s, this is a bit of a pain as when my baby was first put onto Gaviscon he was under 4.5kg so he only required 1 sachet per bottle and he was allowed 6 doses a day. I was therefore forced to cut the sachets so they were individuals rather than double sachets, when I didn't I was left with powder everywhere whenever I then had to open the second sachet as there would be a small amount left from the first sachet. The sachets themselves are not easy to open they require you to cut them, this is a bit of a pain when you are out and you have to carry scissors in your changing back to be able to open them properly ( I am unsure how I am going to get round this when it comes to travelling home). If your baby is over 4.5 kg then they use 2 sachets this therefore minimise the cut in between both sachets but you will still need to cut the tops to get at the medication.
One thing to note about this product is that it has to be made up with no less than 120ml of formula or 1 tbsp. of breast milk depending on your method of feeding. The breast feeding method therefore will create a paste like substance for you to administer to your little one or the formula method will just be added to their bottle just before you give it to them, do not leave it in the bottle for too long before feeding. The made problem with the formula feeding method is that if your baby is on less than 120ml feeds you still have to prepare the feed to this amount and are therefore forced to waste formula and also the amount of Gaviscon will be less if your baby is not drinking the full bottle, I didn't have this problem until they suggested that due to my baby's condition I should feed him every 2 hours with 60ml bottles, this was impractical as my baby gets very agitated if he doesn't receive a full feed which was then 120ml regardless of the previous vomiting.
The Gaviscon comes as a cream coloured powder and doesn't really have a smell which is surprising considering the smell it produces when it comes out! Changing baby's bum can cause a somewhat eye watering experience! The products effectiveness can be seen after about 1 day of use, like all medicines it takes a while for the product to settle and become effective. I have found that it has reduced vomiting and my little boy is gaining more weight every week, he was gaining weight with the vomiting but not as much as he should have been. The Gaviscon does make my little boy pass bowel movements more frequently, whereas before he would only have 1 bowel movement per day and he now has about 3 or 4 this is normal and I would rather this than him losing the milk before he has had change to get the nutrition he needs from it.
Gaviscon works by helping to bring up the babies wind to help prevent food sitting on air bubbles which then forces to food out of the baby, it is normal for the baby to then burp themselves, however, you should always burp the baby to ensure that there is no air left in the babies stomach as this itself can lead to vomiting and stomach ache.
If your baby has similar problems such as reflux or other gastrointestinal problems and this has not been offered to you I would highly recommend asking for this at a doctor's appointment to see if this helps with the problem. Overall the product is highly effective even if it is a bit of a nightmare to individual separate the sachets.
One of our twins was only a few weeks old when we first noticed her struggling to swallow not long after a feed, she would also be sick after some feeds and grunt in discomfort after others. Her GP prescribed Infant Gaviscon for her.
What is reflux?
Very simply babies suffer from reflux when the valve at the top of their stomach doesn't close properly allowing the contents to travel back up sometimes making baby sick and the acid can burn baby on the way.
How does Infant Gaviscon work?
The product is described as working by 'stabilising the stomach content.
The box contains 30 doses and a patient information leaflet. The dose sachets are in pairs so 15 of these in a box. You have to cut the sachets apart if you are only going to be using one and you also have to cut the sachet open. It has cut here and --- printed across one corner of the sachet but I found it easier to cut across the bottom of the sachet to get all the powder out. A few perforations wouldn't go a miss!
How to use the product
This varies depending on the age and weight of your baby and whether you are bottle or breast feeding. The leaflet explains the number of sachets to use and how to mix it. The bottle feeding instructions are simply to add the sachet to at least 115ml/4oz of feed. Unfortunately I was mainly breast feeding and the top up bottles weren't big enough to be able to follow the bottle feeding instructions. The instructions for breast feeding involve mixing the sachet with 5ml of cooled boiled water to make a paste then adding another 10ml and mixing again. I found this a lot of extra work, just remembering to boil the kettle before the feed was a challenge! It advises mixing in a glass but I found this really difficult and quickly swapped to using a sterilised small plastic pot I had. The first time I tried feeding to baby she refused it, we tried a spoon, syringe and bottle and she wasn't having any of it. We then tried adding 15ml expressed milk to the solution in a bottle and finally she drank it which was a great relief. The instructions say to give it at the end of a feed but by the end of a feed she wasn't hungry anymore we did it halfway through the feed.
You can use up to 6 doses a day, we never used it for night feeds as it worked with just the daytime feeds.
How quickly does it work?
It took best part of a week to start seeing an improvement, I was expecting it to start working straight away but the health visitor advised to give it time.
Any side effects?
We found that that she started getting constipated after a few days of taking it which we solved with a small amount of cooled boiled water between feeds. Once her reflux was under control we reduced the number of doses to find a balance where the reflux was still under control but she wasn't constipated.
Would I recommend?
Yes, it worked for us and I was pleased that we didn't have to go down the route of stronger medications.
I have a 5 month old son who has always brought a lot of his bottle of milk back up after each feed and i mean A LOT. I felt so sorry for my poor little baby always being sick so much after every bottle i gave him, his bibs were soaked and his little mouth always full of sick as he was sometimes hesitant to spit it out. I was starting to get quite worried by the amount of his milk he was bringing back up and i suspected that he may have had some kind of intolarence to the milk, i tried a few different types of milk for him but he was still just as bad which is why i took him to see the doctor.
The doctor said it was unlikely that he had an intolerance to the milk is he was only 3 months old and it is apparently quite rare to develop an intolarence to milk at that age. Instead she insisted that my son probably had reflux problems which is why he was being so sick after every bottle. Babies get reflux because the muscular valve at the end of their food pipe, which is designed to keep food down, hasn't developed properly yet so it causes them to bring their milk back up.
The doctor prescribed these Gaviscon Infant Sachets to help with the reflux problems and minimise the amount my son was being sick. I was surprised that this is what the Gaviscon Infant Sachets were designed to do as i'd always thought that Gaviscon was only for heart burn and indigestion, but obviously the infant sachets work differently.
These sachets are suitable for babies from 4 months old up to 2 years, but the doctor gave us the go ahead to give them to my son at 3 months as he is a slightly bigger than average baby. The powder sachets are added to your babies bottle of milk, you pour two little scahets into the bottle of milk which must contain at least 225ml or more of feed and then shake. My son however was only on 180ml bottles so the doctor said to just pour one sachet into his feed until they increased in size.
My baby didn't seem to notice any difference in the taste to his milk and he still drank it happily, but unfortunately I noticed no difference in the amount of milk he brought back up after his feeds, he was still being quite sick so the sachets haven't had much of an effect for him. Perhaps it's because I can only give him one sachet with his bottle being so small, it might work better for babies on bigger bottle who can have two sachets, but i won't know until i've tried this.
So i wouldn't say these sachets work very well for younger babies, they haven't had the desired effect for us but I will probably give them another go when the size of my sons bottles increase.
Please note you can only give the sachets to your baby a maximum of 6 times in 24 hours. You can get these sachets prescribed for free with the NHS if you take your baby to see your GP.