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5 key tips for helping your baby with reflux sleep better 😴

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All newborns spit up. The muscles that keep liquid in their little tummies aren't fully developed at birth, so it's totally normal to have a bit of a reversal of fortune at each feeding; and that shouldn't affect sleep. But when your happy spitter becomes an unhappy spitter and your sleep strategies aren't working, it may be time to explore the possibility that your little one is suffering from reflux.

There are two types of reflux. GER (gastroesophageal reflux) is the reflux you've probably heard your mama friends talk about. These are the happy spitter babies—the constant changing of outfits is the most annoying part of this and the best treatment is time. GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), on the other hand, is a chronic condition that often needs intervention to prevent damage to babies' esophagi and mouths.

Aside from not gaining enough weight, being fussy after most feedings and having forceful spit-up episodes, babies with GERD have a lot of trouble sleeping. That's because the safest sleep position—lying on their back—can cause painful stomach acid to enter baby's throat and mouth. But since back is still best, even for GER and GERD babies, you'll need to find other ways to minimize their discomfort while sleeping.

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Here are five tips to help your little GERD baby sleep better at night:

1. Hold baby upright for 15-30 minutes after each feeding and burp them several times before putting them down.

You don't have to sit with baby—upright can be in a carrier. Just don't make it too tight, as you don't want to press on baby's tummy too much, especially if you're on shirt #5 for the day! You can also walk around while wearing baby.

2. Small but frequent feedings.

I know it seems like that's all you do right now but the less liquid at a time in your baby's belly, the easier they can digest it. The more digested, the less spit-up! Check with your doctor about how much your baby should be eating in a day and ask his or her advice about how to divide that amount up into smaller portions.

3. If you're bottle feeding, take a look at the nipple size.

If the nipple hole is too small for baby and they have to work really hard to get the milk, they're taking in a lot of air and that can cause gas pain and result in more spitting up. Ask your doctor what nipple size he or she recommends for your baby's age, given your concerns.

4. If you're planning on doing any sleep training, find some good solutions for controlling the reflux by talking to your doctor.

If your baby is prescribed medication, you should see a difference in 24-48 hours. You can sleep train even if your baby has reflux. There are several, gentle ways to help them (and you) sleep better even while waiting for this stage to pass. Before you start exploring different sleep training methods, get the okay from your doctor.

5. Do not elevate their crib or bassinet. At all. Ever.

Wedges, putting blankets under their heads, having them sleep in a swing or Rock n' Play are all big sleep no-nos. It is so tempting to do one of these for a baby who seems uncomfortable but the risk of something happening is too great. The AAP does not endorse any kind of wedge or other positioners for sleeping.

So many newborns struggle with reflux and, as with a lot of new baby things, the best remedy is time. But if you're worried about the frequency, amount and other symptoms that relate to your baby's spitting up, talk to your doctor about your concerns. Don't be afraid to mention your concerns more than once—reflux can be stubborn. And if you get sent home with a prescription to try, grab the giant size detergent while you're at the store too.


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If there's one thing you learn as a new mama, it's that routine is your friend. Routine keeps your world spinning, even when you're trucking along on less than four hours of sleep. Routine fends off tantrums by making sure bellies are always full and errands aren't run when everyone's patience is wearing thin. And routine means naps are taken when they're supposed to, helping everyone get through the day with needed breaks.

The only problem? Life doesn't always go perfectly with the routine. When my daughter was born, I realized quickly that, while her naps were the key to a successful (and nearly tear-free!) day, living my life according to her nap schedule wasn't always possible. There were groceries to fetch, dry cleaning to pick up, and―if I wanted to maintain any kind of social life―lunch dates with friends to enjoy.

Which is why the Ergobaby Metro Compact City Stroller was such a life-saver. While I loved that it was just 14 pounds (perfect for hoisting up the stairs to the subway or in the park) and folds down small enough to fit in an airplane overhead compartment (you know, when I'm brave enough to travel again!), the real genius of this pint-sized powerhouse is that it doesn't skimp on comfort.

Nearly every surface your baby touches is padded with plush cushions to provide side and lumbar support to everything from their sweet head to their tiny tush―it has 40% more padding than other compact strollers. When nap time rolls around, I could simply switch the seat to its reclined position with an adjustable leg rest to create an instant cozy nest for my little one.

There's even a large UV 50 sun canopy to throw a little shade on those sleepy eyes. And my baby wasn't the only one benefiting from the comfortable design― the Metro is the only stroller certified "back healthy" by the AGR of Germany, meaning mamas get a much-needed break too.

I also appreciate how the Metro fits comfortably into my life. The sleek profile fits through narrow store aisles as easily as it slides up to a table when I'm able to meet a pal for brunch. Plus, the spring suspension means the tires absorb any bumps along our way―helping baby stay asleep no matter where life takes us. When it's time to take my daughter out, it folds easily with one hand and has an ergonomic carry handle to travel anywhere we want to go.

Life will probably never be as predictable as I'd like, but at least with our Metro stroller, I know my child will be cradled with care no matter what crosses our path.

This article is sponsored by Ergobaby. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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It's been more than a year since Khloé Kardashian welcomed her daughter True Thompson into the world, and like a lot of new moms, Khloé didn't just learn how to to be a mom this year, she also learned how to co-parent with someone who is no longer her partner. According to the Pew Research Center, co-parenting and the likelihood that a child will spend part of their childhood living with just one parent is on the rise.

There was a ton of media attention on Khloé's relationship with True's father Tristan Thompson in her early days of motherhood, and in a new interview on the podcast "Divorce Sucks!," Khloé explained that co-parenting with someone you have a complicated relationship with isn't always easy, but when she looks at True she knows it's worth it.

"For me, Tristan and I broke up not too long ago so it's really raw," Khloé tells divorce attorney Laura Wasser on the podcast. She explains that even though it does "suck" at times, she's committed to having a good relationship with her ex because she doesn't want True to pick up on any negative energy, even at her young age.

That's why she invited Tristan to True's recent first birthday bash, even though she knew True wouldn't remember that party. "I know she's going to want to look back at all of her childhood memories like we all do," Khloé explained. "I know her dad is a great person, and I know how much he loves her and cares about her, so I want him to be there."

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We totally get why being around Tristan is hard for Khloé, but it sounds like she's approaching co-parenting with a positive attitude that will benefit True in the long run. Studies have found that shared parenting is good for kids and that former couples who have "ongoing personal and emotional involvement with their former spouse" are more likely to rate their co-parenting relationship positively.

Khloé says her relationship with Tristan right now is "civilized," and hopefully it can get even better with time. As Suzanne Hayes noted in her six guiding principles for a co-parenting relationship, there's no magic bullet for moving past the painful feelings that come when a relationship ends and into a healthy co-parenting relationship, but treating your ex with respect and (non-romantic) love is a good place to start. Hayes describes it as "human-to-human, parent-to-parent, we-share-amazing-children-and-always-will love."

It's a great place to start, and it sounds like Khloé has already figured that out.

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Kim Kardashian West welcomed her fourth child into the world. The expectancy and arrival of this boy (her second child from surrogacy) has garnered much attention.

In a surrogacy pregnancy, a woman carries a pregnancy for another family and then after giving birth she relinquishes her rights of the child.

On her website, Kim wrote that she had medical complications with her previous pregnancy leading her to this decision. “I have always been really honest about my struggles with pregnancy. Preeclampsia and placenta accreta are high-risk conditions, so when I wanted to have a third baby, doctors said that it wasn't safe for my—or the baby's—health to carry on my own."

While the experience was challenging for her, “The connection with our baby came instantly and it's as if she was with us the whole time. Having a gestational carrier was so special for us and she made our dreams of expanding our family come true. We are so excited to finally welcome home our baby girl."

A Snapchat video hinted that Kim may have planned to breastfeed her third child. What she chooses to do is of course none of our business. But is has raised the very interesting question, “Wait, can you breastfeed when you use a surrogate?"

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The answer is yes, you sure can! (And you can when you adopt a baby, too!)

When a women is pregnant, she begins a process called lactogenesis in which her body prepares itself to start making milk. This usually starts around the twenty week mark of pregnancy (half way through). Then, when the baby is born, the second phase of lactogenesis occurs, and milk actually starts to fill the breasts.

All of this occurs in response to hormones. When women do not carry a pregnancy, but wish to breastfeed, they can induce lactation, where they replicate the same hormonal process that happens during pregnancy.

A woman who wants to induce lactation can work with a doctor or midwife, and start taking the hormones estrogen and progesterone (which grow breast tissue)—often in the form of birth control pills—along with a medication called domperidone (which increases milk production).

Several weeks before the baby will be born, the woman stops taking the birth control pill but continues to take the domperidone to simulate the hormonal changes that would happen in a pregnancy. She'll also start pumping multiple times per day, and will likely add herbal supplements, like fenugreek and blessed thistle.

Women can also try to induce lactation without the hormones, by using pumping and herbs, it may be harder but some women feel more comfortable with that route.

Inducing lactation takes a lot of dedication—but then again, so does everything related to be a mama. It's a super personal decision, and not right for everyone.

The important thing to remember is that we need to support women and mothers through their entire journey, no matter what decisions they make about themselves and their families—whether Kardashian or the rest of us.

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