When People Give Unhelpful Advice About Baby Reflux

unhelpful advice baby reflux


Reflux is a fricking hard thing to deal with.

We feel that we are being laughed at, mocked, being ridiculed for the “overcare” and “excess attention” we give our babies.

We do not give them “over” anything. They get the support that they need. They get the love that they need. And they get absolutely everything from us, and it still doesn’t relieve their pain.

So, instead of being laughed at, we decided to have a laugh at the rest of the world.


We don’t blame the rest of the world.

You are all going about your lives believing that “babies sleep” and “babies cry” and that all babies will eventually settle. 

The thing is, sometimes babies are crying because they are in pain.

Our motherly instinct tells us this immediately.

Our gut tells us there is something not right and that we have to tend to and support our babies.

And so we do. 

We carry them. We bounce them. We hush them. We love them.

We do squats for 45 minutes at 1 a.m.

We cry on their shoulders when they have finally drifted off.

We sit awake all night, checking that they are still breathing.

We sit up in the wee hours, holding them so they can sleep and rest.

We survive (no one knows how) on as little as 2 hours of broken sleep per night.

And when I say this, please don't scoff.

If you don't believe me, then you cannot offer any support to those of us who suffer because I tell you this is the truth.

And then we are pushed away by those we ask for help.

We are told we are imagining it. We feel paranoid, neurotic and like we are failing our babies. 

We are not failing our babies.

We are the most awesome mothers, refusing to listen to untruths and standing up for our most precious gifts.

Let me stop and lighten the conversation.

Last week, a member of my Facebook group decided to lighten the conversation, to cheer us up, to allow us all to laugh at the things the unsuspecting public says and the ridiculous comments those we trust have said to us…

All of these comments have truly been said.

And they happen daily…



Let’s have a giggle and share the rant.

People do say the most daft/rude/unhelpful things sometimes. Funny how they think their advice is the complete solution to all your life’s woes.

Here are some of my recent favourites:

  • “In my day, we just called it a sicky baby and got on with it.”

  • “If you would just feed him a bit less...”

  • “If you would just be a bit stricter”

  • “He just needs to eat. He’s hungry”

Honestly, I’m torn between punching them and laughing in their faces!

However, as a woman who recently cried in the park, I’d love to hear what pearls of wisdom you’ve been given…

‪Dr:  "He will grow out of it by 1"

‪Me: "He's 15 months old!"

‪I was told by a Dr that Gaviscon was my only option, and I needed to wake my son overnight to re-administer it.

When I questioned this, he said,

"Well you are up overnight already aren't you?”

The list goes on...

  • "Some babies just cry a lot” (aka, you just need to get on with it)

  • "Is he your first baby?”

  • "You’ll learn that some babies are just sick a lot”

  • “Maybe he’s unsettled because he’s picking up on your anxiety”

  • “He’ll grow out of it by 1, then 18 months, then 2...” he’s 3 next month! 😬

And my community went on with their experiences

Member Reply: Maybe you’re anxious because he’s so unsettled! Doh!

‪Member Reply: You’re sure to feel anxious when someone else thinks you’re anxious.

Member Reply: I hate the “Are you a first-time mom?” question!

"Just sleep when the baby sleeps" … erm, he never sleeps!!

  • "It's because you're too much of a caring parent, put him in a room and shut the door" 

  • ‪And "there's nothing wrong with him. It's in your head." ‪🙁 x

Member Reply:‪ You can never care too much for your baby

Member Reply: Exactly

Member Reply: That’s just the worst, isn’t it? Not only do they completely undermine you but tell you you’re mad at the same time.

Member Reply: I worry for so many parents as this alone drives to PND.

  • "He's just a greedy baby."

  • ‪"He isn't choking. It just sounds like he is."

  • "‪His digestion will improve at 3 months."

  • "‪Restricting your diet will give him allergies."

  • "‪Now he’s asleep, don't you think you should put him upstairs on his own."

  • ‪"Maybe you should give him some cooled boiled water."

  • ‪"Surely his tongue is fine if he's able to feed."

  • "She will grow out of it at 3 months."..... erm still waiting!!!

  • ‪"It’s just colic"

  • ‪"She’s just an unhappy baby"

  • ‪"Don’t worry if she chokes, Mum have a sixth sense and will wake up before she chokes to death" - wtaf this came from an NHS paediatrician!

  • ‪"You are overfeeding her"...... "you are underfeeding her".....

  • ‪"We didn’t have this in my day; it’s just the latest fad"

  • ‪"It’s normal for a baby to have explosive diarrhoea 10-15 times a day.".... yep, that came from the health visitor!!

Member Reply: OMG!!!

Member Reply: We had this regarding poos, too!!! Explosive watery poo every half an hour. It was teething, apparently‪ ‪🤷🏼‍

Member Reply: No way! There ought to be a way you can report such failure.

Member Reply: We had the "it’s normal for a baby to not poop for 4 days and for it to finally come out really hard and formed" The following night, the milk started pouring back up, and we ended up in the minor injuries unit at 1 am with our 10-day old, the doctor was fab. At our first appointment with the dietician a few weeks ago (now 8 months), I brought this up during the discussion of removing her Neocate formula. I was told, "All babies are settled until 10 days old; she’s just a difficult baby". I left feeling like a shit useless mummy.

I keep getting told it won’t do him any harm to scream for a bit... erm, yes, actually, studies suggest that it does, and besides, he isn’t crying to be difficult; he is crying because it hurts!! 😡 No way am I going to just ignore him and not cuddle and comfort him.

Member Reply: I always told my doctors I wouldn't ignore a toddler screaming for help, so why would I ignore a crying baby?

Member Reply: I'm so sassy 😂😂😂When the Ped made the above comment about lip and tongue ties, I said, "How many tongue-tied babies have you breastfed? Because this is my 4th."

Then the conversation turned to the in-laws...

From the mother-in-law last night:

"Do you think it's time for a good strong bottle?"

About my exclusively breastfed boy who weighs 16lbs and is wearing 6-month clothes at 17 weeks...

Erm, no, that's not going to make his naps better 🙄

The father-in-law yesterday:

"Oh, I saw a wee baby today with a dummy"

Right... So? That baby will help my child's daytime naps. How?! 🤦🏼‍♀️

Of course, Health Visitors were not left out either...

This one courtesy of my ever-helpful Health Visitor: 

"In 20 years of nursing, I don’t think I’ve ever met a baby as difficult as yours"

Trust me, Love, go online; there are hundreds of babies like mine, and some are far worse! 

Member Reply: What an unhelpful thing to say!

Member Reply: Horrible, wasn’t it? I was so upset at the time I didn’t say anything, but the next time I saw her, I told her straight that my daughter was not being “difficult”. She was in pain 😡 x

Member Reply: good for you. I’m glad.

My health visitor said: ‘Oh, you must be so depressed’!

Member Reply: What an even more unhelpful thing to say!

Member Reply: indeed! That was 14 years ago!! It’s never left me. I wouldn’t have minded so much if she had offered some support, but there was nothing!

She needs some proper food. Yeah. Because breast milk isn’t “proper.” 😂😂

Member Reply: I get this one too!!!

"It’s the dummy"

  • "Your overfeeding" 

  • "It’s behavioural" (from the pad ... she was 3 months) 

  • "Just wind"
    "Just wind"
    "Just a bit of wind" 😂

  • "Hmmm, she’s a rare case" (from paid GI)...

[Dear God!!! X]

Member Reply: Oh, the wind excuse 😂 brilliant! Bet you wanted to say, “Thanks so much for your wisdom. I would never have thought of that!” to the person who said it 😂x

Member Reply: Behavioural 😲😲😲😲😲😲

Member Reply: Are they mad? Next, they will tell you they are manipulating you! 

Oh god, why is it always me!!😂 just thought of another thing the NHS paediatrician said to me...

"She’s gained loads of weight, and she’s 91st centile for weight and 97th for height. You need to restrict her feeds more”

Yep, you read that right: my baby needs to go on a diet!

Please bear in mind that at this point, baba was taking way less than the minimum 150mls per kg of weight per day! She was born at 8.5lbs and was 3 weeks early. She’s a big baby 😂 x

Member Reply: The mind boggles

And what about complete strangers?

Not from the medical community, but a wonderfully helpful checkout assistant in Aldi.

Baby decided when I was paying was the perfect time to have a complete and utter mammoth meltdown.

The guy serving on the till next door shouts to me in front of everyone and says, “Why don’t you take him over to the produce section where it’s cooler? He’s probably just hot!” 

I laughed at him and said, “No, he has reflux. Nothing will settle him now, unfortunately”, and the woman he was serving turned to me and flashed me a knowing smile that said, ‘I feel you, sister!’ 

Member Reply: Hot! That’s a new one for me.

So you can imagine that when those we trust say things like this, we need support groups to turn to. 

And if your baby is still suffering, perhaps now is a good time to ask the obvious question.... why?

How can I find out why?

Read this blog on What Causes Reflux and Silent Reflux in Babies?

In the 'Reflux Free Baby' Workshop, I walk you through all the symptoms you need to observe and record for your baby, what they mean, and how to use them as clues.

I tell you what the clues mean individually and when they occur with other groups of symptoms. 

And this leads us to be able to say what is causing each baby's reflux with much more confidence. 

Based on this, I tell you what specific action to take for them.

To get your baby free from their reflux as quickly as possible, sign up now. You will have your answer within an hour.

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