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The scenario

Melanie Woolcott comes to the counter. Technician Vicky sees that she has a prescription in her hand.

“Oh hi, Melanie,” says Vicky. “How’s that gorgeous boy of yours? Not poorly, I hope?”

“He’s OK, I think,” replies Melanie. “I’d get him out to say hello, but he’s just dropped off on the walk from the doctor’s, so I think I’ll leave him. Nights are pretty awful at the moment, to be honest. Thank goodness for coffee, I don’t know how I’d get through the days without it.”

“Broken nights are a killer,” agrees Vicky, sympathetically. “What’s going on? I thought you were doing quite well with getting him into a routine?”

“I thought that too, and for the first couple of months – while I was feeding – it definitely felt like we were heading in the right direction,” sighs Melanie. “But then my milk seemed to dry up when he was around six weeks so I moved onto formula. It wasn’t long after that that he started kicking off during the night. He’s fine for the first few hours, but then he wakes up increasingly often and it’s like he’s in pain. He draws his legs right up to his chest, and the only way I can soothe him is to lay him on me while I sit in the chair next to his cot. I’ve seen the health visitor about it a few times, but none of the things she suggested, like giving smaller feeds more often and being super-careful about burping him, have really helped. And he seems OK during the day, so I can’t see how he can be allergic to the formula. The doctor said he has reflux and has switched him on to a trial of thickened infant formula milk, but will that really help?”