The birth of a little baby brings along big concerns for the new mom. It comes as a big surprise to many new moms that the tiny baby’s tiny tummy can be a storehouse of so many troubles. But fret not, baby stomach problems are very common. Almost every baby faces a gas problem in the stomach, and it becomes a little too much at times to manage a gassy baby. Though stomach pain in children can happen at any age, infant stomach ache can be worrisome for the baby as well the mother too.
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Causes Of Baby Stomach Problems
Little babies still have a long way to go when it comes to an immune system. Their tiny tummies have a digestive system that is still developing, therefore, the culprits of stomach pain can be many.
Baby Stomach Problem Reason #1: Colic
The real causes behind colic can be many. The out-of-control crying in a baby less than 5-months-old can be due to the presence of intestinal bacteria.
Baby Stomach Problem Reason #2: Constipation
According to paediatricians, a baby (especially a breastfed baby) can easily go through 5-6 days without bowel movements. But if the stools are hard and dry, it is a sign of constipation.
Baby Stomach Problem Reason #3: Acid Reflux
Spitting milk or occasional throwing up after you feed a baby is normal. However, if you find the baby vomiting often, it may be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux. Reflux happens when the baby’s oesophagus and stomach do not work together. The food that goes in comes out in the form of gastric acid from the throat.
Baby Stomach Problem Reason #4: Gas
A gassy baby can be very uncomfortable. If the baby is not latched properly onto the breast or to the bottle, he would also be swallowing a lot of air along with the milk. Even when the baby cries, he may be swallowing too much air. As the baby turns six months, he is introduced to different foods. As his digestive system is still developing, the new foods can also cause gas problems in infants.
Baby Stomach Problem Reason # 5 Diarrhoea
Diarrhoea means frequent and watery stools, it is a serious issue as it may lead to the baby becoming dehydrated. The reasons can be many such as- contaminated food, any dirty object in the baby’s mouth or a contagious virus.
Remedies For Stomach Pain
No matter how careful you are, baby stomach problems may not be completely avoidable. But, you can make use of these simple and effective solutions to try and comfort your baby. But if you feel nothing is really helping the baby and he is too uncomfortable, it is highly recommended that you see the doctor.
1. Feeding the Right Way
A few and simple changes in the way you feed the baby can help. Keep it mind that the baby’s neck and head are higher than her stomach when you are breastfeeding her. In case she is being bottle fed, try and keep the bottle in a close-to-vertical position. The idea is to let the milk cover the nipple completely so that the baby doesn't swallow air from the bottle.
Burping the Baby
There are many ways that you can use to make the baby burp. You may try to burp her in between the feed or when you are switching breasts. If you aren't able to do make the baby burp at once, you may try to do it in a few minutes. Try patiently, but even if she doesn't burp within a few minutes, you don't have to get too worried.
Formula and Bottle
You need to carefully select the kind of bottle and formula you use for your baby. There are many anti-colic bottles available in the market. Choose a good brand and make sure you follow all instructions carefully.
2. Physical Techniques
Sad but true, feeding the baby properly is no guarantee that the baby will not have any stomach problems. But, there are certain physical techniques that can prove to be very helpful in relieving a gassy baby. Though all these techniques have been used for years by mother and nurses, to solve baby stomach problems, it is recommended that you consult your doctor before trying them on your baby.
Giving your baby some tummy time every day, has more than one benefit. It not only helps with baby stomach problem but also helps in strengthening his body muscles. The pressure on the tummy helps push out gas.
One of the easiest ways to solve the baby stomach problems is massage. Both you and the baby can enjoy this. Lay the baby on his back and gently rub some baby oil on his tummy, in a clockwise movement. You may also try the ‘I Love You’ massage on his belly. Massage can be done on his back by laying him on his tummy. You may also try bicycling the baby’s legs. The circular motion must be gentle. This kind of massage too can ease infant stomach ache.
Another old technique, but still practised by moms and nannies is swaddling. This way the baby, who is snuggled up in a blanket may find some relief from his gas problem in stomach. Be careful when you swaddle the baby.
3. Oral Medications
Gas drops are gentle on the tummy and are safe for the baby. But it is highly recommended that you discuss them with your pediatric in detail about them. Many paediatricians themselves prescribe gripe water and other antiflatulent drops for a gas problem in stomach. These antiflatulent drugs are available over the counter and contain natural ingredients. They normally bring quick relief to baby indigestion.
Seeing the baby in pain is one of the most difficult things for a mother. And when the little one is too helpless to explain or express it makes you feel all the more helpless. But, what you need to understand that baby stomach problems are common and though you can try to prevent them, you may not always be able to avoid stomach pain in children altogether. So, do not panic if your baby has indigestion or stomach pain. You may want to try the above-given remedies if you find the baby to be fussy or uncomfortable. But in case, the baby is crying too much and these solutions are not working, you must not delay seeing a doctor.
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written for informative purposes only. Please do consult your doctor if you have any health issues and seek their advice. A direct and specific evaluation from your doctor is much more valuable than anything you would find on the Internet.