A baby’s upset tummy is never any fun — for them or for you. Here are some steps you can take to help ease their pain or discomfort.
Attempt To Find The Cause
There are lots of ways an infant’s tummy can get upset. Symptoms of stomach issues include tense body language, crying more than usual, grimacing, spitting up, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, refusal of food, and unusual sleep disruption.
Common causes of tummy issues among infants include constipation, gas, formula ingredients, sensitivities (to something they’ve eaten or something you’ve eaten if you’re breastfeeding), allergies, and prescribed medications. The most common reason for baby stomach pain is gas. As it turns out their digestive systems are still .... young... and delicate.
When a little person is experiencing stomach issues that lead to dehydration like diarrhea or vomiting, special attention needs to be paid to keeping them hydrated. Hydration is a combination of having enough fluids in the body along with an appropriate amount of electrolytes. The ideal fluids are, of course, breast milk or water, but when it comes to electrolytes, many people aren’t sure how to get those into an infant’s diet.
Electrolytes are minerals that contain an electrical charge when dissolved in water; they are minerals that are able to conduct electricity. When not dissolved, they’re often found in the form of a salt and have a neutral charge. When they’re within the body, these minerals play an essential role in many functions, particularly the conduction of the heartbeat. The electrolyte minerals are sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphate.
To protect the little one’s electrolyte levels, avoid giving the infant any diuretics (these cause electrolyte loss in stool and urine). Diuretics include anything caffeinated, dandelion extract, parsley, hibiscus, or caraway. If your child has been prescribed a diuretic medication, be sure to reach out to the doctor who prescribed it to discuss the situation. If your babe is eating solids, you may also want to supplement with foods high in electrolytes like spinach, olives, bananas, kale, avocado, potato, almonds, broccoli, strawberries, and watermelon. If the situation feels severe, you can use an electrolyte drink for children like Pedialyte. Be sure to look up the appropriate dosage of Pedialyte for babies, taking into account the infant’s age and always check in with their doctor. Avoid drinks marketing as sports drinks as the levels of sugar present in them can make diarrhea worse. Vitamin D deficiency can also contribute to a calcium imbalance, so a little time in the sun if the infant is feeling up to it can help.
When infants have gas pain, you can move their legs as if they’re pedaling a little bike. Do this gently and stop if the child seems to dislike it. This light form of exercise can help move gas within the tummy area and encourage it to make its way out.
Test For Allergies
Allergies are rough on the body; at the minimum, they cause inflammation, making pain worse and increasing a person’s risk for chronic illness later in life. At the maximum, they can be excruciatingly uncomfortable or life-threatening. If you notice additional symptoms like hives, skin rash, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the lips or face, it’s possible the baby’s stomach problems are the result of an allergy.
Seek Medical Support
If the baby’s situation feels serious, reach out to a healthcare professional. In particular, signs that the stomach issues are severe include a fever of 100.4 F (38 C) or above, weight loss, diarrhea that lasts more than two days, rigid belly, constipation that lasts more than a few days, extreme fatigue or signs of extreme distress like nonstop crying or screaming.
The above information should help you work through tummy issues with a little human. Always use your own sense of intuition as no one knows an infant better than their parent; if you feel something is seriously wrong, seek emergency medical support. Furthermore, take your cues from the child. If he or she seems to prefer certain positions, embrace this.