Since your baby’s digestive system is at the beginning stages of development there will be occasions where things don’t run so smooth. Seeing your baby in pain can be scary and frightening. Every mother must know the signs of trouble, how to care for them, and when you must call a doctor. Here’s a list of the most common stomach pains your baby may experience.
- Spit up. Spit up is messy and really annoying but during the first few months most babies will spit up small amounts after feedings. It may look like she just spit up her entire feeding but she probably did not. Saliva mixes with the milk making it look like a lot more than it really is. If it does not seem to bother your baby, it’s nothing to be stressed about. In newborn babies, the sphincter muscle between the stomach and esophagus is immature thereby allowing little drops to escape. As the muscle strengthens most babies stop spitting up. You should call your pediatrician if your baby is irritable and fussy along with the spitting up. There is a chance she has colic or gastroesophageal reflux disease and may need further attention.
- Nausea and vomiting. When a baby is a few months old, vomiting is caused by a viral infection. Along with this may also come nausea, diarrhea and fever. If you think your baby has a stomach virus, hold her upright while she’s throwing up and wait about an hour before giving her anything to drink. Try giving her an oral rehydration like pedialyte to prevent dehydration. Try not giving your baby any solids until your baby has gone around four to six hours without vomiting. If your baby has any signs of dehydration or high fever call your doctor or head to the emergency room. If your baby’s vomit is green or yellow tinged or contains blood call your doctor.
- Diarrhea. Usually diarrhea is triggered by a viral infection. Change your baby’s diaper often and watch out for dehydration. Your doctor may suggest holding off on formula and dairy products and to use an electrolyte solution for 12 to 24 hours. Your baby will probably need to be off solids for a day or two before you gradually add them back. Always call the doctor if your baby is under six months and refuses to drink or if she has a swollen tummy or is in pain. If you notice any signs of dehydration such as dry lips or fever call the doctor as well.
- Constipation. Many times infants will go through stages and just not go to the bathroom. How do you know if it’s constipation?If her bowel movements are painful and infrequent. Usually constipation occurs with a change in eating. For example, beginning to eat solids or switching from nursing to whole milk. Sometimes constipation also occurs as a side effect of illness if your baby’s fluid intake has been reduced. Many times babies will hold back when it becomes too painful which makes constipation a lot worse. Try giving your baby lots of fluids and fiber. After your baby is about two months of age, you can give her 1 to 2 ounces of prune juice diluted with an equal amount of water twice daily. Once your baby is on solids you can try prunes, pears, peas and beans. If these suggestions don’t help within a few days, your doctor may recommend over the counter suppositories. Always contact your doctor if your baby is in a lot of pain and if she vomits.