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As a parent there are some things that you should always be aware of concerning your baby so you can help them become as comfortable as possible. An uncomfortable baby can become very fussy and cry a lot, there are some situations where you can easily help the baby if you know how to. Stomach issues are usually the leading causes of baby fussiness and by knowing what to look out for you can easily help your child find comfort. Here are some of the most common stomach issues that you baby can suffer from and how you can help them:
It is very common for air to get trapped inside a baby’s abdomen. This happens during digestion, when food is digested it releases gas which can get trapped inside the gastrointestinal tract. When air is trapped inside the abdomen a pressure is created which can be very painful to the baby causing it to be fussy and irritable.
The reason why babies are prone to trapped gas is due to the immature digestive system. The gastrointestinal tract is still developing and as such it finds it difficult to eliminate air as adults would. The situation is made worse when the baby cries. When a baby cries it swallows air which also gets trapped together with the gas resulting from digestion.
Spotting a baby suffering fro trapped gas is easy, their abdomen will appear bloated or ballooned like. They will constantly fidget and arch their back in an effort to relieve themselves of the gas and find comfort. When they fail to find comfort they often resort to crying. The fussing and crying adds on to the situation making the baby even more irritable.
Trapped gas is frequent around the ages of 6 to 8 weeks or among babies that are bottle fed. It is normal for a baby to experience trapped gas so parents should not panic or be worried when they see their babies with bloated stomachs.
The easiest way to help a baby suffering from trapped gas is to lie them down on their back and move their legs in a cycling like motion. When relief is not achieved you can try to move the legs back and forth, pushing the baby’s knees towards the abdomen. DO these movements several times until the gas has been eliminated.
Some doctors recommend giving the baby glycerin suppositories but you should not do this before consulting with your doctor for the green light.
A reflux also known as spitting up is another very common tummy problem that every baby goes through. The baby passes up content from the stomach through the mouth involuntarily. Anyone who has ever held a baby has been a victim of spitting up, it is quiet normal and popular.
The reflux is caused by the immature digestive system that is still developing. Between the esophagus and the stomach there is a valve that is supposed to prevent food that has entered the stomach from coming back up the esophagus. In babies this valve is still underdeveloped and as such it can allow food from the stomach to go back up the esophagus. This happens a lot when a baby is over fed or when it is fed too quickly.
It is easy to spot a baby who is having food reflux. They just spit up content from the stomach through the mouth usually after eating.
The best way to help a spitting baby is to learn proper feeding techniques. Learn to slowly feed the baby and burping the baby halfway through each feeding and at the end of feeding. There is nothing much you can do for a spitting baby, it is a normal event that all babies go through. If the baby is losing weight or the spitting seems like vomiting consult with your doctor.
GERD is a digestive condition that is almost identical to spitting described above but in this case there is pain and health problems involved. It is another condition that disappears as the baby grows older.
A baby suffering from GERD is generally in a lot of pain. As such, in addition to refluxing described above, these babies will frequently cry during or after feeding. They present with a coughing or choking like symptom that is difficult to miss.
The best way to help a baby suffering from GERD is to keep the baby’s head elevated during and soon after feeding. If you have to the baby down after feeding, try to support the baby’s head with a pillow so the head is at least 30 degrees from the horizontal surface. Some doctors prescribe H2 blocker medicine to relieve the baby from stomach acid when they spit up.
Another common baby tummy issue is constipation. It is common with babies that have undergone dietary changes like changing from breastfeeding to formula or when you introduce the baby to solids. This is because the baby’s digestive system needs time to adjust to the new diet, as such in the early days of the dietary changes the baby will suffer from constipation.
The key to spot a constipated baby is to know the baby’s bowel movements and stool consistency. A constipated baby will not poop as much as he or she usually would per day or when they do the stool is hard and comes out in little balls. He or she will often appear to be straining as they try to evacuate their bowels. Depending on how hard the stool is it may come out black, red or maroon in color, signaling some bleeding. Any sign of blood should be reported to the doctor.
First you should know that whenever you notice blood in your baby’s stool you should report to the doctor immediately.
Depending on the baby’s age, you can make some dietary changes or add some things like prune juice and fiber foods to the baby’s diet.
If your doctor gives the green light you can give the baby glycerin suppository to help them pass out the poop.
Just like the condition described above, diarrhea can be easily spotted in babies. It relies on knowing your baby’s bowl movements and usual poop consistency.
A baby suffering from diarrhea will present with frequent stool than usual. The stool is usually loose and can be of a different color than the usual depending on the cause of the diarrhea.
First and foremost, you should be on the look out for dehydration signs. When you spot dehydration signs you should rehydrate the baby with oral rehydration solution or take them to the doctor.
You can try feeding your baby a BRAT diet, this is bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. BRAT diet reduces diarrhea.