Stomach aches are common for babies and they can make an appearance out of the blue. Your baby is perfectly happy and suddenly starts fidgeting and crying. She may be unusually fussy and seems very uncomfortable. This could mean she is having stomach pain due any of the common reasons. Thankfully, it not usually anything serious and can be mostly relived by some common remedies.
Signs that baby may have a stomach ache
- Acts fussy
- Makes faces as if s/he is in pain (grimaces)
- cries uncontrollably
- Tenses up
- Has diarrohea
- Has constipation
Common Reasons of Stomach Pain in Babies
Gas in babies is a common culprit of stomach pain in babies. Gas can be due to plenty of reasons like new solid foods, intake of excessive wind, change in formula brand etc. Baby’s intestines and stomach are still not fully mature and they are often not able to digest foods that are being introduced, leading to excessing gas pains. The same foods after a few weeks or months may not cause the same discomfort.
This is a touchy topic but a common reason for tummy ache in babies. Many a times, we end up overfeeding babies because we are not sure if they have had enough. This can cause them to have pain due to bloating and may also vomit out food.
Colic is also a cause for stomach pain in babies.
Read more about Colic here
Constipation can also be common in babies when you have just started solids or due to introduction of new food that doesn’t suit.
Read all about constipation in babies and remedies to fix them
While some spit up after feeding in common and fine in babies, reflux is more serious. Reflux happens when the valve between your baby’s food pipe and stomach is not working properly, and food and milk comes up along with gastric acids from the stomach to the throat.
Milk allergy/ Lactose intolerance
Food allergies or milk allergy can cause symptoms like stomach ache, wheezing, rashes etc. If this is the case, the symptoms usually occur with in a few hours of having the culprit food item.
Common Remedies to treat stomach ache in babies
Oil Massage for stomach pain in babies
Massage for babies is a must-do in every house-hold. Usually, we do oil massage before bath. An oil massage can also relive pain in baby’s tummy.
- Use a natural oil like mustard, sesame, olive oil.
- Heat it to lukewarm temperature.
- Take oil in your palm and spread it all over your your hands.
- Gently massage baby’s stomach in circular motion.
- This will relieve gas pains.
You can also mix equal quantities of coconut oil and water and mix very well till it starts forming foam and then use it for massage.
Asafoetida mix remedy for stomach pain in babies
This is another common age-old nuskha for tummy gas from Indian grand mother’s treasure of remedies
- Take a pinch of hing or asafoetida.
- Mix it with equal quantity of water or ghee.
- Apply this paste gently on baby’s tummy.
- You will soon see baby getting relief from bloating and gas.
Burping to relieve stomach pain in babies
Burping is a must after every feed. When a baby sucks on breast or bottle nipple to feed, she also swallows some amount of air, which can make baby feel uncomfortable and full which means she will not feed enough. It can also cause stomach pains. Burping is the process to gently dislodge the excess air and bring it up, so baby can feel comfortable and have more milk comfortably.
Read more about correct way to burp a baby
Bicycling baby’s legs is a good exercise to help if baby has constipation.
Make your baby to lie flat on her back, move her legs in a bicycle motion, back and forth. The rotation will help release gasses and lessen stomach pain
Another simple way to relieve stomach pains in babies is to gently press a warm compress onto your baby’s abdomen when he starts crying due to stomach pain.
- Take clean cloth or a handkerchief and dip it in warm water.
- Squeeze out the excess water. Make sure it is not too hot.
- Apply tis warm cloth on baby’s tummy pressing very gently.
- The procedure can be repeated 2-3 times during the day and night.
Many people swear by gripe water when baby has stomach ache but there plenty of misgivings about the same.