Why can babies have stomach pains?

Verified by

Sara Dellner

Midwife

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    Why can babies have stomach pains?

    Verified by

    Sara Dellner

    Midwife

    There are several reasons why your baby's tummy hurts. It could be because their intestines are not fully developed, they are swallowing too much air when they eat, they are eating spicy food from the breastfeeding mother or they have infant colic.

    Babies and stomach problems

    Some babies may show abdominal discomfort and appear to have stomach pain due to infant colic. There may be other causes of colic. Firstly, babies have an immature intestinal system and have not yet developed their own intestinal flora, which in itself creates an imbalance. Some children are very greedy when they eat and swallow a lot of air, which can cause pain in the intestines, especially if they do not burp during meals. A small child probably can't tell the difference between pain and hunger, so they will want to eat more or less constantly. This can increase the discomfort because the stomach does not get a rest between meals. The problem is often referred to as 3-month colic, as the symptoms often get better by 3 months of age. This is a completely harmless condition but can be frustrating for parents as the baby may have periods of crying and inconsolability, usually in the afternoons and evenings. You can try giving your child 'good bacteria' in the form of Sempers stomach drops to help balance their stomach. Some people also try Minifom drops, which can help gas come out more easily and cause less pain.

    If the colic is particularly severe, and especially if the child also has skin symptoms such as a lot of scabs or eczema-like rashes, the cause may be suspected to be a sensitivity/allergy to cow's milk. This can also cause blood in the stool due to irritation of the intestinal mucosa. The smaller the child is, the more difficult it is to get a reliable result from a blood test or prick test and often the diagnosis is based on the symptoms. The treatment is of course a cow's milk-free diet. If the mother is breastfeeding, she can try excluding milk and milk products from her diet for three weeks to evaluate the effect. If the child is on formula, the child is switched to a cow's milk-free formula, for which a prescription can be obtained from a pharmacy.

    Some breastfed babies can react to other things that mom has eaten, especially if mom has eaten a lot of a specific food, such as strong spices, chocolate, berries, onions, etc.

    Constipation can also be an underlying cause of abdominal pain and is almost never seen in breastfeeding children. However, they may have a varying frequency of pooping, ranging from ten times a day to once every ten days is normal if the child does not appear to be in discomfort. Some react to regular formula and you can try switching to formula for sensitive stomachs. If it is still difficult for the child to poop and they seem to be having trouble, you can try giving Lactulose, which is available over the counter at the pharmacy. If this does not have an effect, you can contact a pediatrician's office or medical center for help.

    Short-term stomach problems are common when switching to more solid foods because it is a change for the stomach and the child may become temporarily constipated.

    Want to read more about children? Click here here!

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