As a pediatrician, parents often bring newborns into my office for common tummy troubles. A newborn’s digestive system is still in the process of developing so it makes sense that they will have some difficulty as it matures. Here are three of the most common newborn tummy troubles and what we can do about them:
Because a baby’s digestive system is still developing, air can get trapped-known as gas. It is important to note that gas is a natural product of the bacteria that line the digestive tract and babies swallow air when feeding. So many babies can be gassy. It is only when babies are fussier than normal, arching, squirming or are significantly relieved after passing gas that this may be a cause for concern.
To help a baby suffering with gas, first have your child evaluated by a pediatrician to confirm the diagnosis and also to exclude any dietary causes. Since babies suck in air while feeding, it’s important to burp your baby during and after feeding to relieve some of the gas. Bottle fed babies can take in a lot of air during feeding so by making sure that the nipple of the bottle is filled with milk before giving it to your baby, you can decrease some of the air that gets ingested.
Colic is defined as frequent crying in a baby that is otherwise healthy. Babies with colic cry for three hours a day, for more than three days a week and this can last three weeks or more. As a parent whose child has also suffered from colic, I know first hand that parents can often be seen crying alongside their babies as well!
To help a baby with colic it is important to have a pediatrician first exclude other causes. Once a diagnosis of colic has been established, we can try and ease a baby’s discomfort by various methods of calming babies–such as swaddling, swaying and using white noise.
Colic can start in the first few weeks of life and while there is no established medical treatment for colic, it usually resolves by about 3-4 months of age. Colic is short lived, but for parents this can feel like a long time!
When you are a parent of a newborn, having daily conversations about poop is the new normal. You become intimately connected to the timing and consistency of your child’s poop patterns. So how do you know when your child is constipated?
Some babies can poop several times a day and others can poop once every couple of days. All of these patterns can fall within the range of normal.
If your child has poop that comes out as hard balls or your child is uncomfortable and straining to poop-these are signs that your little one may be constipated.
Constipation can be caused by switching between breast milk and formula, by the mother’s diet in a breastfed baby, or even due to an intolerance to milk protein. Therefore, it is important to get your child evaluated by a pediatrician to determine how to best manage constipation for your baby.
As the newborn’s digestive system is developing, probiotics such as Mommy’s Bliss Probiotic Drops can help to support a newborn’s gut as it matures. By adding beneficial bacterial flora to the gut, we can help to ease some of these common tummy troubles. However, before giving any supplements to your baby-check with your pediatrician first.
I’m Dr Smita and I hope this helps you on your path toward finding belly bliss.
– Dr. Smita