Since the digestive system of babies is not developed many digestive upsets are common. Most of them are not serious and babies outgrow them within a few months. There are some problems that warrant a thorough medical examination as they indicate a severe problem. A normal parent should know the difference between the usual spit ups, diarrhoea and gas; and a serious digestive problem. Such information should be a part of newborn care and onwards.
Some Baby Digestive Problems
- Spitting Up or Reflux – Most babies will spit up a little after their feed but some are excessive with it. If you find that the baby is in pain or discomfort after spitting up, talk to your paediatrician to make sure that it is not caused by acid reflux. If that is indeed the case, the doctor can recommend different formula or medication to help in preventing the reflux.
- If your baby vomits or suffers from diarrhoea, it is a sign of viral infection. Diarrhoea or vomiting is not a sign of a serious problem if they are not excessive or very painful. Problem of diarrhoea can be solved by keeping the baby hydrated. When dehydrated, a baby wets lesser diapers, produces lesser saliva and has dry eyes that appear sunken in the head. It is only when symptoms of depression appear that vomiting or diarrhoea becomes severe and you need to consult a paediatrician.
- Constipation is a very common problem for babies, more so after they start taking solid food and whole milk. You can help in such situations by removing heavy foods like rice and banana. Give the baby foods that are rich in fibre like peaches, prunes and pears or fruit juices. The problem warrants seeing a doctor if the constipation lasts unusually long such as if the baby does not pass stool for more than 3 days.
- Babies usually do at times experience pains from build up of gas. Since their digestive system is still developing, it becomes difficult for their system to handle the air that is trapped in their stomach. Before consulting a paediatrician, try gas drop medications, massaging the tummy, bicycling the baby’s legs or giving sufficient tummy time. If the problem persists, consult the paediatrician.
You can consult a doctor immediately if you find that your baby is in intense pain due to any reason. Even if you just feel that there is something wrong about your baby’s digestion over a long period of time, it is always better to see a doctor and rule out a more serious complication.
Read more articles on Newborn Care.
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