Are you new to parenting? This guide is for you. As a parent, you want the best for your baby. You will do everything in your power to keep them safe, healthy, and happy. When your newborn is in pain, chances are you are, too. Stomach pain in newborn babies is a common problem and not one you can simply wish away, but understanding the cause, knowing which symptoms to look for, and learning how to treat your baby’s tummy troubles is the key.
Causes of Stomach Pain in Newborn Babies
Your baby’s stomach pain could come from a range of causes. One of the most common is colic. Colic typically begins when babies are 2-3 weeks old and can last for the first few months of their lives. Colic is believed to occur due to indigestion or inhaling excess air.
Constipation is another common cause of stomach pain in newborns. It typically begins when your baby starts taking solid food and could be due to a lack of fibre, dehydration, or a milk allergy.
Reflux is also prevalent and occurs if your baby’s passageway between his or her esophagus and stomach isn’t working correctly. This causes food to come back up. Reflux presents similarly to colic. Knowing the difference between colic and reflux can help you create a treatment plan.
Symptoms of Stomach Pain in Newborns
The most common symptom a baby exhibits when he or she is having stomach pain is crying more than usual. Even without tears, your baby may seem fussier than usual or less interested in toys or other activities.
Not sleeping well, refusing food, or tensing his or her stomach muscles when touched are other symptoms. Finally, a baby experiencing stomach pain may not have bowel movements, have diarrhea, or experience burping or vomiting.
Treating Your Baby’s Stomach Pain
One of the most common treatments for stomach pain in babies is gripe water. Gripe water is an over-the-counter herbal supplement. The liquid was created specifically for babies and helps with occasional pain related to gas, hiccups, or general fussiness.
As a new parent, you may be asking yourself “should I give my baby gripe water before or after feeding?” or have other questions. That’s okay, and your pediatrician can provide you all the information you need.
There are other ways to soothe your newborn’s stomach pain as well. Warm baths or compresses, knee exercises, and additional fibre for babies who eat solid foods are common. Feeding your baby with his or her head propped up may also help.
While items like Wellements Gas Drops are excellent over-the-counter remedies, they are not meant to take the place of a medical professional. If home remedies don’t seem to ease your baby’s tummy troubles, or if he or she seems to have recurring symptoms, contact your pediatrician.
Your baby’s doctor can determine if there is a more serious cause that requires prescription medication to treat. Above all, remember that babies just get sick sometimes. Your infant having tummy trouble is not a reflection of your parenting. You are doing a great job!