5 Common Digestive Problems In Infants

Digestive Problems In Infants

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When you have a newborn at home, your entire life revolves around her. Every cry, every grimace can send you into a tizzy. And while you wonder what’s ailing your little darling, your anxiety levels can go through the roof.

If you are worried about your infant digestive problems, you are not alone. Most new parents obsess about their newborn’s spit up, poopy diapers, and what not! Unfortunately, the digestive problems in babies is not easy to find out as your little one cannot tell you what’s bothering her. You need to do some sleuthing to unearth the real culprit. But it isn’t an easy task

So, let us help you out. We have listed here in this article the major digestive problems infants face and ways of dealing with them. Check them out to make your life as a new mother a little easier.

The common baby digestive problems are:

1. Reflux:

Reflux in babies is one of the most common digestive problems new parents witness. In most babies, the digestive process is slow. The esophageal sphincter is still developing in infants. Until the stomach learns its rhythm, the milk your newborn drinks can come right back from the stomach as spit up. (1)

[ Read: Metabolic Disorders In Infants ]

When To See The Doctor:

In most cases, reflux is not a serious health condition. Most babies outgrow their reflux habit by the time they start on solids. But if you notice the following symptoms, talk to your doctor:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Slow weight gain
  • Recurrent hiccups
  • Breathing problems

What Can You Do?

Apart from following your doctor’s advice, you can take the following steps to provide relief to your newborn from reflux symptoms:

  • Make sure you burp your infant as often as you can during a feed.
  • When you are feeding your baby, keep her in an upright position. You should also try to keep her upright for at least half an hour after each feed.
  • Many mothers swear by formula or breast milk mixed with rice cereal to help deal with reflux. But do talk to your doctor before you do so.

[ Read: How To Burp A Baby ]

2. Vomiting:

Vomiting is uncomfortable for most adults. For infants, it can be devastating. The most common cause of vomiting in infants is infection – either viral or bacterial. The vomiting sensation usually subsides on its own.

When To See The Doctor:

Consult your doctor, if you notice:

  • Fewer wet diapers
  • Dry mouth or absence of saliva

These two symptoms can indicate dehydration, a medical emergency. (2)

What Can You Do?

If your little one is vomiting without a break, try the following tips:

  • Offer frequent feeds to prevent dehydration.
  • If your child won’t drink formula or breast milk, consult your doctor and offer her a spoon full of an electrolyte solution like Pedialyte or Rehydralyte after every 15 minutes.

3. Diarrhea:

Rotavirus is the biggest culprit in most infant diarrhea cases. Most cases of rotavirus-induced diarrhea occur during winter months and accompany respiratory problems (3).

When To See The Doctor:

Head to the hospital if you notice the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea that lasts for over two to three weeks
  • Crying during bowel movements
  • Blood and mucus in the stool
  • Rash

What Can You Do?

Check if your child is allergic to breast milk.

  • Consult a pediatrician and give your baby Nutramigen or Alimentum.
  • Increase your child’s fluid intake.

4. Constipation:

Constipation is a common problem among infants. But it can be uncomfortable for your little one. Most cases of constipation become worse once babies start on solid foods.

When To See Your Doctor:

Constipation is not a dangerous health issue. But do talk to your doctor if:

  • Your baby is very uncomfortable
  • She is in pain and cries during a bowel movement
  • You notice blood in your baby’s poop

What Can You Do:

Simple dietary changes can help alleviate constipation. In some cases, doctors prescribe laxatives (4).

  • Try cutting down on rice cereal in your baby’s meals
  • Use corn syrup or other home remedies. Prune juice is an effective remedy for constipation (5).

5. Other Problems:

Other digestive issues that your infant may face are:

Feeding Intolerance: Many infants suffer from feeding intolerance. In many cases, this problem subsides after the initial days. But if your baby continues to suffer from episodes of vomiting and diarrhea after each feed, talk to your doctor. Many times, feeding intolerance occurs due to some blood infection, preterm birth, congenital malformation of the stomach or intestines, low birth
weight, or delayed feeding (6).

Colic: You’ll hear the word colic way too many times during your infant’s early days. Every time your baby screams and cries you will suspect it to be a case of colic. Colic or gas can be uncomfortable. But it is very common. Most children outgrow colic by the time they turn three months old. Until then, your doctor may prescribe some medication to help your baby. Probiotics too may help treat and manage colic among infants (7).

[ Read: Remedies For Gas Problem In Infants ]

Your newborn is helpless. She needs you to help her maneuver through the first few months of her life. So learn to hear her unspoken words. Keep an eye open for signs and symptoms that may indicate a problem, and keep calm! The baby digestive problems can be taken care of.

Most digestive issues resolve as your infant’s digestive system matures. Until then, use this article as a guide to help reduce your baby’s discomfort and pain!

How do you deal with your baby’s digestive problems? Share your tips with us!

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