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PLAYING: How to Soothe a Baby with an Upset Stomach

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How to Soothe a Baby with an Upset Stomach

Watching your baby suffer from the symptoms of tummy troubles can be distressing. Whether they’re struggling with colic, regurgitation (spit-up), or constipation, an upset stomach can cause them to cry inconsolably.

 

Although tummy troubles are common among infants, if your little one is crying more than you feel is normal and showing signs of being uncomfortable, speak to your healthcare provider for advice.

4 mins to read Sep 6, 2023

If it’s confirmed that your baby has colic, regurgitation (spit-up), or constipation, here are some ways you might try to help:

Ways to soothe a baby with an upset stomach

Check your feeding

Ask your healthcare provider to assess your feeding technique. How often and for how long are you breastfeeding? When and how are you burping your baby? Make sure you’re burping baby after feedings and when you switch breasts during feeding. Burp baby in an upright position and gently rub or pat their back to help with their digestion.

Consider probiotics

Consider speaking to your healthcare provider about giving your baby probiotics as a supplement. Research has shown that a specific probiotic (L. reuteri) may provide stomach relief by balancing the bacteria in your baby's digestive system.

Make sure you’re eating right foods

Studies have suggested that a small number of breastfed babies showed improvements when their mothers followed a low-allergen diet. Speak to your healthcare provider before making major changes to your diet. Most breastfeeding mothers can eat what they like; however, with certain conditions or allergies your doctor might recommend that you eliminate certain foods from your diet while you’re breastfeeding.

Tummy time

Try different tummy time positions, such as 'tummy-to-lap' or 'super baby' to help relieve pressure on your baby's tummy and help them pass gas.

Change up feeding positions

Trying different breastfeeding holds to find out which ones are most comfortable for your baby. Finding a good feeding position can reduce the chances of reflux and help with digestion. Help a bottle-fed baby swallow less air by making sure there is no air in the nipple and by holding baby upright in your arms while feeding.

Talk to your baby’s doctor

Discuss any worries and concerns with your healthcare provider. They’ll help you understand whether your baby’s tummy troubles are normal and how you can make them more comfortable.

Give them a massage

Gently massaging your baby's tummy may have a relaxing effect that may help ease their discomfort. Try clockwise tummy massages after their bath.

Bicycle legs

Try doing “bicycle legs” with baby’s legs to activate their little digestive system and help them pass gas.

Keep your baby upright

Give your little one time to digest after a feed (and let gravity help out). Propping them up on your shoulder may help with their digestion and reduce the chance of them spitting up.

Avoid pressure on their stomach

After a feed, make sure there's nothing pressing on their stomach. Avoid strapping them into a car seat or bouncy chair straight after a feed.

Try a bath or warm towel

The warmth of a bath or warm towel can help comfort your baby and help with digestion. Just make sure they aren’t too hot!

Choose the right formula

If you’re formula feeding or supplementing with formula, make sure you choose the right formula for you and your baby.  Keep in mind any allergies, sensitivities, or dietary needs your baby may have when making the choice.

Although your baby’s upset stomach may be distressing, keep in mind that in most cases their symptoms will clear up on their own. If these soothing methods aren’t working or if your baby’s symptoms are persistent or concerning, talk to a doctor for guidance.

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