When babies have stomach ache, parents and babies suffer together.
Often times, the first few months of a baby’s life are accompanied by abdominal pain and what it then does is scream, and in the worst case for hours. This is not bad and stressful for the newborn, but also for parents and siblings.
As a parent, you often sit by helplessly, worry and don’t even know how to help your baby.
In this article you will learn how tummy tears develop in babies and how you can tell whether they really are stomach ache and gas and you will get 10 tips that can help your baby and you to get rid of those annoying stomach aches.
Why does my baby have stomach ache and gas?
It is often said very quickly that if a baby has stomach ache and gas, then it is the mother’s fault, because she must have eaten something wrong. Most of these theories are fairy tales and have never been proven .
So as long as you are eating a healthy and balanced diet, you don’t need to worry about such things.
The most common cause of stomach ache is probably the air that is swallowed when breastfeeding or drinking from the bottle. This air pushes and pinches the intestines and your baby gets a stomach ache.
Children who have been bottle-fed from the start can be particularly affected if the bottle is shaken vigorously and a lot of air has been trapped. Here it might be worthwhile to use special anti-colic bottles *.
Another reason for the painful flatulence can be fibers that are processed in the intestine and with which the intestine has no experience at all. Everything is new for your baby and his intestines and there can be a few teething problems.
Another reason could be an allergy. In babies with a very high level of exposure, allergens can get into the stomach through breast milk and cause a painful reaction if they come into contact with the gastric mucosa. If your newborn’s pain occurs fairly quickly after or while you are breastfeeding, an allergy could be an option.
Whatever it is, hard as it sounds, you shouldn’t drive yourself crazy. All babies have stomach aches every now and then, that’s just part of it. The intestines still have to learn everything anew and it is also part of getting flatulence.
If it becomes too much of a burden for you and your child or if you are really worried, you can of course always visit a pediatrician or speak to your midwife.
Recognize a baby’s stomach ache
It is very easy to tell whether your child is tummy teasing. On the one hand you will recognize it by the bitter crying and screaming, but of course there could be other reasons as well.
Here are the most common symptoms of abdominal pain in babies:
- Seizure shrine, often in the evenings or after meals
- Curved posture and drawn up legs often also result in cramp-like drawing up of the legs
- Pressure-sensitive, distended belly
- Red face and sweaty skin during attacks
- Severe flatulence
During these phases, babies are often difficult to calm and do not want a breast or a bottle.
Fortunately, there are of course tips and options on how you can help your baby.
3 month colic
The term 3-month colic is often associated with stomach ache and flatulence in babies. But this is more of a condition than a disease.
Colic actually only describes cramp-like pain, which is often located in the abdominal region.
If a baby has very pronounced gas and pain with frequent crying attacks that last for hours, it is referred to as 3-month colic, but actually it’s just gas and stomach cramps.
In the first three months after the birth, the change for the intestine is most noticeable. Your baby was taken care of by the umbilical cord for 9 months and now the intestines have to build up a digestive system overnight and be able to cope with food. In most cases, this change takes about three months and because this time is often accompanied by severe gas and pain, this expression arose.
10 tips against stomach ache in babies
Now that you know why your baby has a stomachache and how you can tell if it really is gas, I want to finally get to the tips.
1. Don’t drive yourself crazy
It’s not your fault that your baby has a stomach ache, and you may not be able to do anything about it, at least not right away.
This is one of the first things you should get used to, as difficult as it is.
You cannot spare your baby everything and the adjustment of the bowel is simply part of the process in the first few months. You don’t need to feel guilty or drive yourself crazy.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t do something anyway.
2. Adjust meals
As a nursing mother, you can try to put your baby on more often than usual. He or she will then drink smaller amounts throughout the day and will not be as hungry as usual with meals.
By breastfeeding more often, your baby is not as excited and hectic while drinking and does not swallow as much air.
If your child gets the bottle, you can try mixing the milk in a bowl instead of shaking the bottle. This way the milk froths up less and your baby swallows less air.
3. The aviator’s grip
At first glance, the aviator’s grip looks a bit scary, but it really helps against stomach ache.
For the aviator grip, you simply lay your baby on your forearm on its stomach and let your arms and legs dangle. The head lies securely in the crook of your arm and your hands grip under your stomach.
This position and the slight pressure on the stomach will help your child to get rid of the excess air.
4. An abdominal massage
A light stomach massage, in which you massage your baby’s stomach very gently with your fingers in a clockwise direction, often helps very well against stuck air and also calms you down.
To intensify the effect, you can put a little wind ointment * on your finger or lightly moisten your fingers with oil that has been warmed up in your hand. A special oil mixture * or caraway oil in combination with a base oil such as almond oil is recommended .
Caraway is perhaps the best herbal remedy for gas and calms the nervous intestines.
5. Cherry stone pillow
Warmth helps against stomach ache, everyone knows that and an external heat source such as a cherry stone pillow * can also be good for your baby .
But please do not use a pillow that is too warm and do not cover the baby additionally.
6. Moving (cycling)
Of course, to ride a bike with your baby, you don’t get on your bike yourself.
You put your baby down in front of you and put your legs in your hands and make a movement like your baby is riding a bike. Try it very slowly at first so your baby doesn’t get frightened by the sudden movement.
If your baby doesn’t like this, you can push both legs into the stomach at the same time or rotate both legs at the same time, the main thing is that the intestines move a little and the air can loosen.
7. Sab Simplex drops
These drops are a real miracle cure for gas-related gastrointestinal complaints and flatulence of all kinds.
Sab Simplex drops * work mechanically against the air trapped in the milk and can either be added directly to the milk or, if you are breastfeeding your child, given directly into the mouth with a small spoon.
8. Cradle or hammock
The curled position in a cradle * helps against flatulence and the slight rocking of the cradle helps your baby fall asleep.
In addition, your baby is easily shielded and can calm down better. We must not forget the unlikely amounts of impressions that shower our children every day, and even more so when they have only just been with us for a few weeks.
The combination of rocking motion, rounded posture and protection from irritation are ideal if your baby suffers from colic.
Of course, cuddle. With all the excitement and trying to find a solution, one of the simplest tools is often overlooked.
In addition to milk and sleep, your baby needs and wants one thing above all else, the mother, and even more when he is feeling bad.
Your closeness, your body heat, your voice are the best medicine and help your baby to calm down.
10. The baby carrier
As a carrying mother, I can tell you one thing for sure: the combination of closeness, body heat, upright posture and light massage (through your movements) that you get in a baby carrier are a real miracle weapon against stomach pain, gas and colic in babies.
If you want to find out more about baby carriers , you can find my baby carrier test here and I can tell you that much, carriers have a few more advantages to offer.
When to go to the pediatrician?
Stomach aches are not necessarily a reason to go to the pediatrician. However, if the symptoms appear colic and persistent, a visit to the doctor is advisable. In case of doubt, just to make sure, I’ve always preferred to represent my opinion once too much rather than too little.
If your child no longer wants to eat, vomits, has a fever or the stomach becomes extremely firm, then you should definitely see a doctor.