What Causes Stomach Pain In Newborn Babies

Trapped Wind Gas Or Aerophagia

Causes of stomach ache in infant who is on formula milk? – Dr. Sailaja Vummadi

We all swallow air when talking or crying. Babies are even more prone to do so, when sucking. They such in air with their feeds. They may gulp in a sizable amount of air that creates a column of air in their tinny intestinal tube or lumen. Because the lumen of their bowels are so small compared with older children or adults, the swallowed air causes distension of the intestinal wall, leading to abdominal pain.

Bottle feed infants are more likely to suffer with this than breast feed babies.

Signs of aerophagia or intestinal gas in newborn babies and older children include:

  • Wriggling and twisting during or after feeds
  • Burping a lot
  • Abdomen looks fuller or distended compared to the amount of feeds that has been taken
  • Passing plenty of flatus

What You Can Do:

  • Using the appropriate feeding bottle teat will help to prevent or reduce the incidence of aerophagia. Do not increase the size of the teat yourself.
  • Ensure you “wind” your baby thoroughly after each feed. You can do this by positioning your baby in the erect position on your shoulder, with its belly resting on your shoulder, and then gently stroke its back down until you hear a couple of burping sounds with release of wind
  • If the above steps does not help, and if your child still seems to be in pain, seek medical help.

Oil Massage For Stomach Pain In Babies

Massage for babies is a must-do in every house-hold. Usually, we do oil massage before bath. An oil massage can also relive pain in babys tummy.

  • Use a natural oil like mustard, sesame, olive oil.
  • Heat it to lukewarm temperature.
  • Take oil in your palm and spread it all over your your hands.
  • Gently massage babys stomach in circular motion.
  • This will relieve gas pains.

You can also mix equal quantities of coconut oil and water and mix very well till it starts forming foam and then use it for massage.

What Is Abdominal Pain In Children

Abdominal pain is pain felt anywhere in the area between the bottom of the ribs and the pelvis. It is very common in babies, infants and children under 12 years.

There are many different causes of abdominal pain in children, including trapped wind, constipation, gastroenteritis and appendicitis.

Most episodes in children are not serious and will get better without treatment in hours or days. But, if the pain is severe, does not go away, or your child seems generally unwell, take them to the doctor or hospital emergency department.

This page is about abdominal pain in children under the age of 12. Go here for information on abdominal pain in older children and adults.

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What Infant Gas Drops Are Safe And Effective

Infant gas drops contain simethicone, which breaks up gas bubbles and is also the main ingredient in common anti-gas medications for adults. Research as to how effective they are is mixed. Still, simethicone gas drops for babies are very safe, and some parents find theyre very effective.

Want to try infant gas drops to help your gassy baby? First, talk to your pediatrician about what kind to look for and how often to give them. And follow the dosing instructions on the bottle. Most will say you can give your baby drops up to 12 times per day, or at each feeding. Some parents find its helpful to give babies gas drops right before each feed to pre-empt gas problems, but check with your doctor to be sure.

Read the label and be sure to avoid drops with sodium benzoate or benzoic acid, which can be harmful to babies in large quantities.

And if a friend or relative brings a gas treatment from another country or one that isn’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration , don’t give it to your baby unless you get approval from your pediatrician. It could contain alcohol, sugar or other potentially harmful ingredients that aren’t clearly listed on the packaging.

Gas Relief For Babies

What Is Gastroenteritis in Babies?

Watching a gassy baby struggle in pain can break any parents heart. Luckily, there are several baby gas relief options to help release the gas and soothe the discomfort. Read on to learn how to relieve gas in babies.

Swaddling. Wrapping baby up tight can soothe your gassy baby by mimicking the coziness of the womb.

Rocking or bouncing. As with swaddling, OConnor says, the motion of rocking or bouncing simulates the environment in your uterus, helping to relax baby.

Using a pacifier. Almost all babies will find some baby gas relief by sucking on a pacifier, OConnor says, because the sucking action releases endorphins that will soothe them.

Infant massage. Simply rubbing your childs belly may be helpful, since massage can help calm the nerve signals in babys immature intestines.

Tummy time. Some babies find gas relief from the gentle pressure thats put on the stomach during tummy time. Just make sure theyre supervised while doing this, Grossman cautions.

Encourage movement. If your gassy baby is in severe discomfort, try the baby bike ride. Lay baby on their back and move their legs in an up-and-down pedaling motion. This helps move gas along physically, but also helps soothe and calm nerves in the intestines.

Switch up babys formula. For a formula-fed baby, you can try a different formula thats made for gassy babies, Grossman says.

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What Are The Home Remedies For Babys Stomach Pain

Do not attempt to treat your babys stomach pain by yourself and let the doctor take care of the medicine. Stomach pain in infants is different from that in adults so never give your baby laxatives or antacids. However, there are some basic measures you can take to help alleviate the intensity of the pain, post consulting a pediatrician :

Consider A Different Formula

If you feed baby with formula, you may be able to quell their belly pain by switching the, well, formula of their formula. Numerous formulas are made specifically for babies with sensitive tummies.

Another alternative: Try using warm water when mixing up babys bottle. This can help the formula dissolve without the need for shaking, which can create air bubbles that lead to gas.

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What Can Help A Babys Stomachache

There are several home remedies and soothing strategies to help ease a babys stomach ache, which varies with the cause of the stomachache. If the baby doesnt show any signs of improvement, its advised to seek medical attention right away. Some common causes of stomachache and their remedies include:


Commonly occurs in babies under 3 months of age. The exact cause is not known, but its believed to be because the intestines tighten causing pain. The baby cries more in the late afternoon or evening and cries for at least 3 hours for 3 days a week or more and this lasts for at least 3 weeks. The baby also tries to pull the legs to the chest and passes a lot of gas.

  • Remedies to help the baby:
  • The baby may be swaddled in a blanket
  • The baby may be held while walking and rocked
  • Using a pacifier can help


Gas may often be associated with colic. Gas may arise because of swallowing air, problems with digestion, difficulty in digesting breast milk when the mother eats certain foods.

  • Remedies to help the baby:
  • Breastfeeding mothers may consult with a doctor regarding an appropriate diet
  • Discontinuing foods that cause digestive problems


  • Remedies to help the baby:
  • One to two teaspoons of prune juice may be given to babies over 6 months of age
  • Avoiding milk and cheese because they can cause constipation
  • Keeping the baby physically active because moving around helps relieve constipation

Acid reflux:

Tummy Cramps In Babies

Infant Medical Care : Infant Abdominal Pain Relief

Home » Blog » Tummy cramps in babies

Tummy cramps is a very common problem in babies, and it does happen to at least 20% of babies in first few days to weeks after birth.

If your child seems to be fussy and distress for regular intervals in a day or a week, they may be suffering from tummy cramps. Tummy cramps make your baby uncomfortable and interfere with her good sleep as well. The below information benefits you to understand the condition and helps to calm your baby during tummy pains.

What causes tummy cramps?

Tummy cramps is often a result of colic, constipation, gastroenteritis, gas or intestinal blockage, reflux, and lactose intolerance. The other possible causes include diarrhea and nausea which may happen conditionally depending on the cause of abdominal pain like infection or allergy. Besides, tummy cramps may also occur due to any viral infections in the stomach which usually disappear in no time or a couple of days.

What can you do to ease tummy cramps in babies?

Though the tummy cramps are not harmful, it can be frustrating and distressing to look after a baby dealing with tummy cramps. Monitor the following steps to make your baby comfortable during tummy cramps.

Step 1:

Step 2:

Step 3:

  • Do not serve your baby with solid foods during tummy pains. Give clear fluids in small sips regularly to maintain proper hydration.

Step 4:

  • Just make your child lie down and take rest until he/she feels better.

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What Can I Do To Help Prevent Colic

  • Change your baby’s milk or the foods you eat. You may need to change your baby’s formula if he or she has an allergy. If you breastfeed your baby, you may need to avoid foods such as milk, cheese, wheat, and nuts. These foods may cause your baby to develop an allergy. Ask your baby’s healthcare provider for more information.
  • Hold your baby upright while you feed him or her a bottle. This will help your baby swallow less air from the bottle. You could also try using a curved bottle or a bottle with collapsible bags to decrease the amount of air he or she swallows.
  • Burp your baby after each feeding. This helps remove gas from your baby’s stomach.
  • Do not give your baby a bottle every time he or she cries. A baby may cry for many reasons. Check to see if the baby is in a cramped position, is too hot or cold, or has a dirty diaper. Only feed your baby if you think he or she is hungry. Do not feed him or her just to make him or her stop crying. This may cause overfeeding. Overfeeding means your baby gets too many calories during a feeding. This may cause him or her to gain weight too fast.
  • Do not add cereal to the bottle. Overfeeding can also happen if you add cereal to your baby’s bottle. Overfeeding can cause him or her to gain weight too fast. Your baby learn to overeat later in life.

When To Speak With A Doctor

While most baby gas cases are fairly harmless, there are times when you should seek professional help.

If your baby exhibits excessive crying, has long crying bouts three or more times per day, or just recently began crying after reaching their first month, contact your pediatrician.

Also call the doctor or seek medical help if your little one isnt eating, peeing, or having regular bowel movements.

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Try Probiotic Supplements On Doctors Recommendation

A probiotic supplement is considered to improve the good to bad ratio of the bacteria in the stomach, thus facilitating proper digestion of food. This is important to prevent gas formation in the tummy. However, there are no studies regarding the safety and efficacy of their use for infants. Prior pediatric consultation is wise if you are planning to start the same for your baby.

Rest and medication will help the infant recover soon. If your baby is older than six months, you might want to know the foods that you can give them during stomach pain.

When To Rush The Baby To The Doctor

How to help a baby with gas pain

Home remedies can do wonders for most, but it always safe to know when to consult the doctor. Constipation should be addressed if it continues for more than three days. If the child is vomiting, has a fever, or is generally feeling worn out most of the time, it is better to consult the doctor. Other than this, I would say you trust your instincts. After all, a mother knows best!

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Can Breastfeeding Make Baby Gassy

Some research has found that the foods in a mom’s diet might make breastfed babies gassy, but the evidence is far from conclusive. Before you completely revamp what you’re eating, see if there are other subtle ways you can help your baby swallow less air at mealtimes, including working on your latch, burping baby twice at each feeding and trying different nipples or bottles if you pump.

If your breastfed baby is still gassy, and you notice that every time you eat a certain food he seems gassier or fussier than usual, theres no harm in cutting that food from your diet to see if it helps. Work with your doctor to nail down foods that might make breastfed babies gassy, including:

  • Cruciferous veggies like cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower
  • Dairy and eggs

How Is Infant Colic Diagnosed

Your baby’s healthcare provider will ask you about his or her health since birth. Tell him or her when your baby cries, eats, sleeps, and has bowel movements. His or her healthcare provider may want to know if anyone in your family has allergies. A physical exam will also be done. Your baby will be weighed to check if he or she is gaining enough weight.

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Causes In Breastfed Babies

A medical study on 150 babies found that infants who are breastfed only have less diarrhea than babies who are partly or completely formula-fed. About 27 percent of breastfed babies got diarrhea often while almost 72 percent of babies who were on formula exclusively got diarrhea often.

There are still plenty of reasons why your baby might get diarrhea even if youre breastfeeding them. These include:

Changes in your diet

If youre breastfeeding your baby, a change in your diet can trigger diarrhea in your baby. For example, if you eat a lot of spicy food or sugar desserts one night, it might change your breast milk. This can make your babys tummy rumble and move along milk too quickly, leading to diarrhea.


If youre taking medications like antibiotics, these can also get into your breast milk and trigger diarrhea in your baby. Some nutritional supplements like vitamins and protein powders might also leak into breast milk and stir up your babys tummy.

While you breastfeed, its safe to assume just about everything you consume can change breast milk. Even a tiny change can trigger diarrhea in sensitive baby tummies, though it is not common for this to happen very often.

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