Fussy? Gassy? Crying?

Feeding and nurturing your baby after 6 months is a special and rewarding experience. However, when your baby’s delicate tummy cannot digest food comfortably, he may encounter some digestive discomfort and the meal times may not be as enjoyable.

You are not alone. About 50 percent of babies have similar discomfort as your baby during their first year# . The good news is that most babies will outgrow it. Here are the answers to some common questions, which will hopefully help ease your baby’s delicate tummy – so meal times can be happy times, too.

Q: Why does my baby’s tummy seem to be sensitive and delicate?

A: It takes time for your baby’s digestive system to fully mature as part of his developmental process. During this period of growth, his tummy is usually delicate, small and growing in size. And it is not unusual for him to experience digestive discomfort.

Q: What are the symptoms of digestive discomfort and what causes them?

A: During or after feeding, your baby may appear uncomfortable and unhappy.

He can pass gas. Occasional gas is completely normal for most babies, as it is often caused by air swallowed while feeding or crying. If the air is not burped back up, it can become trapped in the digestive tract, bloating your little one’s tummy and making him uncomfortable.

Spit-up is also a common occurrence for a baby. A baby’s tummy is delicate, small and growing in size; sometimes it is hard for him to keep all of his food down. He may be fussy or he may cry intermittently and sometimes seem inconsolable.

Q: What causes digestive discomfort?

A: Digestive discomfort can simply be a sign that your baby’s sensitive and delicate tummy is still developing – that is why it is common. Many babies are not able to completely digest the important nutrients in formula because the enzymes that break them down are not yet fully active. This causes digestive discomfort.

Q: How common is this condition?

A: It’s very common. About 50 percent of babies experience digestive discomfort during their first year# . Although it is usually not serious, it is a good idea to seek a solution.

Q: Will my baby outgrow it?

A: Over time most children will outgrow their digestive discomfort. It simply takes time for the delicate tummy of a child and his digestive system to develop. Some babies begin to feel better after 6 months, while others can take a year.

Q: How can I help my baby feel better?

A: Sometimes you can help by changing the way you feed your baby. Here are a few techniques to try:

• Burp him by patting gently from the lower back, moving upwards, after every approx. 60 to 90ml (2 to 3 fl oz).
• Gently massage his stomach.
• Feed him smaller amounts.
• Calm a hungry or crying baby to prevent him from gulping air

Q: What is a partially hydrolyzed protein (PHP) formula? Is it easy for baby to digest it?

A: A PHP formula contains proteins that are broken down into smaller pieces, making it easy for a developing digestive system to digest. Your baby’s delicate and sensitive tummy will not have to work so hard to break down these smaller proteins’ pieces.

Article courtesy of Mead Johnson.

#MJN Habits and Practices study 2015. n=2319 Stage 2 and 3 children in 6 markets in Asia.
1 Misselwitz et al, United European Gastroenterology Journal 2013
2 Kim K. et al, Korean J. Food Sci. Ani. Resour. 2011

This article is taken from our My Alvernia Magazine Issue #44. Click here to read the issue on our website or on Magzter.