Stomach ache is one of the common problems that small infants, babies and children face. Read on to learn more about the common causes of stomach ache in infants, babies and children and home remedies for coping with such problems.
A stomach ache is one of the most common childhood complaints. Most parents make the simplest of connections assuming that the pain in the stomach must be linked to something their child has eaten that has disagreed with her. However, this blanket assumption does not always hold true. Stomach aches can be a symptom for a variety of ills.
In babies below the age of three months, a stomach ache could signify the dreaded colic. Indigestion can also trigger stomach-aches. When the child is around a year old, a stomach ache could be an offshoot of a sore throat, cold or flu. This is just the stomach's way of intimating that it too has been affected by the infection. Constipation could be at the root of a stomach ache. The pain could manifest itself as a dull ache or a sharp shooting pain. In the case of intestinal infections, vomiting and diarrhoea usually accompany the stomach ache. These can also be symptoms of food poisoning. Food poisoning is generally the result of eating food that has not been cooked thoroughly or improperly canned food.
Children with feeding problems often complain of stomach aches when they come to the table at mealtimes. Since stomach aches are easy to fake, parents sometimes do not give their children the benefit of the doubt. Parents assume that they are pretending in a bid to escape eating a meal. However, it is more likely that their stomachs are knotted with anxiety because mealtimes are such an ordeal. That is why it is important that parents try not to make mealtimes a battlefield. The stomach is an organ that reflects extremes of emotion. A child's first day at school can make his stomach clench with tension. Excitement can also trigger diarrhoea in some children.
Stomach aches are also associated with intestinal allergies, inflammation of the abdominal lymph glands, kidney disturbances, etc. However, these cases are more infrequent.
But the stomach ache that parents really worry about is the one that accompanies appendicitis. The appendix is a small offshoot of the large intestine. The appendix sometimes becomes inflamed and in the worst-case scenario it can burst spreading infection throughout the abdomen resulting in peritonitis. An inflamed appendix can reach the bursting point in as little as twenty-four hours.
Typically, appendicitis begins as a pain concentrated around the region of the navel that continues for a few hours. This pain later shifts to the lower right side of the abdomen closer to where the appendix is located. The symptoms of appendicitis differ from child to child. Some children may vomit a couple of times; others lose their appetite, become constipated or develop fever. Doctors usually diagnose this condition if they discover a tender area in the right side of the child's abdomen when they feel every part of the abdomen.
Home Remedies for Stomach Ache in Babies
Listed below are the home remedies for stomach ache in babies. You must consult your doctor before trying these home remedies on your baby. Make sure that you use these home remedies with extreme care and caution.
Help Your Baby to Burp
One of the most common causes of stomach pain babies is the discomfort caused due to the air that he or she swallows while feeding. So, in order to ease or prevent this kind of discomfort in babies, it is necessary to help the babies to burp. To help your baby burp, hold him or her in an upright position in such a way that his or her head rests on your shoulder. Gently massage your baby’s back in order to help her release the air. When your baby burps, he or she will feel easy and comfortable. You must burp your baby every time you feed her in order to prevent the discomfort that may be caused due to the swallowed air.
Asafoetida is one of the medicinal ingredients from the kitchen cabinet which is used since ages for curing stomach ache in not only babies but also in young children and adults. Mix a little asafoetida in warm water to make a paste and apply it to your baby’s navel.
If your baby is more than 6 months old, you can give curd to him or her. Curd is one of the foods that aid in digestion as well as helps to deal with stomach ache which is caused due to diarrhoea. It is rich in bacteria called lactobacillus which helps in stabilizing the intestine. Feed fresh and unflavoured curd which is prepared from whole milk to your baby. Curd is not only useful for dealing with stomach problems in your baby but also helps to provide nutrients that are essential for growth and development.
Use Mustard Oil
You can use warm mustard oil to massage your baby’s tummy. Make sure that you check the temperature before applying warm oil to your baby’s tummy. Lay your baby on his or her back comfortably and massage his or her tummy with the mustard oil gently. Mustard oil contains many medicinal properties. Massaging a baby's tummy with this oil can help to stimulate the baby's digestive system and help to release the gasses that are trapped in his or her stomach.
Practice Bicycling Exercise
Moving your baby’s legs gently in bicycling motion while he or she is lying on his or her back can help him or her pass the gas easily which can ease the stomach pain.
Apply Warm Compress
Gently applying warm compress on your baby’s abdomen can help to ease the stomach pain. You can use a clean cloth soaked in warm water to give warm compress to your baby.
Breastfeed Your Baby
Sometimes even hunger can cause stomach ache in small babies. Breastfeeding your baby can surely help in calming him or her in this case.
If your baby doesn’t feel better even after trying home remedies, you must consult a paediatrician. The above home remedies are suitable for common stomach ache that is caused due to trapped gas and air in your baby’s digestive system. However, if you baby is coping with stomach ache due to any other reason, then only your baby’s paediatrician can help you out. So, you must consult a paediatrician immediately.
Home Remedies for Stomach Ache in Toddlers
If your toddler complains of stomach pain, you can use the same home remedies which are mentioned above for helping babies deal with stomach ache. You must include more and more fluids in your toddler’s diet. More and more fluids can help to keep your toddler’s body and digestive system hydrated. It can also ease the bowel movement in your toddler thereby preventing problems like stomach ache in him or her.
Home Remedies for Stomach Ache in Schoolgoers and Teens
If your schoolgoer or teen is coping with stomach ache due to common problems, you can use the following home remedies.
Give Ajwain (Carom Seeds) Tea
Give tea made using Ajwain or carom seeds to your child. Ajwain has many healing properties and it is an age-old remedy which can be used for coping with stomach ache in not only children but also in children.
Give Jeera (Cumin Seeds) Tea
Jeera tea is also one of the effective remedies for helping children deal with problems like stomach ache.
Encourage Your Child to Walk
Walking can give an exercise to the digestive system of your child. It can help to release the pain causing gases that are trapped in his or her stomach.
Bowel movements can also help to release the gasses that are trapped inside your child’s tummy. So, encourage your child to pass stools in order to ease the discomfort that is caused due to gases that are trapped in his or her digestive system.
Follow BRAT Diet
BRAT stands for bananas, rice, apples and toast. You can encourage your child to follow this diet. This diet is very useful for coping with an upset stomach. Stick to BRAT diet and avoid giving spicy and oily foods to your child as it can aggravate the condition.
Increase the Water Intake
Make sure that your child drinks lots of water. Water is also very important to improve digestion and bowel movements thereby preventing problems like stomach ache.
Massage Your Child’s Stomach
Massaging your child’s stomach gently can help you to ease his or her stomach pain. Giving gentle massage to your child's stomach can provide relief to the aching muscles and nerves in your child’s stomach.
If your child is not feeling easy even after trying home remedies, you must consult a doctor immediately. Home remedies can provide temporary relief. However, if your child is coping with any other health issue that is causing stomach ache in him or her, you must seek help from your doctor.
Let us take a quick look at the common questions that parents have related to stomach ache in babies, toddlers and children.
Can incorrect feeding cause stomach ache in small babies?
Some incorrect ways of breastfeeding can cause stomach ache in small babies. Such incorrect ways include mistakes like not holding the baby properly while feeding. When babies are not held properly while breastfeeding them, they are unable to suck the milk from the breast properly. When they are unable to suck the milk from the breast, they can swallow air which can get trapped in their digestive system causing stomach ache.
Can overfeeding cause stomach ache in babies?
Overfeeding too can cause stomach ache in babies. When babies are overfed, bloating of stomach is caused. Babies can undergo discomfort like stomach ache when their stomach is bloated.
Can allergies cause stomach ache in babies?
Allergies can also cause stomach ache in babies. Babies can cope with stomach ache if they are allergic to certain ingredients in the formula milk or food that is fed to them. Sometimes they can also feel discomfort if such ingredients are passed to the baby through breastmilk.
Can including fibrous foods help to ease stomach ache in toddlers and children?
If a toddler or a child is coping with stomach ache due to constipation, including fibrous foods in his or her diet can help. Constipation can be eased or prevented by including fibrous foods in the diet of toddlers or children.
Can worms cause stomach ache in toddlers and children?
Worms are one of the common causes of stomach ache in toddlers and children. To prevent stomach pain that is caused due to worms in toddlers and children, hygienic habits must be encouraged in them. It is also necessary to avoid giving sugary foods like sweets, candies etc; to them in order to prevent worms in them.
How to prevent stomach ache in babies, toddlers and children?
Encouraging healthy eating habits is a key to prevent problems like stomach ache in babies, toddlers and children. It is also very important to develop a good feeding routine so that healthy eating habits are developed at an early age. Habits like overfeeding, feeding at odd timings, not following the food hygiene etc; should be avoided in order to prevent stomach ache in babies, toddlers and children.
Stomach ache is one of the common health issues that babies, toddler and children face. Thus, when your child clutches her stomach and complains of a tummy ache it is better to err on the side of caution. Irrespective of whether it is a mild or severe pain, acute or chronic, get it checked by the doctor. It may be nothing at all, but it does no harm to rule out any serious possibilities. What are the common causes of stomach ache in babies, toddlers and children? Which home remedies can prove effective for dealing with stomach ache in babies, toddlers and children? Discuss here.