Because an infant can’t simply tell you, it can be difficult to figure out if a baby has a stomach ache. However, common symptoms include fussiness, gas, vomiting and diarrhea. Whether caused by indigestion, gas, colic or allergy, an upset baby can disrupt the entire family. As long as the baby’s symptoms are not severe, there are several remedies that can be used right at home.
According to the La Leche League International, an infant’s stomach ache can be massaged away. This is especially true if the stomach ache is caused by gas, colic or constipation. To massage the tummy, gently move your fingers and palm in clockwise circular motions, circling the belly button. Another method called the “paddlewheel” starts with your palm under baby’s chin. Point your fingers toward his shoulders and then slowly move your hand down to his chest, all of the way down to the diaper area. When your hand reaches the belly button, place your opposite hand beneath his chin and move downward. Switch hands, being sure that one hand is always massaging.
The Dr. Spock website explains that herbal tea can remedy a baby’s tummy ache. Mint and chamomile are considered safe and can be brewed up in a warm tea. However, tea has no calories so make sure it is not used as a substitute for breast milk or formula. In addition, do not add honey to a baby’s tea. Honey increases the risk of botulism in babies.
Many babies find that warmth can help soothe an upset stomach. Fill a water bottle with warm water and wrap it in a towel or diaper. The Dr. Spock website suggests placing the water bottle on your knees and laying baby tummy-down over the bottle. Make sure that the water is not too hot. If it feels warm to you, it might be too hot for baby’s sensitive skin.
Some over-the-counter medications can help treat an infant’s tummy ache. The Babycenter website says that many parents find that gripe water is helpful. This medicine is a combination of herbs and sodium bicarbonate. Anti-gas drops are an option if gas is the suspected cause for baby’s upset stomach. Always consult a pediatrician before using over-the-counter medications.