Here’s how you can help your baby feel better.
If feeding times are fussy times, this information is for you.
Feeding and nurturing your baby is a special and rewarding experience. However, when your baby's delicate tummy can't digest food comfortably, he may encounter some digestive discomfort and the meal times may not be as enjoyable.
You are not alone! About 50% of babies have similar discomfort as your baby during their first year#. The good news is that most babies will outgrow it. Here's how you can help ease your baby's delicate tummy– so meal times can be happy times, too.
Why does my baby's tummy seem to be sensitive and delicate?
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.
What are the symptoms of digestive discomfort and what causes them1?
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's 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's hard for him to keep all of his food down.
He may be fussy or he may cry intermittently and sometimes seem inconsolable.
What causes digestive discomfort2?
Digestive discomfort can simply be a sign that your baby's sensitive and delicate tummy is still developing - that's why it's common. Many babies aren't 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.
How common is this condition?
It's very common. About 50% of babies experience digestive discomfort during their first year#. Although it's not serious, it's a good idea to seek a solution.
Will my baby outgrow it?
Over time most children will outgrow their digestive discomfort2. 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.
How can I help my baby feel better?
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 2-3 fl oz.|
|• Gently massage his stomach.|
|• Feed him smaller amounts.|
|• Calm a hungry or crying baby to prevent him from gulping air.|
Baby with digestive issues.
When should I consider a formula change?
Besides these techniques, you may also consider switching formulas. A formula containing partially hydrolyzed proteins provides you with an easy-to-digest option for your child's delicate tummy. Formulas with smaller protein pieces are easy-to-digest and provide the key nutrients such as DHA, ARA, and Choline, for your child's development. You may seek your healthcare professional for further recommendations.
What is a partially hydrolyzed protein (PHP) formula?
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.
If you want to end fussy feeding times, join the Enfamama A+ Club. Receive more information about child nutrition and delicate tummies.
#MJN Habits and Practices study 2015. n=2319 Stage 2 and 3 children in 6 markets in Asia.
1Misselwitz et al, United European Gastroenterology Journal 2013, 1(3) 151–159
2Kim K. et al, Korean J. Food Sci. Ani. Resour. 2011, Vol. 31, No. 6, pp. 893-898