Learn how to identify the signs of a delicate tummy and turn a grumpy tummy into a happy tummy that aids your baby’s learning and development.

fussy baby

Is your baby unusually fussy? Uncomfortable and unsettled? Crying almost immediately after food? You might be pulling your hair out by now, but don't worry, you're not alone, your child may be experiencing signs of a delicate tummy. Once you have identified it, there is plenty that you can do to help.

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What is a delicate tummy?

Professor Geoff Cleghorn, Director, Mead Johnson Paediatric Nutrition Institute (Asia), explains, "Many babies experience apparent discomfort from feeding issues. This occurrence is very common as it takes time for a baby's digestive system to fully mature as part of his developmental process."

You're probably thinking "great but how will this affect my baby's health?" Don't worry, this isn't a serious illness, your baby is simply still developing the functionality to break down proteins as easily as you or I.

The result? An unhappy baby who isn't quite sure what's going on!

gassy baby

What are the signs I should be looking out for?

Distinguishing what is normal from abnormal is challenging for all parents and particularly scary for first time mums. So what are the signs you should be looking out for?


Grumpy Baby?

Professor Cleghorn says, "During or after feeding your baby may appear uncomfortable and unhappy. Whilst passing gas is completely normal for most babies, it's often caused by swallowing too much air while feeding or crying. If your baby doesn't successfully manage to burp the air back up it will continue down the digestive tract, possibly making your little one's tummy bloat and making him or her uncomfortable. "

fussy baby with mum

Spitting up

"Spitting up is a common occurrence for a baby as the one-way valve (lower esophageal sphincter) at the top of the stomach may take time to function after birth," says Professor Cleghorn. Excessive spit-up will cause baby to become extremely fussy, cry intermittently and sometimes become inconsolable.

baby with a delicate tummy

Will my baby always have a "delicate tummy"?

Not at all, advises Professor Cleghorn, "Over time most children will outgrow their digestive discomfort, usually towards the end of the first year of life. It simply takes time for his or her digestive system to develop and become fully functional, and every baby will develop at a different rate. "


How do I help my baby get the nutrients they need and continue to thrive?

Professor Cleghorn suggests finding a milk formula designed to support your child's nutritional needs through the different stages of development. "Milk Formulas with nutrients like docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA) help support brain development." DHA and ARA are important building blocks for the development of the brain and eyes in infants.

Expert Resource:

Professor Geoff Cleghorn


Professor Geoff Cleghorn

Director, Institute of Health & Biomedical Innovation – Centre for Children’s Research Centre

Professor of Child Health

Queensland University of Technology

Director, Mead Johnson Pediatric Nutrition Institute (Asia)