When your baby is healthy, your joy and happiness will be evident. However, along with the joy of being a mother, a time comes when your baby has some indigestion problems. During this situation, knowing how to deal with it and deciding the right home remedies may be difficult at some point. This article aims to assist you in knowing some of the effective home remedies that may improve digestion in babies. This is very crucial because young babies and toddlers are most susceptible to digestion issues due to their developing digestive systems.
What causes indigestion in babies?
Indigestion or dyspepsia occurs when your baby has an upset stomach. It is not a disease but rather the effect of a bad diet. This can happen due to gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) or acid reflux, which occurs when stomach acid backs up into the tube that connects the stomach and the mouth (oesophagus). This leads to stomach inflammation and irritation of the upper stomach. Usually, babies don’t have inflammation; its the sensitivity of the protective lining called mucosa that increases, making the baby feel very uncomfortable. Other causes of indigestion in babies may also be due to:
- Development of the oesophagal sphincter and the delicate digestive system of the babies.
- Allergic reactions to the baby’s sensitive stomach to some foods.
- Poor sleeping patterns caused by stress
- Medicines that cause heat burns
- Excessive intake of carbonated drinks
- Obesity creating additional pressure on the abdomen leading to acid reflux
- Stomach ulcer
- Bacterial and viral infections such as Helicobacter pylori infection, etc.
- Stress and anxiety of the baby leading to irregular eating patterns
Symptoms of indigestion in babies
When young babies and toddlers are experiencing indigestion complications, the following signs of indigestion in babies may manifest:
- Pain or burning in the baby’s upper abdomen, which usually results in an uneasy and fussy baby.
- Low appetite and not eating at all.
- Vomiting and throwing up
- Breathing difficulties
- General congestion
- Constipation in babies taking solid foods
- Aching of the back while feeding
- Continuous burping and flatulence or passing wind
Home Remedies to Improve Digestion in Babies
Some home remedies can be used to improve digestion, and also prevent indigestion in babies. If your baby has a sensitive digestive system, you should try to figure out the foods he is allergic to and establish some dietary restrictions. Outlined below are some home remedies that have proved to be effective when dealing with mild indigestion issues in babies:
Massaging your baby is a home remedy that can help to ease many common digestion problems in babies. While massaging your baby, the best-recommended way is to use baby massage oil that will not result in any side effects. To know if the oil is safe and doesn’t cause any reaction to your baby, rub the oil in a small portion on your baby’s wrist’s skin and wait for a few minutes. If no reactions occur, you can begin by gently massaging around the baby’s belly button area while moving your hands in a clockwise direction. The strokes should be very gentle and should make your baby feel calm. You can also massage your baby’s legs and press them gently towards his belly regularly to relieve the signs of indigestion.
Warm compression is an effective way of getting rid of the baby’s stomach gas that may cause burping. When done regularly, warm compression will leave the baby in a very calm and soothed mood. Warm compress involves a container of warm water and a soft washcloth possibly of cotton material. Take the washcloth and soak it in the warm water and then wring it to squeeze any excess water. Then, gently place the warm washcloth over your baby’s belly for two to three minutes. Repeating the process frequently when needed is a sure way of relieving the symptoms of indigestion in babies.
Adjust Your Feeding Position
Another effective way of dealing with the most common indigestion issues, such as acid reflux, is ensuring that your feeding position is proper. You should always hold your baby in an upright position while breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. It is also recommended by pediatricians to hold your baby in the upright position for at least thirty minutes after feeding and, if possible, even let them sleep in that position. This will prevent the stomach’s contents from going up to the oesophagus.
Yogurt is very rich in good bacteria and probiotics, which are healthy for the digestive health of your baby. It should be given to babies who are at least six months old. According to child care experts, yogurt is very effective in treating constipation, indigestion, and vomiting in toddlers. When giving your little one yogurt as a remedy for indigestion, take a few spoons of the yogurt, dilute it with a little water and feed him a few times each day until the symptoms of indigestion subside, and the baby feels better.
When your baby is feeding, either from the breast milk or bottle feeding, he may ingest a lot of air. When the air is trapped in the stomach, it may lead to stomach aches, bloating, and gas that will make your baby very uncomfortable. It is recommended by pediatricians to burp your little one after every couple of minutes of feeding and after feeding, ensuring the milk is settled and thereby relieving the stomach from any ingested air. To do this, hold your baby in an upright position in your arms and let one of your hand support the head while the other hand supports his back. You can also make your little one lie down on his tummy on your lap and then gently stroke his back.
Breast milk is most often preferred as compared to bottle milk. Babies should be fed solely on breast milk until six months old, and then solid foods may be introduced. A lot of valuable nutrients are available in breast milk that can improve the digestive system of the baby. As milk is easily digested, you should feed your baby frequently. However, to ensure no indigestion issues occur, you should breastfeed your baby in the right position and ensure you burp him as necessary.
Bananas are the first solid food that your baby may begin to take when they are about six months old. This is because they are very easily digested by the developing digestive system of the baby. As they are rich in fiber, they are effective in treating constipation, vomiting, or diarrhea. Small quantities of a smashed banana should be given to the baby during feeding time. The rich fiber in bananas will help the baby’s digestive system to digest food faster, thus, improving digestion.
Homemade Gripe Water
Pediatricians will not recommend giving babies bottled mineral waters or store-bought gripe waters due to several reasons. The homemade gripe water is known to relieve gas-related and other digestive issues in young babies and toddlers. Various ingredients are used in the preparation of the gripe water, and all are very beneficial for the baby’s digestive and overall health. Use the gripe water most often to relieve the symptoms of indigestion in infants.
Broccoli is a superfood rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The fibers in broccoli can help promote regularity, immunity, nutrient absorption, prevent constipation, maintain a healthy digestive tract, and lower the risk of inflammation in the baby’s gastrointestinal tract. When giving the food to the baby, care should be taken not to give large amounts as it may lead to bloating, gas, and other indigestion issues. Broccoli should only be given to babies who are six months and above to relive the symptoms of indigestion in toddlers.
Fennel oil is best known for its powerful ingredient for digestive health. It has a relaxing effect on the body, including the muscles and intestinal region. Fennel oil is an effective home remedy treatment for indigestion as it helps to clear the bowel, relieve constipation, and get rid of the baby’s stomach of any gas and bloating. When used regularly, it can also eliminate the formation of additional gases in your baby’s tummy. You can take a few drops of fennel oil and mix it with any other best baby massage oil and gently massage around your baby’s tummy.
Digestion issues are very common in babies and have to be handled with care. I hope the above home remedies to improve digestion in babies have helped you.
If you know any other remedy then do let other parents know in the comments section below.