Digestive problems can disrupt your baby's growth. They can also make life uncomfortable for both your baby and you. But, when exactly do you draw the line between a passing tummy and a digestive problem? Here is how to tell if your baby has digestive problems

Reflux

Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) is the involuntary passage of gastric content into the food pipe. infants are more prone to this but gets better with age. In as much as it is common to babies, do not hesitate to see a doctor in case of the following

  1. Green or reddish color in the vomit
  2. Refusing to feed
  3. Loss of weight or lack of weight gain
  4. Chocking spells
  5. Breathing difficulty during feeding
  6. Rattling sounds in baby's chest

What you can do

Alternatively, you can try out the following to make the reflux better

Hold the baby upright for 20- 30 minutes after every feed

Burp the baby after every feed

Feed smaller amounts and feed often

Do not tighten your baby's diapers too much

Vomiting

This is the forceful expulsion of gastric content through the nose or mouth. Rapid feeding, overfeeding and swallowing of air are some of the causes of vomiting. Constant vomiting may be a sign of digestive problems. Be sure to contact your pediatrician if you see the following symptoms

  1. Vomiting blood
  2. Vomiting green bile
  3. Vomiting is followed by inactivity
  4. Convulsions before or after vomiting

What you can do

The following will help you manage the vomiting before you get to your doctor

Hold the baby upright after feeding

Prevent dehydration by giving enough milk or formula to the baby

Diarrhea

Normally, a baby's stool is loose and pasty. For newborns, it happens frequently. However, too much of it can deplete essential salts and water content in your baby's body. Raise an alarm if you see the following

  1. If stool has mucous or bloodstains
  2. If you see dehydration signs such as: dry mouth and no tears

What you can do

If you are still nursing the baby keep doing breastfeeding

If your baby is already feeding consider easy to go foods like bananas

Pediatric Digestive Disorders
The pediatricians and children’s specialists at MaineHealth are experts in diagnosing and treating a full range of pediatric digestive disorders.