If your baby is having less frequent bowel movements and seems to be straining, it doesn’t necessarily mean constipation. For breastfed babies, constipation is rare, but formula-fed babies experience the unfortunate discomfort more often.
You can tell your baby is constipated if he has hard, small and dry stools, possibly with blood, along with an increased amount of crying and crankiness.
Speak with your doctor if baby has any of these signs. You should also look into switching formulas and make sure baby is hydrated enough.
The younger and smaller the baby, the louder and larger the smell. The surprising sounds will quiet down within a few months, but we can’t say the same about the smell. While gas is quite normal, it can cause great pain for your wee one if too much is bottled up. Before calling the doctor, make sure baby isn’t sucking in too much air during feedings and try burping her more frequently. You’ll also want to make sure breastfed baby is latched properly and bottle babies are being fed with a vertically positioned bottle.
If you think food might be the problem, some common culprits are dairy, whey, soy, wheat, eggs, corn or citrus. Veggies like broccoli can cause gas as well. Talk to your doctor before eliminating any food group and call if problems persist.
Dealing with Acid Reflux: GERD
Since your newborn’s digestive system is still maturing, a small amount of spit-up or even vomit after a feeding is normal and will typically be outgrown. A more serious condition, however, is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. GERD is similar to what we adults call heartburn. It can cause painful irritation, abdominal discomfort, spit-up and sometimes vomiting. Most of the time, GERD disappears after the first year, but it can be pretty painful for your little one.
If baby is crying inconsolably, spitting up, projectile vomiting, having trouble sleeping, choking or gagging while eating, seems to have abdominal pain, is constantly burping or hiccupping, has frequent sore throats or ear infections, he may be experiencing GERD.
Call your doctor if any of the warning signs seem severe. Extreme cases can require surgery.
Colic is classified as extreme crying in a baby between 3 weeks and 3 months of age. Doctors have not yet been able to determine its cause.
Most often colic is diagnosed when an otherwise happy baby wails and cries inconsolably for more than three hours a day for more than three days a week and for at least three weeks in a row. Colic is usually at its worst at around 6-8 weeks, but the good news is that it should disappear by month four.
Colicky babies, may not be particularly hungry but can quickly get dehydrated. If your baby seems dehydrated, try offering them water that has been boiled and cooled. Water should not become a substitute for food. Many little ones will want to feed almost continuously if colicky, but be careful, the extra milk may be too much for their tiny bellies and can actually aggravate the colic. Try a pacifier if they seem to just want to suck. You may find that feeding time is the only time baby is quiet. Enjoy it and do your best to relax in these moments.