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Infants have very sensitive digestive systems that can become easy to upset. Digestive issues are to be expected as your baby continues to grow and develop, but of course you want to keep them as happy and comfortable as you can and make sure they’re getting the proper daily nutrients.

To help you do this, we’re sharing some basic facts and tips on the common digestive issues you can expect with your new baby.

Gas
Gasiness is common because through feeding, crying and sucking on a pacifier or other toy your baby may draw in excess air that gets trapped in their little tummy. You may notice your baby’s stomach is more sensitive, hard or a little distended, they’re burping or are passing gas.

To prevent and/or treat gas, the first thing to look at is their feeding routine. Make sure their head is elevated during feeding and burp them throughout to release excess gas. Examining their diet as they get older can help you determine which foods upset their stomach. There are also infant gas medications your doctor may recommend. Lastly, you can gently massage their tummy to work out the gas.  Or try one of these rather unusual gadgets which seem to have attracted many fans

Diarrhea
Discovering your baby has diarrhea is not often subtle. In severe cases, they can have what’s affectionately known as a “blowout.” You’ll know it when you see it, as you probably will not have seen anything quite this spectacular before! This is most commonly caused by a virus or in some cases an allergy.

The most important thing to do when your baby has diarrhea is to give them plenty of fluids to prevent them from getting dehydrated. Next, depending on their age, you can give them a probiotic supplement safe for babies — probiotics are the “good” bacteria that live within the gut, keeping the digestive system on track. Third, if they’re consuming solid foods, you can introduce more fiber into their meals to try and “tighten up” their stool.

Constipation
On the opposite end of the spectrum, sometimes your baby will have difficulty passing a bowel movement. As they get older and their diet begins to change, they can become constipated from time to time and experience some pain in their abdomen.

Giving them more fluids can help soften their stool and get things moving more naturally. Making their meals softer and easier to digest is also helpful, so pureeing foods or making smoothies can help.

Reflux/Spit-up
Your baby may spit up after eating if they have breast milk or formula sitting their stomach that hasn’t been digested yet or if they get upset or move around too much after feeding. They may also spit up if they lay down too soon after feeding.

Burping is the best way to prevent spit up and giving your baby breaks during feeding when they need it. After feeding, try to keep them upright and avoid too much vigorous activity while they digest their food. If they do fall asleep in your arms, keep their heads elevated above their stomach instead of laying them flat.

Vomiting
If your baby has contracted a virus or has simply been too active after eating, they can throw up. This is nothing to be alarmed by, but it can be upsetting. Be sure to check for other symptoms like a fever, pain in their ears or any other sign of a cold, ear infection or the flu.

Once you’ve done that, keep them hydrated and take feeding time slowly to be gentle on their stomach. Your doctor may recommend additional medication depending on the cause of the vomiting.

If these symptoms persist, it’s very important to speak with your child’s doctor about them. You can keep track of the frequency on a calendar if that helps you determine any sort of pattern. Their doctor can then perform a thorough examination to figure out just what’s going on and how to remedy the situation. As they get older, digestive issues become less common, allowing you to breathe a little sigh of relief.

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