What’s REALLY causing your child’s stomach pain? Here's some easy things you can do to help
There are few things more frustrating than hearing the tears and embattled screams of a hurting child. Feeling powerless to figure out what is causing their pain, let alone how to fix it, is definitely one of them. Not to talk about the hours of lost sleep- for the baby, as well as the parents.
According to new research from the UK, only a staggering one in ten parents know the reasons behind their children’s stomach aches and pains, and a quarter are forced to visit their GPs three or more times a year to try to track down the causes. The research also revealed that the average child will suffer four bouts of stomach pain a year, as well as three colds and two sickness bugs.
How to find out what is REALLY wrong with your baby? For infants and toddlers who can’t express how they are feeling, the clearest sign is usually in their nappies: If their poo is very soft or even watery, they aren’t passing stools as much as usual, are agitated or crying much more than usual, drawing their legs up in pain, or can’t settle it could well be infantile colic or another gastric problem. In an acute situation like this, the first port of call should always be to try herbal solutions like teas or an all-natural supplement like Biobubs which has been long known to help ease the pain and anxiety that comes along with the symptoms of tummy pain and colic in infants. Adds Liz Reid from Biobubs: "I'd always advise to try an all natural remedy first before looking at chemicals that are usually contained in pharmacy-grade medicines. But of course, if with this alone symptoms don't settle or even worsen, it is always best to seek a doctor’s advice."
In the mid to longer term, there are also some easy food and lifestyle swaps that could help your child’s tummy:
Avoid artificial sweeteners in baby foods which are often hidden quite well in the ingredient lists: Some artificial sweeteners are known to disrupt the gut microbiota (particularly aspartame and saccharin) and this disruption may lead to worse tummy troubles over time. Instead use only small amounts of natural sweeteners like mashed fresh fruit (bananas, apple puree etc.), natural sucrose or honey.
- Sitting or lying down for long periods of time can affect the time it takes for food to move through the gut causing constipation and pain. Make sure your toddler has plenty of activity instead which becomes even more important as your child grows older. So get your child active inside and outside: This will encourage peristalsis, which refers to swift digestion and breakdown of food in the gut. The more you move, the more food moves!