Baby Feeding Challenges: Co...

The first year of a baby’s life is always a challenge, and one of the biggest challenges is dealing with their tummy problems. Babies’ tummies are very sensitive, which is why only breast milk or baby formula is recommended until they’re one year old. Many people are familiar with colic in babies, but there are other tummy issues that can occur and we’ll take a look at each of them in more detail.

1. Colic

Colic often starts around two weeks of age and peaks around six weeks. By the age of four months, it’s normally gone. It is characterized by consistent crying in a baby that is otherwise healthy, and it usually lasts around three hours a day, three or more days per week. It also usually lasts for a minimum of three weeks, and these stats prove why colic is so difficult on both the mother and the baby.

If your baby has colic, schedule a checkup so the doctor can rule out anything serious. Each baby is different, but when managing colic in babies, try one or more of the following: a gentle massage, some type of motion such as being in a baby swing, some humming noise such as the clothes dryer, snug swaddling with a blanket, or putting the baby in a different position.

2. Constipation

As a general rule, babies should have up to ten bowel movements per day, but that number is reduced to once every four to five days once they are eight weeks of age. In most cases, constipation can happen when you introduce a new food or you’re transitioning from breast milk or formula to regular milk. Hard, tiny balls of poop may indicate constipation, and your doctor may recommend prune juice or even an infant suppository.

3. Reflux Disease

GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is painful, and your baby may have it if they cry after a feeding or start to cough or gag. If you’re concerned, the baby needs to see a doctor. Otherwise, make sure the baby stays upright for a while after each feeding with their head elevated. When it comes to coping with baby reflux, frequent burping of the child can also make a big difference.

You should also look for symptoms that include a bluish skin color or difficulty breathing. If either of these things happens, you should seek medical care immediately.

4. Diarrhea

Diarrhea is characterized by loose watery bowel movements, but the first thing to remember is that if you’re breastfeeding, this type of BMs is normal. If the stools get too watery or loose, however, it can lead to dehydration. Babies dehydrate rather quickly, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on this condition. If the diarrhea lasts for more than three days, the baby should be taken to the doctor.

You should also do two things if your baby has diarrhea. The first is to feed them extra fluids, which means extra breast milk or formula. The second is to feed them bananas, bits of toast, and rice or rice cereal if they are eating solid foods. Also, make sure the baby is having at least four to five wet diapers per day.

5. Spitting up

Most of the time, when babies spit up it’s due to one of two things: being fed too much or being fed too quickly. Whether you’re breastfeeding or giving them a bottle, it’s a good idea to stop half-way through the feeding and burp the baby so they don’t eat too much at one time. If you’re having trouble with the burping, try burping the baby in different positions such as having them lean forward as they remain upright or lying them on their stomachs as you burp them.

In addition, bring them to the doctor immediately if they aren’t gaining weight, are projectile vomiting, or their coloring looks a little bluish.

6. General Gassiness

When it comes to tummy problems in babies, one of the most-common infant feeding issues is general gassiness, and while a little gas isn’t harmful, it can make babies miserable. If your baby is squirming, crying, and has a distended belly, they might be experiencing gas. One of the easiest things to do is lay the baby on their back and gently bend the legs so that they are pushed up towards the stomach. Do it very slowly for the best results.

If your baby is constantly gassy, it’s time to take them to the doctor because gassiness can be severe and you don’t want your baby to be in pain for that long.


Some of the common baby feeding problems include gassiness, colic, acid reflux, diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting. Fortunately, there are simple tools you can use to improve all of these conditions. Still, never hesitate to seek the help of your pediatrician if the symptoms continue for a long time or it seems more serious.

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