Colic, constipation, and diarrhea are infancy’s most common digestive problems. As the data show, they affect almost half of the infants.
Although they are a natural result of the digestive system’s maturation, the symptoms accompanying these conditions, such as continuous crying, whining, and constipation, can be troublesome for all family members.
What causes digestive problems in babies?
The newborn’s digestive system still needs to develop in terms of functionality fully. After birth, the digestive system takes over its primary function of digestion and absorption. However, the size of the stomach and intestines are still small, and the secretion of digestive enzymes is less efficient than in an adult.
All these factors mean that infants can suffer from digestive problems – they usually show up in pain, crying, excessive gas, diarrhea, and constipation. Digestive issues are generally not dangerous for the baby because they are a natural and temporary condition resulting from the immaturity of the system. If you are worried, talk to your pediatrician to find out what is causing your baby’s distress and identify the problem.
In case any alarming symptoms are noticed, your pediatrician may prescribe additional tests – it may turn out that colic is, for example, a sign of an allergy to cow’s milk proteins, and you have to introduce an appropriate diet for your little one or switch to therapeutic baby formula.
Feeding your baby: What new parents should know
When breastfeeding your baby, you should ensure that you are feeding with the right technique – the position of the baby, the frequency, and the atmosphere in which it takes place. A nursing mom’s balanced diet is also essential for her baby’s digestion. Ensure you consume enough proteins, fats, and carbohydrates and that the foods you prefer are rich in essential vitamins and minerals. Also, an important part of a balanced diet is adequate water intake.
Digestive disorders in infants are more common during formula feeding. And this is because the immature pancreas and enzyme system do not yet produce enough enzymes to fully process the formula’s components. Which consequently provokes gas, colic, and frequent stools. In addition, the formula is difficult to choose at first because it is impossible to clearly predict how the child will react to a particular food.
However, organic formula is better digested, and it is closer to breast milk due to the properties of the milk base. Accordingly, the baby’s body requires less energy and enzymes to digest it, the baby absorbs it faster, and therefore it is easier for the immature gastrointestinal tract.
In order to adjust or start transitioning to formula feeding, you can rely on a qualified recommendation from your pediatrician, taking into account your baby’s nutritional needs. Among the many baby food options, many parents choose baby formula from Europe, as this segment of the market offers more quality organic baby food options.
Digestive issues are one of the main concerns for parents of infants and toddlers. Colic, regurgitation, constipation, and loose stools usually accompany a baby from birth to 12 months. But it should be noted that this is a functional feature of the age, which normally does not require the attention of doctors or any tests. Breastfeeding and the right baby food chosen regarding the child’s age and individual needs are crucial in normalizing digestion at an early age.