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PLAYING: A sore tummy!

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A sore tummy!

Big sobs and a wretched expression, my little one is at the end of his tether… I get the impression that his little tummy is hurting but I don't know what to do to soothe it.

3 mins to read Sep 10, 2015

Then comes weaning and introduction of solids with lots of sometimes failed attempts… just some of the changes in a young child's life that his little tummy remembers. A short glossary of the minor disorders that may bother him.


Your little one cries for a long time, sometimes for hours, and is inconsolable. The whole family panics and you feel guilty because you are unable to calm him down. But it is not your fault.

If your child is feeding normally and is full of smiles the rest of the time, and if your doctor says that everything is fine, then don't worry. Relax, take your little one in your arms and rock him gently. This will reassure him and he will no doubt calm down.


Some children may experience minor digestive disorders. Although infrequent, diarrhoea can be dangerous.

Dehydration may set in rapidly and it is important to check that your child is not losing weight. If he has diarrhoea ask your doctor for advice.

N.B.: Breast milk makes a child's stools a little yellow and runny and his nappy needs changing after each feed, seven to eight times a day. This doesn't mean he has diarrhoea, but if you are unsure you should consult your doctor.


If on the other hand your child passes hard stools* or small pellet-like stools and cries while straining, you should discuss it with your doctor.

N.B.: Bottle-fed children generally have thicker stools than breast-fed children, and pass stools less often.

Minor reflux

Minor reflux is when children bring up their milk, and this is highly frequent. It disappears spontaneously between the age of 6 to 12 months, when they start to sit up on their own. To encourage effective breastfeeding or bottle feeding and to prevent minor reflux, a few simple rules apply:

To be avoided: 

  • The sitting position, especially in a bouncer
  • Smoky environments
  • Fruit juice
  • Forcing your child to finish a bottle

To be encouraged:

  • Space out feeds or bottles evenly over the day
  • Burp your child well and don't lay him down too soon after a feed
  • Raise the head of the mattress

Tip: if you cannot breastfeed or do not wish to breastfeed, your paediatrician may suggest you give your child a thicker infant formula.

Starch-thickened formula will help prevent your child from bringing milk back up.


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