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Home / Parenting

Six ways to tell if your baby has digestive problems

 Parents often feel helpless when their child is unwell (Photo: Shutterstock)

It can be very hard to pin out what the exact problem with your child is especially if they are very young. This is because they are not able to express themselves or communicate with us. 

Digestive issues can have dire effects in our children and can make us go into full blown panic mode especially for new parents. Research shows that stomach ache or digestive issues are very common in children more so in children who are being introduced to new food and those who are becoming mobile and eating anything they come across. It can become a nightmare. This, however, should not be a great cause of alarm especially if it is not persistent or recurrent. 

Aside from that, there are many other causes of digestive problems that your child can suffer from. As pointed out earlier it is quite difficult to know what exactly is wrong with your child. We need to understand that babies feel the same way we feel when we are sick. They become irritable, moody, fussy, and they will cry. In the end most of us end up feeling helpless because we are not able to understand what they are experiencing and end up crying along with them.

How do you tell if your baby has digestive problems? Read along. 

Loss of appetite

Loss of appetite has been attributed to many other things but one of its major causes is digestive problems. Just like adults, when our tummies are not well the last thing we honestly want is food. This also applies to babies. Feeding them more will only make the situation worse.

Investigate their poop

Yes, it might be disgusting but it’s very important. Normal poop should not be runny or clumpy or dry. It should be smooth and consistent. 

If you notice the poop is runny or has hard stone like particles, then your baby is experiencing digestive problems. Great ways of dealing with the clumpy or stone like poop is ensuring they are hydrated and this is a reflection of constipation. For runny poop you can give them plain yoghurt and if it persists seek medical help.

 When children experience tummy aches they tend to be moody and fussy (Photo: Shutterstock)


Yes, like adult’s babies experience bloating. A bad tummy among babies is not an uncommon occurrence. However, you should be able to tell if it is bloated. 

For this gently press their tummy and if it feels hard or your child shows signs of discomfort they are experiencing bloating. If their tummies appear swollen and they haven’t been fed, then that is also a sign of digestive problems.

Stomach upset

Simply because the baby is not experiencing any pain in their tummy does not mean that they don’t have digestive problems. Indigestion can contribute to stomach aches. If you notice your baby curling themselves up in positions that you haven’t seen before they might be feeling pain in their abdominal area.

Change in mood

Yes, kids experience mood swings. When they experience tummy aches they tend to be moody. If your child is moody and fussy and they don’t want to eat or play as usual most likely they are not feeling well. Before ruling out that sleep might be the issue or they just woke up irritable, you can examine their tummies for bloating.


Throwing up is one of the main symptoms of digestive issues. If your baby throws up immediately after feeding or even taking water, this is a great indication that there is something wrong with their tummies. Seek medical help immediately as other diseases can also cause stomach upsets.

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