Digestive Disorders In Babies

Digestive Disorders In Babies

Last update: 04 March, 2018

Digestive disorders can be very uncomfortable for your baby, but with the right treatment they can be relieved. We will show you some simple tips to avoid them.

Digestive disorders occur more frequently in babies than we might think. In fact, statistics show that around 50% of babies suffer from mild digestive disorders during their first months of life.

This is due to the immaturity of their digestive systems. Although these problems can often be overcome with dietary changes, it is important to identify them in order to prevent affectations in the child’s development.

Digestive disorders in babies

There are various digestive disorders that babies can suffer from and generally they are quite uncomfortable for them.

Although these disorders have the power to generate considerable concern from parents, we must remember that they are actually quite common. With the right treatment their discomfort can be alleviated.

Here are some of the disorders that a baby can suffer from:


Colic or belly pain is the mildest disorder that a newborn can present, especially when feeding from a bottle. This pain can cause loud cries that often reduce in intensity after they expel gases.

In order to relieve colic, you can perform massages on their stomachs, from top to bottom. You can also perform clockwise massages.


Breastfeeding can cause your baby’s stools to have a particular color and consistency. They will be thin, granular and golden yellow in color.

If you feed your baby’s artificial formulas, their stools will be inconsistent and light colored. In any case, you should consult your pediatrician if you notice diarrhea.

Babies have high risks of suffering from dehydration. Diarrhea in babies is usually of an infectious origin.

Digestive Disorders In Babies


Regurgitation usually occurs after feeding. It occurs when the baby expels their food after having too much. It can only be avoided by carefully watching to find out when the baby is satisfied.

This prevents them from eating more than they need to. The regurgitations are not always abundant, and they usually occur just after feeding the baby. They can be triggered by the slightest movements and they are caused by the immaturity of the baby’s digestive tract.


The incorporation of solid food in the baby’s diet or a change from breastmilk to formula can cause digestive disorders such as constipation. When this occurs it is best to consult your pediatrician. The most effective treatment is to simply change the baby’s diet.


This can be quite persistent and lasting but it should be the least of our worries since it does not do any harm to the baby. It unusually occurs without apparent cause and later disappears spontaneously. In fact, babies can even suffer from hiccups inside the womb.

“According to statistics, 55% of babies suffer from feeding problems during their first year of life.”

What causes gas

Gas can be an indication that the baby’s digestive system is developing problems. Some babies cannot digest lactose or infant formulas completely because they do not possess the enzymes to break down the component.

Although this problem usually gets resolved spontaneously as the baby develops, it is important to inform your pediatrician in order to find solutions.

How to help your baby?

  • Place the baby upright when it is feeding time.
  • Make the baby burp by giving them light taps on the back.
  • You can try applying a gentle massage on their abdomen to relieve pain.
  • Try to feed them with small amounts.
  • Calm the baby down when they cry in order to prevent them from swallowing air.
Digestive Disorders In Babies

What are the symptoms of digestive problems?

The fastest way to detect digestive issues in your child is to analyze their attitude on a daily basis. For example, if they are uncomfortable, sad or upset after eating, it is most likely because they feel bad.

You might notice that they are contracting and extending their legs towards their stomachs in order to try to relieve the pain or discomfort. Another hint that the child is suffering from digestive issues is when they cry uncontrollably.

These digestive disorders that we mentioned above are quite uncomfortable for your baby and can generate concern among parents. But they are completely normal during the first months.

If you have any questions or concerns, it is best to consult your pediatrician.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Thiagarajah JR., Kamin DS., Acra S., Goldsmith JD., et al., Advances in evaluation of chronic diarrhea in infatns. Gastroenterology, 2018. 154 (8): 2045-2059.
  • Vandenplas Y., Alarcón P., Alliet P., De Greef E., et al., Algorithms for managing infant constipation, colic regurgitation and cow’s milk allergy in formula fed infants. Acta Pediatr, 2015. 104 (5): 449-57.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.