5 Keys to Take Care of Your Baby's Digestive Health

We are going to show you the best tips to follow to improve your baby's digestive health and avoid the most frequent aches and pains.
5 Keys to Take Care of Your Baby's Digestive Health

Last update: 26 May, 2022

To take care of a baby’s digestive health, it may be necessary to implement a series of keys or specific strategies. In this way, it’s possible to prevent some common causes of abdominal pain, which is a situation that leads to the baby crying and to caregiver exhaustion.

Usually, intestinal discomfort is caused by inefficient digestion or by the consumption of certain low-quality products in complementary feeding.

Before starting, it’s important to note that during the first year of life, experts recommend exclusive breastfeeding. This provides bioactive substances capable of protecting the intestinal immune system and improving its functioning. It also promotes the development of a competent microbiota, which ensures the absorption of essential nutrients contained in food.

Take note of the keys to preserving your baby’s intestinal health and start implementing them today!

Simple strategies to take care of your baby’s digestive health

Here are some simple guidelines and habits that you can adopt at home to take care of your baby’s digestive health.

1. Include high fiber foods from the beginning

Once complementary feeding begins, it’s important to ensure the presence of high fiber products in the diet. This substance has been shown to help prevent constipation, which is quite common among infants.

Natural fiber manages to increase the volume of the fecal bolus and stimulate the activation of the mechanoreceptors of the digestive tract, which helps a more efficient transit.

At the same time, dietary fiber is the main energy substrate for the bacteria that make up the microbiota. Therefore, providing it on a frequent basis will allow the microorganisms that live in the intestine to reproduce and carry out their functions optimally. Therefore, it will also be less likely to develop infections of pathogenic germs.

A baby picking up apples.
Citrus fruits and apples are excellent sources of fiber for little ones. In addition, their taste and texture are usually well accepted at all ages.

2. Ensure the proper hydration of your baby

Consuming fiber is important, but so is maintaining a good state of hydration in the internal environment. Water contributes with fiber to generate a greater stimulation of the intestinal receptors and enhance peristaltic movements.

According to research published in the journal Jornal de Pediatria, regular and sufficient consumption of liquids is essential to preventing constipation. However, not just any drink will do, as water in its pure state is the drink par excellence of living beings.

It’s essential to always choose natural mineral water, as it’s the best tool to ensure good hydration.

3. Plan less voluminous and more varied meals

Babies who often experience gas or digestive problems will benefit more by increasing the number of smaller meals they consume throughout the day. Therefore, they’ll achieve greater efficiency in digestive functioning and the intestine has less work to do after each meal. This will make the development of discomfort less likely.

Also, certain irritating foods, such as those with a spicy taste or with a lot of spices, should be avoided. Although they may be good for health, they over-stimulate the digestive tract and cause increased inflammation and distension within the baby’s intestine.

4. Include foods with digestive enzymes

Some foods contain a series of proteolytic digestive enzymes, such as papaya and pineapple. These compounds facilitate digestion and the subsequent absorption of nutrients, which makes digestion easier.

Therefore, these foods are an excellent choice to finish a meal, especially when it has been voluminous.

5. Promotes physical activity

From the first stages of life, it’s important to establish a good physical activity routine. Through exercise, the body’s inflammation levels are kept under control and the risk of developing digestive diseases and other complex diseases is reduced.

Although small babies aren’t yet candidates for sports, it’s important to promote free and active outdoor play.

A baby lying on a blanket on the grass.
Promote free play outside the home as a strategy to prevent disease and promote the overall development of your child.

Implement the keys to taking care of your baby’s digestive health

As you’ve seen, it’s possible to implement a series of keys to take care of your baby’s digestive health and prevent them from experiencing intestinal problems that alter their wellbeing. In any case, if the problem persists even with the implementation of these tips, it’s best to consult a specialist.

Finally, special emphasis should be placed on the need for a varied and balanced diet to ensure the proper growth and development of little ones. Guaranteeing the presence of vegetables in abundance and also of fermented dairy products is very important.

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  • Bharucha, A. E., & Lacy, B. E. (2020). Mechanisms, Evaluation, and Management of Chronic Constipation. Gastroenterology158(5), 1232–1249.e3. https://doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2019.12.034
  • Boilesen, S. N., Tahan, S., Dias, F. C., Melli, L., & de Morais, M. B. (2017). Water and fluid intake in the prevention and treatment of functional constipation in children and adolescents: is there evidence?. Jornal de pediatria93(4), 320–327. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jped.2017.01.005