Tiny Tummy Troubles

Poor little Vivian! She struggles a bit with tummy troubles, and her tears and frustrated expressions break my heart.  I think she has sensitivities to some of the foods I eat, so I’m trying my best to avoid things that I think might be causing her distress.  So far I’ve figured out that Brussels sprouts and beans seem to be culprits, so I’ve cut those out of my diet, and fellow moms have suggested I limit dairy, so that will likely be the next food group to go.

I didn’t experience this issue while breastfeeding Evie and Mack, so Vivian’s fussiness is a new parenting challenge for me.  Here are some ways I soothe Vivian when her tummy troubles take over:

1. Swaddle: Something about the snug security of a good swaddle seems to calm her frazzled nerves.  She settles into my arms and I can easily see her start to relax.  Sometimes she’ll want to suck on a pacifier while I rock her.

2. Tummy Time: Resting on her tummy provides temporary relief for little Viv.  Perhaps its the pressure or maybe its just the change of position, but she calms down for a bit.  Sometimes I’ll lay her on my lap or on my forearm if I think she wants tummy time while being held.

3. Take a Shower: Baby Vivian loves coming in the shower with me, and this seems especially true whenever she has tummy troubles.  The warm water relaxes her tiny body, and she seems to appreciate the extra cuddles and attention she gets when its just the two of us. Plus, she can nurse peacefully while the water gently eases her pain.  Its a special time for both of us.

4. Shushing and Singing: When she’s not especially angry, a gentle “shush” sound helps, as does singing a sweet and simple song.  I often resort to my college’s alma mater because it is very quiet and calming. Whatever works!

How do you handle a fussy or colicky baby?

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16 Comments for this entry

  1. Apryl says:

    My fussy baby liked to be in the swing, or we’d walk around with him. When we weren’t able to do that, we used Colic Calm, another homeopathic remedy. That really seemed to do the trick, especially on those fussy nights!

  2. danielle sell says:

    Amelia trouble was gas, you could hear it grumbling in her little belly. We tried the gas drops and Biogaia but I’m not sure if either of them worked well. 2 things worked for us – 1) holding her face down (sorta) with her face near my elbow and belly on my hand swinging side to side. The pressure of her body laying prone on my arm seemed to help release the gas. 2) She was a “vacuum baby”! Seriously, we would run the vacuum cleaner/hair dryer and the loud constant noise would quiet her in just a few minutes. I even downloaded an app to my phone to use while we were on the go. It was a MIRACLE!

  3. Andrea says:

    The way you describe Vivian’s troubles is so beautiful! The language you use expresses your love for her so perfectly. I can practically feel it radiating off of the screen. She is so loved. I hope her tummy feels better soon.

  4. Zenilda says:

    Here is some info on an ingredient in the teething tablets: The name “belladonna” means “beautiful lady,” and was chosen because of a risky practice in Italy. The belladonna berry juice was used historically in Italy to enlarge the pupils of women, giving them a striking appearance. This was not a good idea, because belladonna can be poisonous.

    Though widely regarded as unsafe, belladonna is used as a sedative, to stop bronchial spasms in asthma and whooping cough, and as a cold and hay fever remedy. It is also used for Parkinson’s disease, colic, motion sickness, and as a painkiller.

    I didn’t give them to my daughter after I learned about this. : /

  5. Zenilda says:

    This info is from MedlinePlus

  6. Mary says:

    My little girl had lots of tummy troubles as well. Holding her while bouncing on the yoga ball helped.
    I also gave up dairy because casein in breast milk can be hard for them to digest. It was amazing within about four days, her tummy troubles completely ceased! I’ve had a lot of friends who gave up dairy for the first couple months of breastfeeding their little ones and also had the same result.
    I drank fennel tea as well (this can also increase milk supply) and when she was a couple of months I would soak an organic washcloth in fennel and chamomile herbal infusion and let her suck on it.

  7. Jessica says:

    Maureen, I’m suprised you have not posted about the Time magazine cover “Are you Mom enough?”…. seems like a hot topic!

  8. Thinking of you…we haven’t dealt with colic yet, but I have so many friends who have really struggled with it. I just loved your note about singing the alma mater to her – we sing that with both our boys as part of nighttime prayer (ok, it’s a stretch but still – it’s a hymn!) and it’s such a soothing song. Good memories of such an amazing place in the midst of parenting stresses helps too.

  9. Jayme says:

    I haven’t had dairy for 9months as it caused tummy trouble for our little guy! It is a hard sacrifice to make but well worth it! My little man feels better and I am 15lbs under my prepregnacy weight! Good Luck!

  10. katie says:

    I ended up giving up dairy and wheat with my baby girl. But, honestly, what helped the most was wearing her in the moby wrap, especially when it was nice enough out to walk outdoors. The wrap seemed so comforting to her and on evening walks the neighborhood noises seemed to calm her too.

  11. Jessica says:

    I ended up giving up dairy for my baby girl who is 7 months. I gave it up about 6 weeks ago and it has solved her tummy troubles!

  12. Molly says:

    It took us 5 months to figure out what caused tummy (and skin) troubles for my son, but I ended up cutting out dairy, soy, egg, tomato, citrus, chocolate, onion, garlic, peppers, broccoli, sprouts, gluten, nuts and other things that are harder to digest until I stopped nursing at 14.5 months. It was pretty difficult, but once your house is stocked with what you can eat, it’s much easier. It is much easier to plan meals because the list of ingredients is short and preparing meals is very simple! I would recommend going on a very simple diet – oatmeal, chicken, rice, peas, corn, carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, pears, squashes (think “baby’s first foods”) – until things calm down. Coconut yogurt and coconut milk are both delicious additions to this diet. It can take a couple weeks for all of the troublesome foods to clear your system. Then, once things are going well for Vivian, do a test an introduce another food and wait a few days to see results. Results can appear in tummy troubles, diaper rashes, changes in poop consistency, and patches of eczema. We used gripe water to settle our son when he was gassy and it generally worked. Sometimes it was just the distraction of giving it to him, I think, but he settled just the same. 🙂 Good luck figuring out the tummy issues!

  13. Kristin E says:

    We had a fussy little gal. Finally went on a baby dose of Prilosec and that really seemed to help (just try to get it in in small amounts- they say 30-60 min before eating but we found that impossible since who knows when baby will get hungry again). After just a week of that (at about 4 months old) she was a different baby. She let other people hold her. She didn’t cry for extended periods of time. There was so much more to enjoy. I breast fed but never consistently eliminated any one food from my diet. She never seemed to like nursing and preferred bottles, often would refuse the breast but maybe that was because of her poor little tummy.

    Other things that helped us- the vacuum cleaner, blow dryer and sound machine were like an off switch to the crying.

    She is now a happy-go-lucky 21-month-old and the sweetest thing ever. She still occasionally has melt-downs but what toddler doesn’t.

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