Belly pain in the newborn: causes, symptoms and remedies

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Belly pain in the newborn

Stomach pain and colic are very common in newborns and generally disappear spontaneously, around 3-4 months of age, but how to recognize them and what can we do to relieve the discomfort in the baby? Let's see together how to be able to interpret the signs of a tummy pain in the newborn and how to behave.

In this article

  • Causes of tummy pain in the newborn
  • Symptoms of abdominal pain in the newborn
  • When to worry
  • Remedies for tummy pain in the newborn

Causes of tummy pain in the newborn

The most common causes of tummy pain in newborns include:

  • Neonatal colic: it is not yet known what is the cause of the infamous neonatal colic, a problem that usually resolves spontaneously within the fourth month of life and that causes incessant and frequent crying;
  • Reflux: Babies between the ages of one and three months usually spit out a small portion of what they ate right after a meal. This happens because the valve called the lower esophageal sphincter is not yet fully developed and this allows food to travel up the throat, causing heartburn.
  • Constipation;
  • Overeating, which causes indigestion and vomiting
  • Lactose intolerance.

Symptoms of abdominal pain in the newborn

The little one is still unable to speak and clearly express pain or discomfort. No mother has a degree that allows her to immediately understand what is happening, but with time and patience I will be able to interpret what the most common signs of a stomach ache.


Stomach pain, caused by neonatal colic or constipation, causes crying that occurs at least three times a day, three days a week for more than three weeks. This "rule of three" is the most effective for understanding that the baby is crying because of colic. Also during the crying the baby turns red in the face, raises his legs and puts himself in a fetal position.


Il meteorism and gases are another typical symptom of tummy tummy in newborns: the stomach may appear swollen and tense and crying can worsen during the day because, crying, the baby introduces more and more air into the stomach making the situation worse. To reduce gas build-up in your belly make sure you get the burp to the baby after each feed, to attach it well to the breast during breastfeeding and to use a bottle equipped with an anti-colic valve which serves to reduce the introduction of daily intake during sucking.

Se breastfeed reduce foods that can contribute to gas formation such as:

  • caffeine,
  • beans,
  • cabbage,
  • broccoli.


Diapers can also cause stomach pain or help us understand its causes. If we use too small a size they could tighten at the belly level and cause discomfort and pain. Furthermore, too liquid, greenish colored stools indicate a gastrointestinal problem, for example a lactose intolerance. According to experts, to reduce this problem it is important to breastfeed by always emptying each breast completely during feedings. This practice causes the baby to take in all the milk, even the one that arrives at the end of the feed and which contains less lactose and more fats that aid in digestion.

Read also: The regurgitation of the newborn

When to worry?

The signs that should not be underestimated and which require a consultation with the pediatrician are:

  • fever;
  • no weight gain or even weight loss;
  • persistent vomiting;
  • green or blood-streaked stools;
  • continuous suffering.

Remedies for tummy pain in the newborn

Il incessant and frequent crying of the child it can create a lot of confusion and irritation in new parents who gender do not know how to behave and how to help their baby. Here are a few remedies to try:

  • cuddles: comforting and cuddling your baby, for example by cradling him, or by placing him in an upright position or in the baby carrier, can alleviate some of the discomfort of the newborn by rocking him, carrying him in a baby carrier or holding him in an upright position;
  • let's not stimulate it too much: Excessive stimulation can make the problem worse, so let's try to place the baby well swaddled in a quiet and peaceful environment;
  • hot compress: done with a heated cloth or a simple hot water bottle placed on the abdomen;
  • massage: a clockwise and circular massage on the tummy facilitates digestion and expulsion of gas from the belly. It is also useful to make the baby's legs make a movement similar to that of a bicycle to facilitate the release of gas.

If home remedies don't work you can try the probiotics, always after consulting the pediatrician. In fact, there are numerous studies that have suggested how a probiotic supplement can help reduce colic and stomach pain in infants and children.


  • Colicky baby? Here's a surprising remedy
  • Stanford Children 

  • stomach ache
  • heartburn
  • colic
  • newborn reflux
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