One of the common reasons for parents of little children to rush to the pediatrician often is a stomach pain. There could be many reasons like bowel problems, a stomach infection, food allergy, gas, constipation, etc that lead to abdominal cramps in kids. However, most of the time stomach pain in kids cures on its own without much medical intervention. Sometimes stomach pain in toddlers could also be due to gastroenteritis, kidney infection, or bowel infection. In that case, it is important to visit your doctor and seek medical attention. Nevertheless, many times stomach pain can also be cured with some effective home remedies.
Most common causes for stomach pain in toddlers
There could be many causes for abdominal pain in toddlers but here are a few most common causes for stomach pain in toddlers.
Feeding more than necessary
Sometimes new mommies wrongly presume that if fed fully the baby might sleep well. In doing so they feed more than necessary leading to stomach pain.
Introducing new foods to toddlers might sometimes lead to indigestion causing stomach pain.
Stomach-ache can also result from bacterial or viral infections. These infections are accompanied by diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
Intolerance to certain food items might cause food allergy leading to cramps.
Colic, gas, and constipation
Hard stools, gas, and colic also cause hard bowel movements leading to pain.
11 Effective Home Remedies For Stomach Pain In Toddlers
Keep your toddler hydrated
In case of stomach pain due to diarrhea, vomiting and nausea keep giving lukewarm water to your kiddo at regular time intervals. For babies breastfeed on demand and for the ones above the age of 6 months offer clear water, mild broth, or diluted fruit juices. Giving tender coconut water is also effective.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and it neutralizes stomach acid. The active ingredients in ginger heal the gut, reduce gas and bloating, and also fasten the movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract. Boil fresh ginger in a glass of water and add a teaspoon of honey to it. Let your child drink in little sips.
Cumin is rich in antioxidants and has great anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces stomach acid, reduces bloating, and helps to digest food. It enhances the secretion of digestive enzymes and also acts as a pain killer. Boil a teaspoon of cumin in a glass of water. Strain the water, let it cool and make your child sip it from time to time.
Carom seeds or ajwain water
The active ingredient thymol present in carom seeds aid digestion by stimulating the secretion of digestive juices. It also gives relief from bloating and gastric troubles. Carom seeds could be boiled in water and had with a pinch of salt to cure indigestion and stomach pain.
Asafoetida helps to cure a host of abdominal issues that include intestinal gas, irritable bowel syndrome, and an upset stomach. Having a pinch of asafoetida in warm water every night cures a lot of abdominal issues including stomach pain in kids. Applying a pinch of asafoetida mixed with ghee in the naval region is known to provide instant relief from stomach cramps in kids.
Fennel is a wonder seed that speeds up digestion, relieves flatulence, improves metabolism, prevents gas, and much more. It relaxes the abdominal muscles hence reducing stomach cramps. Fennel seeds are also found to relieve pain in a study. Fennel tea can be prepared by mildly roasting the seeds and then boiling in water. Make your child drink the tea in little sips.
The rice water that is left after cooking the rice is full of starch. Starch is known to absorb stomach acid thus relieving pain. Rice water can be offered for stomach pain due to diarrhea or vomiting. Add a pinch of salt according to your child’s taste.
Rocking your child
The reason for colic pain is unknown and there is no specific remedy too. In such cases rocking or swinging your baby in a certain way can soothe her/him.
Greek yogurt is a wonderful probiotic that helps in making healthy gut-friendly bacteria in the stomach. Offer plain yogurt with some starchy food like pain-boiled rice to your child in small quantities to reduce pain caused by acid reflux.
Make them sit on the potty
Many times, stomach pain could also be due to not emptying the bowel. A trip to the toilet can solve the issue. Hard stools due to constipation can also cause pain.
Feed them bland food
Spicy, oily food causes the production of stomach acid leading to abdominal pain. Offer bland foods like plain rice, toast, or crackers. They are easily digestible and are mild on the bowel, relieving.
When is medical attention needed?
Although in most cases stomach pain in little kids can be managed without medical intervention, sometimes it could be serious too. Symptoms to watch out for and decide if a trip to the doctor is required:
- Fever and chills
- Severe pain that worsens on movement
- Blood in the stool
- Diarrhea that does not stop
- Weight loss
- Refusal to eat at all
- Skin rash
- Symptoms do not go and worsen with time
Even though stomachache in kids can be managed easily at home, sometimes a viral or bacterial infection can also be the cause of severe cramps. Viral infection resolves on its own but bacterial infections need antibiotic shots. Kidney disease or bowel disease also causes severe stomach pain which no doubt needs medical attention.