Rumbly in the Tummy: How to Treat Stomach-Related Illnesses

Here are baby's most common tummy-related problems, what they mean, and how to make them go away.

Spit-Up

baby's tummy

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What You See: Clumps of spit-up hitting the fan... and the dresser... and the wall

The Diagnosis: Gastroesophageal reflux

Picture your baby's tummy as a small balloon with a snug ring at the top keeping food and other stomach contents in their place. Unfortunately, this muscle isn't always as strong or in control as we'd like, especially in young kids. This means that pressure put on a baby's belly, even from a gas bubble, can trigger an unwelcome uprising.

Treat It: While spit-up stains are gross and unfortunate, most babies continue to drink, eat, and be merry without treatment -- and stop spitting up within (an admittedly long) six to nine months. In the meantime, give baby smaller and more frequent meals, and keep her sitting upright after eating. Feeding her thicker foods also may help, but discuss this with your doctor first. And try burping her -- it might cut down on the air bubbles and gas that sometimes aggravate reflux. When to worry: if your baby seems to be in pain or has had a tough time gaining weight. In this case, talk to your pediatrician about GERD, a more serious form of reflux.

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