What to do for cramps in a baby?

As a new parent, every cry, cramp, grunt, groan and moan is a potential source of concern. Much of this is simply part of the process of growth and development. But cramps in a baby can be severe and last for many hours. These ongoing cramps are usually due to a build up of gas and wind in the lower digestive tract. This is what we call colic. Reflux is another common symptom of babies who have too much gas in their digestive tract. 

Baby cramps are almost always due to gas or winds trapped somewhere in the digestive tract - either in the stomach or intestinal tract. It could have been swallowed or be the natural by-product of digestion. If the gas or wind is trapped in the stomach, cramping is relieved by good burping technique. If it's trapped in the lower digestive tract (intestines and colon) then it needs to come out the bottom end and can often be helped with specific exercises or 'deep release techniques'.

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Stomach gas causing cramps:

  • cramping usually most notable soon after feed (or during feeding)

  • not burping well

  • if refluxing, milk is runny

  • better when they burp

 

Intestinal gas causing cramps: 

  • Cramping at random times and even when sleeping long after feeding

  • bloated or hard abdominal area

  • excessive straining and pushing

  • if refluxing - milk is cottage cheesy

  • better after bowel movement

 

what went wrong?

 

  • burping techniques not working

  • immature digestive tract - 'kinks' in the pipes and gas can't pass through easily

  • milk not digesting well causing excessive digestive gases

  • baby still learning how to 'push' gas out but not quite getting it right

what to do?

 

There are a variety of anti-spasmodic medications that can help in the short term. But it is not good to keep using any medication, especially in a newborn. Instead, you should address the cause naturally: 

  • learn burping techniques that get the difficult, deeper burps out

  • do deep abdominal massage techniques that help release intestinal gas

  • We have all of these techniques available on our subscribers section. They are simple to learn, safe and will start addressing the problem very quickly.