Tummy cramps, an enemy of - unfortunately - many babies. The scenario of a screaming and red-faced baby kicking his little legs is probably familiar to many moms. And that causes a mom to panic and often despair. Although it is normal for babies to be bothered by cramps at night, it is of course anything but pleasant. As a mom, you no doubt want to do everything you can to relieve your mini - and even prevent cramps. How do you do that? You can read about it below!
- Breastfeeding: let your mini drink all the milk
You've probably heard of the difference between foremilk and hindmilk. There is some debate about whether or not these two types of milk exist or if they are just one type of milk, so we won't go into that. What it does boil down to is that the milk that comes out of your breast last is often a bit fatter and thicker. In addition, milk with a higher fat content stays in the stomach for a while first, giving the intestines a break. As a result, there is less chance of cramps. You can already feel it coming: this does indeed mean that it is important to let your baby empty the breast completely. Oh well, for most babies it won't be a problem to finish mommy's milkshake!
- Breastfeeding: avoid certain foods as a mommy
Of course, we don't need to tell you that your baby more or less eats along with the food you feed yourself when you breastfeed. This also means that your baby can get certain nutrients from your breast milk that your body is not very happy with and reacts badly to. Examples include strong herbs and caffeine. Want to find out if your baby has cramps because of your diet? Vary your diet and see how your baby reacts to these different foods he or she gets through breast milk.
- Consistent feeding schedule
Do you still change the times you feed your baby or the number of times you feed your baby? It's best to avoid that. Stability and consistency in when you feed your baby as well as the number of times you feed your baby is extremely important. When you switch this up, you are asking your mini's gut to adjust to a new feeding schedule every time. And that, unfortunately, can cause cramps.
- Bottle feeding: as little air as possible in the bottle nipple
When feeding your baby delicious formula, you may find that your baby swallows quite a bit of air, which is not exactly pleasant. How can you prevent a lot of air from staying in the bottle nipple? By not shaking the bottle too hard up and down before giving it to your baby and by making sure that the bottle teat is completely filled with formula while drinking. By doing so, you will definitely help your baby swallow less air, and that's a relief ;)
- Quiet drinking
Whether your baby drinks from the breast or the bottle, you've probably experienced it when your baby drinks very voraciously. Understandable, because we are all hungry at times ;) At the moment it seems wonderful for your baby, but soon enough that will change. Because: cramps. To prevent this, you can give your baby his or her pacifier before feeding. Let him or her suck on this for a few minutes. By then, most of the suction will have been used up. As a result, your mini will drink more slowly, allowing the food to gradually enter the stomach and intestines. Taking a break between feedings is also worth trying!
- Bottle teat with a small opening
Another way to prevent your mini from emptying the entire bottle too quickly is to buy a teat with a small opening. This will cause your baby to take a little longer to finish the bottle, which will only make his or her intestines happy ;)
- Hot bath or cherry pit bag
Is it already too late and your mini is screaming all over the place? Fill the baby bath with warm water (but not too hot) and try to calm your mini with this. Placing a warm cherry pit bag on their tummy can also help soothe them. What can warmth be good for?
Massaging the sore spot can also help relieve cramps a bit. Make sure you have warm hands and then move your hands over your mini's tummy in small circles, preferably clockwise. You can do this on your mini's bare skin, but also fine when he or she is still wearing a layer of clothing.
If your baby suffers a lot from cramps, try doing cycling movements (circular movements) with your mini's legs. This will help the stomach muscles to relax, which will reduce the cramps somewhat.
Oh yeah, speaking of moving, taking a walk with your mini in a baby carrier or taking a ride in the car can also help your baby calm down and relax. Yes, they don't say that rocking movements have a comforting effect for nothing ;)
- Counter pressure on tummy
Applying light counter pressure on the tummy can help reduce cramps. Try putting your little one's tummy on your forearm in a so-called 'airplane position'. Close to mom, it will have a calming effect!
- Saline solution for colds
Does your baby have a cold and cramps a lot? Use saline solution (or a nasal spray if saline solution doesn't seem to help) in your mini's nose a few minutes before feeding. This saline solution will allow your baby to breathe a little more freely, which is only pleasant while feeding.