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Understanding the Digestive System of Children

Some children belch from time to time, others do it every time after feeding. Newborn children can do it because of lack of development of the sphincter between the gullet and the stomach. Older children do it because milk mixes with air and goes up the gullet.


There are no suitable medicines to eliminate belching, but you can try to reduce the quantity of air that a child swallows while being fed. Don’t feed a baby if he or she cries; hold him or her upright during and after feeding. Be sure that the hole in a bottle teat is not too small or too large. During feeding, a teat should be filled with baby food. It’s useful not to allow a child to be active during or just after it feeding; if it’s possible, fasten him or her to a child-chair or to a pram. Don’t forget to help him or her let the air out after feeding.


But a child will belch in any case during the first 6 months. You’ll solve this problem if you put nappies on your knees or shoulders during feeding. Most children belch less often after they have learned to sit, but some of them continue belching during the first year of their life.


Usually belching doesn’t threaten a child at all -- it can just spoil your clothes or furniture, so prepare a bottle with mixture of water and soda beforehand. If you rub a cloth with this mixture, you‘ll wash off the spots and get rid of any unpleasant smells. But a small child can choke on the emetic mass if he or she lies on his or her back, so put the child on his or her stomach when sleeping or playing. However, if your child doesn’t put on weight or has a cough, you should see a doctor. You should also see a doctor if the emetic mass is brown or green and comes out like a fountain, in which case it may be caused by the impassability of intestines (it is treated by means of surgical operation).

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