As a new parent, anything unusual with your child does scare you. Even a minor change or unusual activity may raise questions about whether or not everything is okay. Stretching is one of the movements that may make you concerned as the parent. This is especially if the stretching happens a lot and more so in their sleep. In other cases, besides stretching, the baby will have other sounds such as grunting, among others.
These sounds and stretching make you think that the baby is in pain or is distressed. Understanding the reason for stretching is the best way for you to help your baby. Read on to understand why your baby is stretching and what you can do about it.
Why Is Your Baby Stretching a Lot While Sleeping?
More often than not, excess stretching is caused by digestion problems. When there is gas in the stomach, it makes the baby uncomfortable and makes them start stretching. These digestion problems are also the cause of sounds like grunting. You can identify that your baby is stretching due to a digestion problem if they start stretching about ten minutes after feeding. When they are sleeping, they will keep stretching until the stomach’s gas is eliminated, and they get comfortable.
What Are Other Signs of Indigestion in Infants?
Stretching is one of the common signs of indigestion for kids. When your baby has a stomach problem, you will likely notice other signs such as disturbed sleep, vomiting, and diarrhea. Additionally, your baby may pass gas and burp or have a swollen-looking stomach. In case you realize these signs in addition to stretching, high chances are that your baby has a stomach problem.
Home Remedies for baby’s stomach upsets
Some home remedies you can use to help eliminate the gas and help the baby get more comfortable. For instance, raise their head so that it is above their stomach. You can also try massaging their belly or swaddling them. When the baby is awake, you can give them some tummy time, where you place them on their tummy. This helps them relieve the gasses build up in their body.
How Can You Avoid Baby’s Gas and Stomach Upsets?
Your baby can get gassy whether you are breastfeeding them or using formula. To help avoid this, when breastfeeding, feed the baby at an angle whereby the head and neck are above the stomach when feeding. Additionally, if you are using a bottle, use it in a vertical position and ensure that it is airtight. This will help prevent a scenario where the baby swallows air, and it makes them gassy.
On the other hand, when using formula, ensure that you use the right formula and feeding bottle. This kind of bottle has a soft nipple that prevents air from flowing along with the bottle. If your baby is persistently gassy, consider changing the formula and see where it works.
When to Talk to a Doctor
Ensure that you talk to a doctor if the gas makes the baby have a fever, diarrhea, or vomit. Additionally, talk to a doctor when you realize other signs, such as poor feeding or excess crying. The doctor will administer a drug that will help the baby calm down and relieve the gas.
Other Reasons for Excess Stretching
Indigestion and gassy stomach are some of the reasons why your baby will be stretching while sleeping. However, there are other reasons why your baby is stretching. Some of these reasons include:
Pain at the Umbilicus
If there is an infection at the site of the umbilicus, your newborn feels pain. As a result, they will keep stretching as they strive to seek comfort. Pain at the umbilicus will also make the child cry continuously.
They Have a Muscle Spasm
Muscle spasm is a rare cause of baby stretching but happens to some babies. It occurs when you try to hold your baby by their arms and accidentally dislocate their shoulders. This will make the child stretch and cry at the same time. In this case, your baby will keep stretching only to one side, the affected side. Consult your doctor when you realize such stretching for urgent treatment.
More often than not, digestion problems are the reason why your baby stretches while sleeping. Additionally, your baby will keep on stretching when they have a muscle spasm or pain in the umbilicus. Check symptoms to identify why your baby is stretching a lot and know how you can help them.