Digestive System

Baby's digestive system has to cope with more difficult task than the adult's one. Here you may find explanation of process in baby's digestive system.
Digestive System
Baby’s digestive system because of the intensive metabolic processes is more loaded than the adult’s one. The alimentary canal is much immature functionally as well as morphologically. All digestive organs of a newborn baby are extremely weakly developed and it is only mother’s milk, which a baby is able to digest. Baby’s mouth cavity is adapted for sucking: they have a relatively big tongue the mucous membrane makes the horizontal fold, which does not let the air in, and there is dense fat tissue accumulation on the inner side of baby’s cheeks.  Sucking is an unconditioned reflex. Sucking reflex of a baby, who arrived at his natural time is vividly expressed as a rule. These are only babies, who arrived before their natural time, who were injured or those little ones, who are seriously ill suck weakly.

Normal sucking may prevent flat woman’s nipple, baby’s inborn defect, such as harelip or cleft palate, difficulties in nose breathing if a baby has extremely narrow nostrils, or a running nose; cough, and short breath, if a baby is ill, mouth mucous membrane inflammation, etc. Consult with your doctor immediately, if you have any of the mentioned above symptoms.

There is no need to clean your baby’s mouth, if he is healthy as the mucous membrane in it is extremely tender, dryish and with a lot of capillary blood vessels; so, you may injure it while cleaning.
 Salivary glands function from the very moment of baby’s arrival. Newborn babies have them not developed enough, that is why there is a little amount of salivation during the first months of a child’s life. You should often give your baby some water or tea between feedings, because his mouth gets over dried because of lack of salivation.

By the 3rd month salivary glands are developed and begin to function. Babies of this age have their saliva coming out (physiological salivation). This is not the salivary glands hyper functioning, but a result of an undeveloped ability to swallow the saliva.

The gullet length is about 4 inches, the muscle layer is weakly developed, and this is the reason of belching, as a baby swallows some air while sucking, and it comes out with some amount of food because of lack of any partition between baby’s stomach and gullet. It is a quite widespread phenomenon and may not be necessary connected with some disease. As a rule a well fed baby should be kept in a vertical position for several minutes in order to make the swallowed air out. Then your baby will not suffer from belching. Another way to help your little one is to keep him lying on his belly for some time before feeding. This position makes his stomach muscles stronger.

Stomach of a newborn baby occupies horizontal position, its volume in the first day of his life is less than one ounce; by the 5th – 6th days it is approximately 1, 6 ounces, by the 10th day it increases up to 3 ounces. The volume of baby’s stomach by the end of the first month is more than 3, 5 ounces; and at the age of three months it is about of 4, 5 ounces, by the end of his first year – 10 ounces.

The coming out of food from a baby’s stomach depends on the kind of feeding he receives. If a baby is fed with his mother’s milk, he evacuates his bowels every 2 – 3 hours. You should not give too much food to him, as the stretching of his stomach may cause vomiting. Often feedings, while which the stomach can not become empty completely may cause serious problems with the digestive system functioning.

The bowels of a newborn baby are developed rather well. They have a well vascular mucous membrane, which promotes quick food absorption. Bowels’ glands and muscle layer are undeveloped. If a baby is overfed, much of air gathers in his bowels and it makes him worried. To help your little one, you should put him oh his belly for several minutes, or make him a light massage. The air will come out and your baby will feel well again.

Food in a newborn baby’s bowels gets digested during 4 – 18 hours. And this process takes up to a day, as your baby gets older. Babies, who are fed with the artificial milk, may digest it up to two days.
 Newborn’s defecation. During the first day of baby’s life his defecations are of a dark-green colour, and it is rather thick. It consists of a secretion from some parts of his bowels and of a swallowed amniotic fluid. During first several days of their life, babies fed with their mothers’ milk, defecate 2 - 4 times a day, during 4th – 6th days – up to 7 – 8 times, and they make it about 4 times a day beginning with the second week of their life.