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How to Treat Toddler Tummy Aches

By Melynda Sorrels ; Updated June 13, 2017

From stress to illness, to simply needing a hug, toddlers complain of tummy aches for wide range of reasons. Though usually not serious, that doesn’t make it any easier for a concerned parent when your little one is visibly unwell. Before rushing off to your pediatrician, there are some things you can do to help ease your toddler's discomfort until the stomach ache is gone.

  1. Assess the situation carefully to try to rule out any known causes of the stomach discomfort. A stressful day at daycare or a heavy meal may be to blame. If the source of the tummy ache is apparent, take steps, such as cutting out dessert tonight if your little one ate too much candy today or providing a much-needed hug.

  2. Make your toddler comfortable in her bed or in another comfortable place while she doesn’t feel good. Place a warm cloth over her abdomen to help ease the pain. Encourage her to rest while she watches television, or read to her to keep her lying down.

  3. Give your toddler a cup of ginger ale or have her sip water to stay hydrated in case the tummy ache is a result of illness. Avoid dairy products and greasy foods as these can make the tummy distress worse.

  4. Encourage your child to spend some time in the bathroom in case the stomach pain is due to a digestion issue. Sit with her or encourage her to make multiple trips.

  5. Tip

    Avoid feeding your child unless she is hungry. Give her the option and allow her to decide. Force feeding your toddler may make the tummy ache worse. Keep your toddler hydrated by encouraging her to drink water or even fruit juices. Dehydration can often cause stomach upset. Contact your child’s pediatrician if the stomach ache lasts more than a couple of hours or if this is a reoccurring issue.


    Contact your pediatrician immediately if your child is experiencing fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. Do not medicate your toddler without talking to your child’s pediatrician first.

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