SingaporeMotherhood | Baby & Toddler

July 2018

Did You Know Your Baby’s Digestive System is Different from Yours? Here’s How

Having trouble with your baby during and after meal time? Your child may be suffering from indigestion. Here’s how to help!

Babies are different from us in many ways, and their digestive systems are no different! While many parents may have the misconception that babies’ tummies are similar to adults, they’re actually rather different. Read on to find out how they differ, and what you can do to help promote better digestion in your little one.

How are babies’ digestive systems different?


Young children’s digestive systems are still maturing, and it takes a continuous process till it fully matures. Hence, their digestion may not be as good as adults, resulting in them experiencing discomfort.

1. They don’t have all the enzymes adults have yet

Young children are less able to receive and digest certain nutrients and enzymes as compared to adults. According to Dr Laurence B Palevsky of Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, babies are born with immature digestive systems. This means that they have less effective digestive enzymes at first. Due to the immaturity of their systems, young children require different food choices and preparation methods to minimise any chance of discomfort1.

2. They can’t digest protein and lactose as well as adults

First things first – food intolerance isn’t the same as a food allergy. In an article by the Cleveland Clinic, food intolerance is cited as a digestive system response rather than an immune system response. This occurs when something in food irritates a person’s digestive system, or in the case of young children, the inability to properly digest food2. Commonly, babies have a harder time digesting protein and lactose found in milk as compared to adults. Therefore, using a formula with easy-to-digest partially hydrolysed protein, and a lower lactose content is encouraged.

3. Look out for these symptoms

It’s common for babies to spit up when they can’t digest milk properly, but there are also other symptoms that could show that your little one isn’t quite ready to digest all that protein yet:

  • Stomach pain
  • Gas
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Irritability2.

4. Milk is still an important part of your child’s diet

With babies’ immature digestive system, they may not be able to tolerate well with normal milk. However it’s still important that every child gets their daily intake of milk. In accordance with the World Health Organisation (WHO), the daily recommended intake of milk (for children ages 6 – 24 months) is 200ml to 400ml*3. Milk is a good choice of calcium for their young bones.

5. Switch to a formula that’s easier on your baby’s digestive system

If your little one experiences fussiness, gas, or crying, it doesn’t mean you have to give up on milk. Milk is still an important source of nutrients and energy for any young child. Instead, try a milk formula that’s easier on your baby’s digestive system.

Try Enfamil A+ Gentlease Stage 2 & Enfagrow A+ Gentlease Stage 3


Enfamil A+ Gentlease Stage 2 and Enfagrow A+ Gentlease Stage 3 are formulas with easy-to-digest partially hydrolyzed protein (smaller protein molecules) and low lactose to support the maturing digestive system. Furthermore, it contains Omega-3 fatty acid and DHA. DHA is an important building blocks for brain development.

So if you’ve been having trouble with your baby during meal time, why not give these formulas a try? Let you and your baby feel calm and comfortable during feeding time and after!

*If adequate amounts of other animal source foods are consumed regularly.

Sources cited:
1Palevsky, Laurence B. “A Holistic Perspective on the Digestive System of Infants and Children.” The Power of a Child’s Imagination | Inspirational, The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association,
2“Food Allergy vs Food Intolerance.” Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Clinic,
3Guiding Principles for Feeding Non-Breastfed Children 6-24 Months of Age. World Health Organization,;jsessionid=55F290404B83A4FD1746D2323FDD1D27?sequence=1.

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Did You Know Your Baby’s Digestive System is Different from Yours? Here’s How