Can a 3-Year-Old Take Tums? – 10 Best Tummy Ache Remedies


Watching my little girl – clutching her stomach and obviously in pain – tugged hard at my heartstrings. Any parent would do anything to make their little ones feel better and I was no different. Then I wondered, could giving her Tums be the answer?

Can a 3 Year Old Take Tums For Tummy Ache?

3 year old children should not take regular adult-strength Tums as they are under the manufacturer recommended minimum age of 12. When in doubt, please consult a doctor first before giving your child any seemingly harmless medication. If your child is not moving or too weak to stand then you need to seek urgent professional medical advice by calling 911. If your toddler has a mild tummy ache then there are plenty of tips and natural remedies that you can try right now.


If your little toddler has a mild tummy ache then try the calming methods in the list below right now. They are always the first steps I take in helping my toddler feel better. These methods can work wonders sometimes and are well worth trying before you rush out to buy anything.


If they are laying down, resting or sleeping. Try using a wedge underneath their pillow or mattress to elevate their upper body. This helps the issue by aiding gravity in naturally reducing the symptoms of tummy ache by making it harder for any excess stomach acid to rise up.


Stress can be a major factor causing tummy ache in toddlers. Reduce the busyness of their day. Cancel any trips, playdates and anything else. Give them a quiet, calm and relaxing environment. Cuddles and hugging, a relaxing warm bath, playing quietly and story time are all great ideas to reduce stress and strengthen the loving bond between you. You know your child best, think of ways that they love to relax. Calming your toddler can go a long way to reducing their tummy ache.


  • There are certain foods that you might think are good for your toddler but might just be giving them tummy ache.
  • Make sure your toddler’s portion sizes are appropriate. If they eat too much food at one sitting this can cause a tummy ache.
  • Make sure that they are at a healthy weight for their age as this can also contribute to heartburn and tummy ache problems. If your toddler is overweight, consider helping them maintain a healthy weight. This may reduce some of their tummy aches.
  • Make sure they have drunk enough water. Their body needs water for their digestion to work effectively.


Check that your toddler doesn’t have any tight fitting clothes on. The waistbands of certain clothes can be particularly bad, so make sure they have room and feel as comfortable as possible. I know I’m guilty of trying to get the last few uses of clothes that they are maybe just a tiny bit too big for. As you know, nice clothes are expensive so I always try and get a few more uses out of them before they are cast off forever when I probably shouldn’t.


Standing up sometimes feels more comfortable for toddlers when they have a tummy ache. This is because the natural force of gravity acts on the excess acid in their stomachs and reduces the chance that the acid can reach any sensitive areas and cause them discomfort. I know this one might be difficult with an active 3 year old, just try and involve them in less active play. Lying down is what we all feel like doing when we feel ill, in this case, it might not be the best option. Have your toddler sit or stand and play a calming and less active game. Gravity will reduce any problems with stomach acid and playing will take their mind off their aching tummies.

Not seeing any improvement after trying those tips? Don’t worry. Here are some effective natural remedies for you to try.

Natural Remedies


The following natural remedies for settling upset tummies have been used for generations. They are safe and can be very effective at settling your toddler’s stomach. It’s always worth having them in your cupboards as you never know when the next tummy upset will arise!

Let your creativity flow when thinking of ways you can incorporate them into their daily routine and reap the benefits of their natural tummy settling abilities.

1. Ginger: For many years a natural remedy for settling an upset stomach has been the ginger root. Many herbal remedy enthusiasts swear by ginger, I’ve tried it personally and did feel that it helped me when feeling nausea. I have given my toddlers warm (not hot) ginger and lemon tea if they have a stomach upset. You can buy the root whole and add it to foods or just hot water (Let it cool before giving it to your toddler). I love this Ginger and Lemongrass Herbal tea, I normally sweeten it with a little honey for my toddlers.

2. Mint: Mint is another age-old herbal remedy for an upset stomach and well worth a try before moving onto modern chemical remedies. Mint has been used for centuries in places like India, Iran, and Pakistan as a traditional remedy for an upset tummy (1). The menthol in mint may help soothe your toddler’s tummy ache. I’ve tried mint tea myself and the taste is lovely. You can always try sweetening it with a little honey for your toddler. Just make sure the tea is warm and not hot when you give it to them.

3. Chamomile: Chamomile is a natural anti-inflammatory. It will help to soothe their digestion. Chamomile Tea helps their stomach muscles relax which should help ease their tummy ache. Chamomile is naturally quite sweet so you might find that this tea doesn’t need sweetening for little ones.

4. BRAT Diet: Which stands for Banana, Rice, Applesauce and Toast Diet. It has been an absolute lifesaver for us when our toddlers have upset stomachs/diarrhea. The reason why it works so well is that these four foods are low in fiber and bind well. There is also no heavy oil or spices to further upset their tummies. It can be a great short-term alternative to try if they are feeling sick but need to eat something.

5. Try Lemon water: A slice of fresh citrusy lemon in some warm water can help calm your toddler’s feeling of nausea/tummy ache. Lemon can stimulate their digestive system. Which can help move on any problems that might be causing them tummy ache. Lemons are also full of vitamin c and other essential nutrients. I generally sweeten the warm lemon water with a bit of honey before I give it to my toddlers.


Toddler’s tummies are delicate and still developing. Surprisingly, some foods that we eat as adults aren’t the best for toddlers tiny tummies. Take a look at the list below which details the prime suspects for tummy upsets in toddlers. Take care not to let your toddler have too much of these foods. A little may be nice, but a lot can lead to tummy ache for them!

1. TOO MUCH CITRUS: Oranges, lime, lemons, grapefruits are only a few of the prime suspects. I would also include their juices in this category as they can be just as bad or sometimes worse at inflaming the problem for some people. Having a slice of lemon in water is absolutely fine and may even help their nausea. Squeezing the juice of half of a lemon in water or a whole orange could too much for a toddler’s delicate digestion. Citrus fruits are very nutritious but it can be too much of a good thing for a toddler. So serve them up in moderation.

2. SPICY FOOD: Mexican and Indian food can be so delicious and I am all for introducing our toddlers to a variety of foods and cultures. If too much spice is used in a dish, it could lead to an upset stomach for your little one. Try and make dishes at home so you can control the amount of spice and pepper in them and introduce these tastes gently to your toddler.

3. TOMATOES: Surprisingly, these nutrient rich and flavorsome favorites are also highly acidic. This means we have to take care with how much we feed our children on a daily basis if it proves a trigger for them. Tomatoes can become a problem because they are so popular and included in so many toddler favorites like pizza, pasta, and stews. Just be conscious of how many tomato based dishes your toddler eats in a day.

4. CHEESE & NUTS: Tasty as they are, cheese and nuts are high in fat and this means that they can cause upset stomachs. It’s worth noting just how much the little ones are eating and see if it corresponds with their stomach upsets. Both cheese and nuts are usually very high in calories and salt, so it can be easy to overeat these foods, which can also cause tummy aches in your toddler.

5. CHOCOLATE: The kids favorite! obviously, we try and limit it for our children as we know it’s not too healthy for them but poorly stomachs and tummy aches may be another reason to limit it as a treat. Think of healthy non-citrus fruit snacks instead. They will be much milder on their tummies.

6. ONIONS & GARLIC: This is a lesser known issue, and can be quite difficult to eliminate altogether as they are often used in a lot of cooking to add flavor. The key here might be home-cooking if it turns out to be an issue for your toddler, it’s unlikely you will need to make sure it is eliminated entirely. But a toddlers tummy might be more sensitive to higher amounts used in some cooking.

7. SODA: High sugar sodas can make your child’s stomach feel queasy at the best of times. The sugar content of some sodas seems excessive and although toddlers find them very attractive we should be very careful as parents about how much we let them have.

8. AVOCADO: Known as a super-food the world over, they definitely pack a nutrient punch. Their high natural fat content can cause problems for little ones. Avocados are a great addition to your toddler’s diet, just make sure they are eaten in moderation if they prove a little too much for your toddler. Because it would be a shame for them to miss out on all those wonderful nutrients and good fats that Avocados contain.

9. TOO MUCH OIL: Oil is basically liquid fat. Some good fats are great in your toddler’s diet. You just have to be careful how much oil they are consuming. Oil can be hidden in many cooked dishes and it has a habit of upsetting tiny stomachs if there is too much for your toddler’s digestive system to process in one go. So remember to go easy on the oil in home cooking and careful with deep-fried foods that contain a lot of oil.

If you need ideas for settling your toddler’s tummy aches naturally then see the Natural Remedies section.

Sleeping Position
If their tummy’s are hurting, try changing their sleeping position.


Seeing your little one in pain is upsetting, and you were thinking of giving them Tums to make them more comfortable. Now that you know giving them adult strength Tums isn’t a good idea I will show you what you can do right now to try and relieve their tummy ache and natural remedies. If they have a mild tummy ache, it can be caused by the following:

  1. Heartburn
  2. Bloating / Uncomfortable gas
  3. Indigestion
  4. Acid reflux

Tums as a medicine is part of the group called Antacids. The active ingredient in Tums is Calcium Carbonate and its main purpose in to neutralize excess acid in the stomach which may relieve some of the symptoms mentioned above for your toddler. But since they can’t take tums, we can look at other ways to tackle this problem. 

Over the counter medication like Tums isn’t the only way you can battle your toddler’s upset stomachs and tummy aches, it’s very possible that you might prefer one of the other more natural ways that I will describe below.

Unfortunately, certain foods have a reputation (deservedly) for causing heartburn in ourselves and our children. It’s extremely useful to know what they are so that you can reduce or eliminate them from their diet if you decide that they are causing more trouble than they are worth. 


Although giving your 3 year old Tums wouldn’t be what I would recommend. I hope I have given you plenty of alternatives to tr. I have also tried to highlight the foods that might make your little 3 year old experience discomfort. So you can nip the problem in the bud before it starts. Always consult a medical professional if you are worried about your toddler in any way.

I hope that your little one finds relief from their stomach ache, as a fellow parent I know how it feels to see them in pain and want to try anything you can to take that feeling away from them. We have to be careful about the ways we decide to help them, as some seemingly harmless remedies that may be fine for adults might make their problem worse.