I've talked to your doctor about this already and he thinks it is just our child's imagination and not to worry, and in fact I'm not really worried for my boy's health, I'm more curious about how to react, to communicate that I'm taking him seriously, and also because his sister will then often also suddenly 'get' tummy-ache in sympathy.

He will sit down to breakfast and eat a bowl of porridge, or a boiled egg, or toast, or cereal (doesn't make any difference what) and then after 20 minutes or so I guess he will say he has tummy-ache. 15 mins later and it's gone.

I can rub his tummy for him, or give him a warm hot-water bottle and it seems to help. Sometimes I just say he should finish off what he's eating or have a drink of water or something and it will make it go away.

He doesn't cry or really look in pain, except a couple of times when he has held his stomach and leant forwards. This is why I don't think he's faking it, and anyway when he tries to trick us, he is much more obvious than that!

He doesn't get tummy-ache at lunch or at dinner though. Just breakfast. Every time!

And it's not just with me either - he'll tell his mum when she makes him breakfast.

I ask him where it hurts and it's always his tummy, high up. I know when I eat spaghetti (bizarrely not any other pasta) it sometimes give me quite painful stomach ache, which goes quickly.

I'd like to do something rather than ignore it and hope it goes away, but it's quite puzzling.

  • In my opinion, you might want to get a second doctor to check it out... This sounds like the beginning of my gastritis - stomach pain right after eating, especially at the first meal of the day
    – YviDe
    Oct 18, 2015 at 6:57

2 Answers 2


Parents usually have pretty good instincts about what symptoms their kids are faking or not. You should trust your instincts. Pediatricians are very good in the areas of general childhood illnesses, but sometimes with something a little more unusual you need to insist on seeing a specialist until you find someone who takes your concerns seriously.

I have acid reflux and it was misdiagnosed as asthma (in some people the acid inflames the airway). I finally went to see a lung specialist after 7 years to figure out why my asthma treatment wasn't working. He ran some tests and he told me it was because it was because I didn't have asthma. He sent me to a gastrointestinal specialist who diagnosed and treated me properly.


You seem to be a very attentive dad. Is it possible your son is doing this because he gets such loving care and attention afterwards? That was my first thought when I read your question, and it is a possible reason. A food intolerance seems to be out of the question. What I mostly wonder is: what happens after breakfast? Where is he going? Could he be excited or nervous about it? At about the same age, my son used to say his tummy was upset too. It took a bit before we realized that it was excitement that he was feeling. As a child, with a limited vocabulary and limited experience, he verbalized it as feeling sick. Is there any chance your son is either excited or apprehensive about wherever happens in the morning?

  • 2
    "A food intolerance seems to be out of the question." It might be helpful to explain why you make this claim. Oct 18, 2015 at 5:59

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