Causes Of Gas In Babies
The majority of a baby’s gas discomfort will be caused by their still-developing stomach and intestines. However, if their gas problems seem to be getting worse, there could be a number of other factors at play, including:
Swallowing while sipping – Your baby is most likely a fan of the breast or bottle. What’s the drawback? With those enormous gulps, your little one might be taking in some additional air, and extra air creates extra gas.
If you’re breastfeeding, look for evidence that your baby is properly latching on to your breast and forming a seal around your nipple .
If you cant pinpoint any other causes for your babys discomfort, it might be worthwhile to look at your diet and consider limiting potentially aggravating foods and drinks, such as:
Back is best sleep position Parenthood is magical, yes. But it can also be a little bit maddening, especially when the thing that youre told you must do is also the very thing thats causing your baby discomfort. This is so often the case with back sleeping. Though the AAP states black-sleeping is essential for your babys safety, this sleep position may also lead to trapped intestinal gas for some babies.
While your babys gas may feel stressful, it may help to remember it wont last forever. At around six to nine months of age, your babys digestive system will mature. Until then, there are steps you can take to treat their tummy and set them up for nights of back-sleeping bliss.
Gas Medicine For Babies
Gas medicine is another option for your gassy baby. Theres no real harm in turning to medication first, but it certainly does have a few drawbacks.
Cost and convenience are real factors as a new mama, so dont feel bad if you save meds as a last resort. Here are a couple of my favorite options for gas medicine for babies.
Why Your Baby Might Be Gassy: Causes
Most of your little mans gas pains will stem from his still-growing stomach and immature intestines. But if his gas trouble seems worse than usual, some other culprits may be to blame, including:
- Swallowing while sipping Your baby likely takes to the breast or bottle with enthusiasm. The downside of that? He might be taking in some extra air with those big gulps, and extra air means extra gas.
If you breastfeed, look for signs that hes latching on properly to your breast and creating a seal on your nipple .
For bottle-fed babies check the bottles nipple to ensure the hole is not too big .
- Swallowing while crying Crying that leads to more crying? The sobbing-to-gas pipeline is one teary, circular affair. Heres why: when babies swallow air while crying for an extended amount of time, it can become trapped in their stomach and intestines, resulting in gas, which sets off a new round of sobs.
- Dietary sensitivities Your little one may develop stomach distress not because hes swallowing air, but because hes sensitive to ingredients in his formula .
If you cant pin down other causes for your babys discomfort, it might be worthwhile to look at your diet and consider limiting potentially aggravating ingredients, such as:
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What Causes Gas Or Flatulence In Babies And Toddlers
There are quite a few reasons for gas formation in babies and toddlers.
Babies eat through out the day and night. Hence their bowels produce a lot more gas compared to adults.
If you are breastfeeding and has taken some gas causing foods in your diet, it can cause gas as it passes on to the baby through breast milk.
Swallowing air while crying can also cause gas. Breastfed and bottle-fed babies can have gas problems as they suck in a lot of air along with milk making a build up of air in the intestine.
Gas problems are mainly caused by the substances called natural sugars like fructose, lactose, raffinose and sorbitol and/or soluble fiber. Since these substances are not digested in the stomach, they make their way down to the intestines.
The bacteria in the intestines does the needful resulting in the release of gas, bloating and flatulence.
Many fruits, vegetables, legumes, dairy products, carbonated drinks contain these substances hence these gas problems are unavoidable. We can only follow a few home remedies to treat gas in babies and toddlers.
What can I do to prevent formation of gas in baby?
9 Safe and Easy Home Remedies To Treat Gas in Babies, Toddlers and Kids:
I have listed down 9 home remedies which are easy and safe to treat gas in babies and kids.
#1. Burping after every feed:
Infants who are breastfed must be burped after every feed.
Dont make them lie down once they have had their full.
#2. Bicycling your babys legs:
#3. Massaging with mustard oil:
What Infant Gas Drops Are Safe And Effective
Infant gas drops contain simethicone, which breaks up gas bubbles and is also the main ingredient in common anti-gas medications for adults. Research as to how effective they are is mixed. Still, simethicone gas drops for babies are very safe, and some parents find theyre very effective.
Want to try infant gas drops to help your gassy baby? First, talk to your pediatrician about what kind to look for and how often to give them. And follow the dosing instructions on the bottle. Most will say you can give your baby drops up to 12 times per day, or at each feeding. Some parents find its helpful to give babies gas drops right before each feed to pre-empt gas problems, but check with your doctor to be sure.
Read the label and be sure to avoid drops with sodium benzoate or benzoic acid, which can be harmful to babies in large quantities.
And if a friend or relative brings a gas treatment from another country or one that isn’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration , don’t give it to your baby unless you get approval from your pediatrician. It could contain alcohol, sugar or other potentially harmful ingredients that aren’t clearly listed on the packaging.
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What Is A Proper Breastfeeding Latch
It’s a myth that babies are born knowing how to latch on and breastfeed correctly. The proper latch often takes time, trial and error, and yes, sore nipples.
The ideal latch encompasses both the nipple and the surrounding areola, the pinkish-brown flat circle that became darker during pregnancy. Ever wonder why areolas darken during pregnancy? Mother Nature wisely designed them to serve as visual cues for your newborn so she’ll close her mouth on the areola and not on the nipple alone.
Though breast milk comes out of the numerous tiny openings in the nipple, your baby’s gums need to compress the areola and the milk sinuses located underneath it to actually start the flow. If not, your milk won’t let down and new milk won’t be produced.
Popular Treatments For Gas In Babies
For most babies, the number one most effective treatment for gas is TIME. Babies are born with an immature digestive system, and it needs time to mature. Until this happens, baby is likely to be gassy no matter what you do. Some babies wake up around 3-4 weeks to all the new GI sensations they are feeling and get really unhappy about it. If you cannot find an apparent cause for your babys gassiness, he probably just needs a little more time to mature.
Gripe water, fennel tea or other herbal remedies
Herbal remedies have been used for gassy babies for a countless number of years. I prefer to avoid using herbal remedies for gas in young babies. Here are my reasons:
- In a healthy baby, anything other than breastmilk is more likely to cause problems rather than solve them.
- Giving baby substances other than breastmilk can alter the intestinal flora and reduce the protective qualities of exclusive breastfeeding, thus making baby more susceptable to illness and allergies. See Why Delay Solids? for more on this.
- Many of these products contain mixtures of herbs or other substances, thus putting baby more at risk for adverse reactions. Some contain alcohol, so read labels very carefully.
- Most of these products have not been tested in infants for safety or effectiveness.
- It is more effective to look at treating the causes, rather than simply trying to treat the symptoms.
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What Is The Difference Between Gas Drops And Gripe Water
Gripe water offers a combination of homeopathic ingredients like fennel and ginger. It soothes tummy troubles with its herbal ingredients and can also help babies pass gas. However, if gas is the main culprit of your newborns discomfort, gas drops with simethicone may be more effective for bloat relief. Ask your pediatrician if youre unsure which treatment to try.
How Often Do Babies Need To Burp And What’s The Best Way To Eliminate The Excess Gas Our Baby Burping Primer Answers All Of Your Burning Questions
When gas bubbles get stuck in your baby’s stomach, they can cause a feeling of fullness and discomfort. Burping helps release these gas bubbles up the esophagus and out of the mouth. “Gas is air that gets trapped in the gastrointestinal system and needs to be released,” explains Shalini Forbis, M.D., a pediatrician and a Dr. Mom Squad blogger for Dayton Children’s Hospital in Ohio.
Looking for the best way to get the job done? Check out our expert-approved guide to learn how to burp a baby properly.
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How To Help A Baby Get Rid Of Gas
- Move around. Any activity that involves torso movement will help push the gas through and provide some relief.
- Get upright. Moving baby from a supine position to an upright position can help move things along, with the added benefit of being more comforting.
- Belly down. Tummy time is fun and distracting and can help massage that stomach to help gas find its way out.
- Snack time. Although not a direct fix for gas, a quick feed can help soothe baby as things work their way throughso long as there are no air bubbles in the bottle and baby is burped often.
Another sign of trapped gas is, of course, a grumpy baby. If a baby stops smiling and is visibly uncomfortable, theres a good chance that there is something inside that needs to be released. For really little babies, though, moving the gas bubbles from inside the digestive tract to the open air is no mean feat. Their undeveloped organs are ill-equipped for pushing that air out, and their lack of motor skills make any deliberate attempt almost futile.
Luckily, there are a few things parents can do to help ease the passage.
Some formula or mommy milk can also have a pain reducing effect, Palmer says.
Alleviating gas is about making a baby comfortable. And, if done right, it can be an extremely satisfying end to an episode of fussiness.
Frequently Asked Questions About Breastfeeding And Gassy Babies
Breastmilk is made from what passes into moms blood, not what is in her stomach or digestive track. Below are a few common questions that moms have about breastfeeding and gassy babies.
Can drinking carbonated sodas cause gas in baby? No. For something to pass into your milk, it must first pass into your bloodstream. Its the carbonation in sodas, etc. that can cause gas in mom. The bubbles in a carbonated drink cannot pass into your milk and affect baby. If this could happen, youd have carbonated blood and carbonated milk!
If mom is gassy, can that make baby gassy? No. Gas in moms body cannot pass into breastmilk.
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Why Is My Baby So Gassy
Everyone, including your baby, produces and expels gas. As food moves through the gastrointestinal tract, the small intestine absorbs the usable nutrients. Bacteria in the large intestine break down the leftovers, releasing hydrogen and carbon dioxide and producing bubbles of gas in the process. Burping allows some gas to escape from the stomach early on, and the rest travels from the colon to the rectum, where it’s ejected primarily via bowel movements or farts.
But when gas doesn’t pass easily, it collects in the digestive tract and causes bloating and discomfort. Babies are especially prone to this. “Newborn digestive systems are immature, so they produce a lot of gas, and this is normal. Infants also take in a lot of air while feeding and crying, which produces more gas,” says Samira Armin, M.D., a pediatrician at Texas Children’s Pediatrics in Houston. Bottle-fed babies tend to have it the worst, but breastfeeding doesn’t make a baby immune. Ultimately, a newborn baby may pass more gas than an adult.
The frequency of gas is generally not a cause for concern, and a fussy baby might be perfectly normal, too. Unlike adults, babies pass gas with a little less decorum or restraint. “They may seem uncomfortable or just downright fussy when they’ve got gas that needs to come out,” says Ari Brown, M.D., an Austin-based pediatrician and the author of Baby 411. “But it’s rare that a baby will actually have discomfort due to gas.”
Common Latching Problems And Solutions
Having trouble breastfeeding? Here’s how to fix a couple of the most common latching problems:
- Poor positioning. Don’t hunch over your baby and push your breast into her mouth. Instead, try bringing your baby to you.
- Baby’s body is out of line. Make sure your babys head and body are facing you, so she can focus squarely on the task at hand.
- Baby’s body is too far away. Mealtime is impossible if your nipple is out of reach.
- An empty breast. Your baby may not latch because little or nothing comes out when she sucks.
- Flat or inverted nipples. It can be more difficult, but not impossible, for a baby to latch on.
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How To Get Baby To Latch Step By Step
Here’s a guide to helping your baby latch on and get the nourishment and comfort she needs:
- Once your baby is in a good breastfeeding position, hold your breast with your free hand.
- Place your thumb above your nipple and areola at the spot where your baby’s nose will touch your breast. Your index finger should be in the spot where your baby’s chin will touch the breast.
- Lightly compress your breast, giving it a shape more closely resembling your baby’s mouth.
- Bringing your baby to your breast, stroke her cheek to allow the rooting reflex to kick in, and turn her mouth toward your breast then tickle her lips with your nipple until her mouth is open wide .
- Quickly bring her to the breast , allowing her to take your nipple and areola into her mouth. She won’t get the entire areola in her mouth, especially if yours is large, and that’s okay as long as she grabs onto a good part of it.
Got A Gassy Baby 6 Tips To Relieve Infant Gas
No one likes a grumpy newborn: not mom, not dad, and certainly not the baby! One of the most common sources of infant discomfort is trapped gas. While its certainly frustrating, there are several steps you can take to reduce gassiness and get your little one back to feeling good.
Here are six tips and tricks we recommend for relieving and reducing infant gas:
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Why Do Newborns Need Burping
Babies usually need to burp when they take in air while eating, which makes them feel full too fast. “This happens more often with bottle-fed babies, who tend to eat faster,” says Erika Landau, M.D., a pediatrician in New York City and coauthor of The Essential Guide to Baby’s First Year. “But breastfed babies swallow some air as well, especially if the mother has a lot of milk or has a fast letdown, or if the baby is very hungry and wants to eat fast.”
Gas may also be caused by the breakdown of certain foods in the large intestine by bacteria. This includes the food that the baby consumes, as well as food the mother consumes and passes on through breast milk. Some of the most common offenders are beans, vegetables , sugar-free candies and gum, and soda and fruit drinks.
Finally, if a baby has an intolerance to certain foods , their body may react by creating more gas. Dairy intolerance is the most common culprit here, says Dr. Forbis.
Gas And Breastfed Babies
Moms who are breastfeeding may be told to eliminate dairy from their own diets because a breastfed baby with diagnosed cows milk protein allergy can be exposed to the protein through moms breastmilk. This is one of the only cases where a reduction or elimination of a food from moms diet may be beneficial, says Nishta Saxena, a registered dietitian and paediatric and family nutrition specialist. But typically gassy foods like broccoli, beans and lentils consumed by mom arent likely to cause gas in a breastfed baby. We just dont have a lot of evidencethat shows an improvement in gassiness with the removal of foods from the moms diet, says Saxena.
For the most part, babies just need time for their tummies and digestive systems to mature, and then gas issues will subside. However, if the intensity of crying has increased, if youre unable to settle your baby for a sustained amount of time, or if his or her abdomen appears overly distended or feels hard to the touch, call your doctor. Reflux or an allergenic response can also be mistaken for gas, so its important to check with your doctor.
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