What Causes Baby Gas
There are several possible causes for infant gas. Some believe that breastfed babies can get the effects of gaseous foods from their mothers breast milk. Others feel that acidic foods and excess dairy products in their diet also seem to worsen their babys fussiness.
But what mom eats isnt the only possibility.
If your babys bottle-fed, they could be having a reaction to their formula. Food intolerance often shows up as gas and bloating. If this is the cause of gas, youre also likely to see other digestive problems like diarrhea.
One of the more common causes is swallowing too much air while eating whether breastfed or bottle-fed it can cause gas.
How To Treat Gas In Babies And Toddlers
There are a variety of treatment options for gas-related pain and discomfort, though what is safe and appropriate will be dependent on your child’s age. While determining the underlying cause and preventing gas is the best bet, there are things you can do to help your child when they experience gas pain. Home remedies and over-the-counter medications are often very effective at improving gas-related symptoms.
How Many Calories Do You Need When You’re Breastfeeding
Your body generally burns around 300 to 500 extra calories a day while you’re breastfeeding depending on whether you’re nursing exclusively or not. If you are, it’s typically up to 450 to 500.
So while you don’t need to be hyper-vigilant about counting calories and consuming more, definitely keep your extra nutritional needs while nursing in mind. If you stayed within your doctor’s recommended weight gain during pregnancy, you shouldn’t have to take in any more or less than that, but check with your practitioner if you’re not sure.
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When To Call Your Doctor
Its always a good idea to consult your doctor about whats going on, even if it doesnt seem like a big deal. There are, however, a few signs you should be on the lookout for. If you notice any of the following, call your doctor right away.
- Your baby isnt gaining weight
- Your baby often doesnt want to eat or is difficult to feed
- Your baby seems constipated or has a hard time with bowel movements
- Your baby has an allergic reaction
Why Is My Baby So Gassy
If your baby is gassy, youll notice that he passes a lot of gas and seems to feel better afterward. Gas troubles often start right away or when babies are just a couple of weeks old.
Fortunately, most infants outgrow them by the time theyre 4 to 6 months old, though for some, baby gas can last longer.
Infants are usually gassy because they have immature digestive systems and swallow air during feedings. Some babies may have sensitivities that could be affected by a breastfeeding moms diet or a certain type of formula.
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When To Call A Doctor
There is no need to see a doctor for minor gas, although it is important to discuss all symptoms during the babys next checkup.
A babys gas will usually clear up on its own. However, the parent or caregiver should contact a pediatrician if the baby is dealing with any of the following:
What To Eat When Youre Breastfeeding
The basic fat-protein-carb combo of human milk isnt directly dependent on what foods and drinks you put into your body. Even women who arent well-fed can feed their babies well since the body will tap into its own nutrient stores to fuel milk production.
Just because you can make milk on a less-than-adequate diet doesnt mean you should. The goal when youre nursing should never be to deplete your bodys store of nutrients. Thats too risky for your short- and long-term health, and it will short-change you on much-needed energy as well as potentially interfere with your milk supply.
Eating well when youre nursing means getting a variety of nutritious foods. And since a varied diet changes the taste and smell of your milk, it will expose your baby to many different flavors too .
Heres what to aim to consume each day to ensure youre getting what you need:
- Protein-filled foods. Aim for a minimum of three servings daily, which can include eggs, yogurt, nut butter, cheese, meat, lentils, beans, tofu, etc.
- Whole grains. You’ll want three or more servings of fiber-filled complex carbohydrates like oatmeal, brown rice and barley per day to keep you energized.
- Vegetables and fruits. Load up on four to five servings daily, especially those leafy green and yellow veggies.
- High-fat foods. You should aim to eat as much as you did during pregnancy. Avocados, low-mercury fish, nuts and seeds contain good-for-you fats and belong in your diet.
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See If Foods You’re Eating Could Be Making Baby Gassy
If youre nursing, certain foods youre eating may also make baby gassy, because they create gassy breastmilk
Beans, onions broccoli, brussel sprouts and cabbage are common culprits, as are other green vegetables. But fruits and fiber-rich foods can also be culprits.
If you suspect that breastmilk is making baby gassy, keep track of the foods you eat. . Then, ask a doctor or lactation consultant if certain foods youre eating may be causing your babys gas.
Only cut out foods from your diet, though, if your doctor or lactation consultant
Is The Gas Due To Food
Gas that occurs in babies is also caused by certain foods that are consumed by the mother. If you are mother that breastfeeding the baby, you should avoid foods that can cause gas. However, if after change their diet and gas still exists, it means that gas in infants is not caused by food that the mother consumes.
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Burp During And After Feedings
Because gas bubbles tend to form from air that sneaks in during feeding, burping is your friend. It releases the air that can turn into gas bubbles in the tummy. Although itâs standard practice to burp your baby after feeding them, if they suffer from gas, you can try burping during feeding as well. This can help provide your baby some gas relief, especially at night when feeding before bed.
I Have A Very Gassy Baby Is This Normal
Gas is not a medical condition. Baby gas pains are typically brief and relieved when a baby burps or farts. The good news is infant gas pains improve over time. By the age of 4 to 6 months, the gut has matured and your baby can move more efficiently, decreasing the bouts of painZeevenhooven J, Browne PD, LHoir MP, de Weerth C, Benninga, MA. Infant Colic: Mechanisms and Management. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2008 15:479-496. .
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Gassy Baby Here’s What You Need To Know
There is nothing more humbling than a match of parent vs. fussy baby when it comes to gas. The unrelenting cries of a newborn who is gassy, and the subsequent sleep deprivation that ensues can feel like an all-out battle.
For some babies, this is a rite of passage, yet others grow into babyhood untouched by gas pains. Regardless, all babies have some amount of gasthe difference is how your baby responds to it. In most cases, infant gas is nothing to worry about.
How To Prevent Gas In Babies
If you want to avoid baby gas pain, your best bet is to stop gas from building in the first place. Make sure youre properly positioning baby during feedings so theyre swallowing as little air as possible. Hold baby in your arms and elevate their head while their drinking, OConnor says.
When mixing formula, make sure to let the formula settle before feeding it to baby, Grossman says. Mixing and shaking the formula while preparing it can lead to more air bubbles that baby might swallow, which may cause gas. As youre giving baby the bottle, tilt it to let as little air into the nipple as possible. You can also try using a vented bottle specifically designed to reduce how much air baby swallows as they feed. Tip: If you decide to switch bottles, dont buy a bunch of them at once. Try one at a time and see if the gassiness improves, OConnor says. Also consider switching to a nipple with a smaller hole. Large holes let milk flow through quickly, and baby may swallow a lot of air in an attempt to keep up.
When breastfeeding, its a bit harder to prevent baby from swallowing air. But you can stop at regular intervals and burp baby, OConnor says. And like trying different bottles, you can try different breastfeeding positions to see if one leads to less baby gas.
Meredith Grossman, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician and assistant professor of pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.
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What Can I Do To Help Alleviate Gas In My Breastfed Baby
Apply gentle pressure to your babyâs belly
Tummy Time: This position can put gentle pressure on your babyâs belly, helping to provide gas relief. Wait at least 30 minutes after a feeding to allow your little oneâs belly to settle before starting tummy time.7
Or try a more advanced move â use both hands and a lot of guided support to lay your baby tummy down on a large beach or exercise ball and gently roll her on the ball in a circular motion.
Forearm Hold: Also called the football hold, magic hold, and the colic carry. Try carrying your baby face down with her body resting on your forearm, the front of her diaper area in your hand and her chin cradled in your elbow.9 Make sure to tilt babyâs head to the side to avoid blocking their nose or mouth. Carrying your little one in this face-down position will place the same gentle pressure on their belly that is achieved during tummy time.
Burp your baby during and after a feeding
Take a break between sides or even during a feed to get a burp or two out.8
You may choose to burp your baby while they are in a seated position, with their head supported by the cradle of your hand.17You can also burp your baby in the typical position: upright and over your shoulder.8
Try infant massage on your babyâs tummy for gas relief
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Bicycle your babyâs legs
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Do gas drops like simethicone work?
Wait it out!
What Causes Baby Gas Pain
Baby gas pain is caused by pockets of excessive gas which form in a babys stomach or intestines. These pockets of gas exercise pressure on its tummy causing discomfort or even pain. There are six common causes for this condition.
- Incorrect feeding. If the breast or the feeding-bottle is wrongly positioned, the baby may swallow too much air.
- Overfeeding. If the baby is given too much food at one time, you little ones tummy gets overloaded.
- Lactose overload. This happens usually when the baby gets too much foremilk which is rich in lactose but low in fat. Then not all of the lactose is digested because there is not enough fat to slow down the process. As a result excessive gas is produced.
- Food sensitivity. Some babies turn out to be intolerant or allergic to some ingredients in breast milk or formula.
- Immature digestive system. The infant has not yet learned to process the food, gas and stool properly. The intestines also have not yet to create their own micro flora a group of microorganisms which are unique for every persons guts. The micro flora is necessary for digestion process and the immune system.
- Excessive crying. Excessive crying may lead to taking in too much air, then resulting in excessive gas.
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Gassy Baby Signs And Symptoms
All babies, of course, pass a little gas. But look for these signs and symptoms of baby gas that’s more than just the usual:
- Your baby cries and is fussy for an hour or so a day. This can be a sign of a normal amount of newborn gassiness that comes with having a tiny, underdeveloped digestive system. But you should still check in with your pediatrician if it happens every day and doesn’t seem to be getting better.
- Your baby seems unhappy most of the time. This can indicate that you have an especially gassy baby who needs a bit more help. Gas that causes significant upset often indicates a problem beyond normal newborn gassiness.
- Your baby isn’t eating or sleeping well. Trouble with sleeping or eating can have a whole range of causes, but infant gas may be one of them, especially if there are other signs. Talk to your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
- Your baby gets red in the face when he cries and seems like he might be in pain.
- Your baby squirms as though he’s uncomfortable and pulls his legs up to his chest, especially during bouts of fussiness.
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.
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Some formula or mommy milk can also have a pain reducing effect, Palmer says.
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Alleviating gas is about making a baby comfortable. And, if done right, it can be an extremely satisfying end to an episode of fussiness.
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Bishop Seeds Or Carom Seeds
Several studies suggest that Bishop Seeds have gastro-protective properties and can be used if your child is suffering from gastric ulcers. . This is safe and has no side effects whatsoever. Boil a handful of Carrom seeds in a pot of water and use a teaspoon to help your child drink it at regular intervals.
Does Diet Cause Gas In Breastfeeding Babies
Some babies dont tolerate typical formula. In those cases, a specialized formula that contains different proteins or carbohydrates may work better. These products often say something like, May help with gas, fussiness or colic, on their packaging. If you suspect your baby is having difficulty digesting their current formula, talk with your babys doctor about your options.
If youre breastfeeding, you may have heard that what you eat affects your breastmilk and that certain foods should be avoided. Proper nutrition is important when breastfeeding. Scientific research, however, hasnt conclusively proven a link between your diet and gas or other discomforts for your baby.
When breastfeeding, some people benefit from cutting back on gas-causing foods or dairy products. This can be especially helpful if theyre feeling gassy themselves. Dr. Sniderman says if it works for you, great, but she doesnt suggest a restrictive diet for most people who are breastfeeding.
Some people will come up with a long list of foods you should cut out of your diet if you have a gassy baby, Dr. Sniderman notes. Thats a lot to ask of someone whos probably already stressed and taking care of a new baby. When youre breastfeeding, you need to eat a lot. You literally have to eat enough to feed you and the baby. So, I am usually not of the camp that eliminates a lot of things from a breastfeeding diet.
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Does Massage Help With Baby Gas
Infant massage is another way to help your baby move tummy bubbles. Massage also supports bonding and sensory stimulation between an infant and parentZeevenhooven J, Browne PD, LHoir MP, de Weerth C, Benninga, MA. Infant Colic: Mechanisms and Management. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2008 15:479-496. .
Choose a time of day to perform infant massage, typically first thing in the morning or as part of the nighttime routine. Baby-safe lotions or oils can decrease friction during a massage, but are not needed. Move your hand across your babys tummy in a clockwise motion to push bubbles forward. You can also move your babys legs like theyre riding a bike to encourage gas release.
Infant massage should be pleasant and soothing. Watch your baby for any signs of increased distress, and stop if your baby seems uncomfortable.
Toddlers And Older Children
Avoiding gassy foods is usually the best treatment for children with excessive gas. If gas does bother them, however, simethicone is available for kids in several forms, including Gas-X and Mylanta Gas Relief.
Beano, available as drops or a chewable tablet, is a digestive enzyme that helps make many high-fiber foods, including beans, broccoli, and whole-grain bread, easier to digest. And if your child is lactose intolerant, instead of avoiding cow’s milk and other dairy products, it may help if they take a lactase enzyme tablet to help them digest the lactase in milk.
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