Why Is My Newborn So Gassy

Food Sensitivity Or Intolerance

Why is My Breastfed Baby So Gassy?

What youre feeding your baby can also make a difference when it comes to gas. Some babies have sensitivities or intolerance to some kinds of milk formula. This can throw a wrench into their already cranky digestion causing more gas and more farting.

Your breast milk might also change depending on what youre eating. Changes in your diet might lead to changes in your babys digestion and gassiness. If your little one seems fussy or gassy in connection with something youve eaten, you can try eliminating the food from your diet to see if it helps.

What Can I Do To Help Alleviate Gas In My Breastfed Baby

Apply gentle pressure to your babys belly

Tummy Time: This position can put gentle pressure on your babys belly, helping to provide gas relief. Wait at least 30 minutes after a feeding to allow your little ones belly to settle before starting tummy time.7

Or try a more advanced move 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 babys 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 babys tummy for gas relief

Read more: Baby massage benefits and techniques

Bicycle your babys legs

Read more: How Do I help My Breastfed Baby with Diarrhea and Constipation?

Do gas drops like simethicone work?

Wait it out!

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Oversupply: Leading To Fore/hindmilk Imbalance & Increased Gassiness

If youre breastfeeding and have a lot of milk your baby might not be getting the right balance of fore- and hindmilk.

The milk at the start of the feed is high in lactose and low in fats. As the breast empties, the lactose content decreases and fat content increases. So the milk towards the end of the feed is low in lactose and high in fat.

If youre producing lots of milk, your baby may not reach the hindmilk. Or, you may end up switching to the other breast before completely emptying the first.

As a result, baby ingests too much lactose and not enough fats. So:

  • Less fat in the diet means baby is likely to be less satisfied after a feed fat digestion is slower, keeping baby fuller for longer
  • Too much lactose means some will be left undigested and instead ferments in the gut.this fermentation means more gas and therefore more gas pains for your baby

Watery stools that are often green are also a sign of fore/hindmilk imbalance in gassy babies.

For more details on foremilk, hindmilk and other essential breastfeeding information this post should help: Your Essential Guide To Newborn Breastfeeding: A Must Read To Start It Right



Ensure breast is empty before switching to the other side.


When breasts are completely empty they should feel very soft and you will be unable to squeeze any more milk out by hand.

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Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding

When you’re breastfeeding, there’s a lot more thats on the menu than off with a few caveats. Here are the drinks and foods to avoid while you’re breastfeeding:

  • Excessive caffeine: One or two cups of coffee or tea a day, amounting to 300 milligrams or less, are safe while you’re breastfeeding . More than that, however, may lead to you and your baby feeling jittery, irritable and sleepless. Other sources of caffeine include tea, soda and chocolate.
  • High-mercury fish: The same EPA guidelines on fish safety that apply to pregnant women also apply to breastfeeding women: Avoid high-mercury fish including shark, orange roughy, swordfish, marlin, big eye tuna, tilefish and King mackerel. Limit tuna to 8 to 12 ounces a week of canned light tuna or no more than 4 ounces a week of white albacore tuna.
  • Some herbal supplements. Few studies have been done on the safety of herbal supplements, so little is known about how they affect a nursing baby plus these supplements arent regulated by the Food and Drug Administration . To stay safe, ask your doctor before taking any herbal remedy, and think twice before drinking herbal tea or breastfeeding brews. For now, stick to reliable brands in varieties that are considered safe during lactation . Read labels carefully to make sure other herbs haven’t been added.

What Causes Babies To Be Fussy

Does Tummy Time Help With Gas? Causes And Symptoms Of Baby ...

If you feel that your babys fussiness is not normal, its never a bad idea to get baby checked by the doctor to rule out any illness. A common cause of fussy, colic-like symptoms in babies is foremilk-hindmilk imbalance and/or forceful let-down. Other causes of fussiness in babies include diaper rash, thrush, food sensitivities, nipple confusion, low milk supply, etc.

Babies normally fuss for many reasons: overtiredness, overstimulation, loneliness, discomfort, etc. Babies are often very fussy when they are going through growth spurts. Do know that it is normal for you to be beside yourself when your baby cries: you actually have a hormonal response that makes you feel uncomfortable when your baby cries.

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How To Tell If Baby Has Gas

Gas and related issues can start from when baby is a few weeks old all the way up through the toddler stage. But baby gas tends to be the worst when baby is 4 to 12 weeks old, with a peak around 8 weeks old, OConnor says. They tend to have a lot of trouble with digestion. But once they hit the three-month mark, most babies are able to get through it and find other problems to distract themselves with.

Of course, it can be hard to know if baby gas is the cause of your childs discomfort, especially when they cant tell you whats going on. But there are a few common signs of a gassy baby you can look out for:

  • Red-faced
  • Pulling legs up toward the tummy
  • Passing gas

The way to know for sure that baby gas is to blame is when baby actually burps or farts. If you get a few burps out of baby or do something else to move things along, most babies are relieved of the symptoms and will stop crying, OConnor says.

Sometimes, however, these gassy baby symptoms can indicate another problem. OConnor says, When baby keeps crying despite passing gas, you know that theres something else going on, like reflux, constipation or colic, which is sometimes confused for extended gassiness in baby.

If your child isnt gaining weight and seems to have the telltale signs of a gassy baby, contact your doctor so they can perform a complete medical evaluation to rule out other possible issues, such as a dairy intolerance.

There Are Many Reasons Why Babies Get Gassy

They could be feeding in an awkward position, eating too fast, eating too much, ingesting too much lactose , swallowing air from a baby bottle, or they could have a slight intolerance to proteins found in breast milk. Remember, your babys digestive system is still developing too. Her intestines are still forming the micro flora she needs to effectively digest foods, even after shes born.

Other things that can cause gas include normal baby stuff like crying, sucking on a pacifier or simply getting the hiccups. Anything that causes baby to swallow excess air can trigger gas.

When you know what to look for, its not hard to tell if shes in discomfort due to gas. Babies will do involuntary things like grunt or strain. Sometimes they cry out or clench up their bodies. If your baby is happy one minute and crying the next for no apparent reason it could be gas pain.

Other tricks mamas use to figure out if baby has gas is listening to her tummy you can actually hear her stomach gurgling! Or feel her tummy to see if its bloated, distended and hard.

If your detective skills lead your to believe your baby is having a bout with painful gas, here are 5 tricks that should help her feel better:

Read Also: How To Give A Milk Bath For Newborn Baby

What Can I Do To Help Prevent Gas In My Breastfed Baby

Check and adjust babys latch

If your little one is not latching deep enough, they may be swallowing more air. A painful latch or a clicking sound made while baby is feeding may indicate their latch needs adjusting,13, 14 Shallow latches are often remedied with a new breastfeeding position along with some minor latch corrections. If youre able, get in touch with a lactation consultant who can help with proper technique.

Note that if every position is painful even after corrections, call your babys health care provider to check for other causes, such as tongue-tie or flat / inverted nipples.

Have questions about your little ones latch? Chat live with our Happy Baby Experts for free breastfeeding support. Chat now!

Read more: Top Latching Tips

Help baby deal with your strong let-down

If you find your breastmilk sprays out forcefully during the first few minutes of a feeding, causing baby to cough, clamp down, or pop off the breast, you may have a strong let down or oversupply.25 Trying to drink milk so fast often causes baby to also take in quite a bit of air.

Here are some tips to help your little one handle your overactive let-down:

  • Hand express before latching baby. Start the flow of milk by massaging the breast and catch the spray in a burp cloth until the flow slows to a drip then latch your little one.9, 3
  • Learn more: How and When to Hand Express

    Is babys gas caused by food?

    Learn more: Is your baby reacting to something in your milk?

    Relieving Gas Symptoms Naturally


    The following methods aim to provide temporary relief from tummy troubles related to gas. Unless the underlying cause of excessive gas is discovered and corrected, it’s likely you will be faced with the same problem again and again. If gas innot the real reason for a baby’s distress these method may not provide much help at all!

    1. Burping your baby

    2. Water

    Babies often seek to feed for comfort and not necessarily because of hunger. Offering a small amount of water can often help to satisfy your baby’s unsettled tummy, when you feel he’s not really hungry.

    3. A warm bath

    This may help your baby to relax. Also the warmth may help the gas in his bowel to expand and be expelled.

    4. A warm compress on baby’s tummy

    Warm a cloth diaper or towel in the microwave, then place it over your knee and lie your baby face down across the towel.

    5. Tummy massage

    A tummy massage may help to relieve discomfort due to abdominal gas. Put some oil on your hands and gently massage your baby’s abdomen in a clockwise direction using long stroking actions, alternate this with lifting his knees and using a ‘bicycle’ movement.


    • Choose either a bath or a massage not both, as it can be over-stimulating. For babies younger than 5 months of age, massage and bath time need to be separated by a nap or night time sleep.
    • Do not massage your baby’s abdomen if he has hiccups or has just been fed.

    6. Soothing methods

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    Comfort Measures For Fussy Babies

    Basic needs
    • Hold baby and gently bounce, sway back and forth or dance
    • Put baby in a sling or baby carrier and walk around inside or outside
    • Put baby in a baby swing
    • Take baby outside to look at the trees
    • Take baby for a walk in the stroller
    • Go for a car ride
    • Set baby in a baby carrier on the dryer with the dryer turned on

    One of the most interesting things Ive seen in the research regarding infant fussiness is that almost anything a parent tries to reduce fussiness will work, but only for a short time , and then other strategies need to be used.

    If you nurse and it doesnt seem to help, then try other comfort measures. If you pick him up or nurse him, and baby is content, then that was what he needed. If it works, use it!

    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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    When Should I Take My Baby To A Pediatrician For Their Gas

    Is it just normal gas or is it something else? If you are concerned your babys gas is getting worse, you can look for signs.

    Dr. Briochés suggests taking your baby to their pediatrician if you notice any of the following:

  • Blood in your babys stool. This can be a sign of a milk protein allergy.
  • Multiple episodes of vomiting. If your baby seems like they just cant keep food down, it could be a sign of a bigger issue.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea. Your baby could have a stomach bug that is causing their gas.
  • Weight loss, fewer wet diapers. If your baby seems like they are losing weight or producing less wet diapers, it is an immediate cause for a trip to the doctor.
  • Constipation. In babies, constipation looks like less frequent stools or hard, pellet-shaped poops.
  • In older infants taking solids. If you suspect a food intolerance or allergy, speak to your childs pediatrician.
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