What causes gas in babies and how do I treat it?

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Gas can be an uncomfortable feeling for all of us, but babies can especially struggle with this digestive symptom as they aren’t able to tell us when something’s wrong. The feeling is caused by trapped air inside the intestines or the stomach, but although it can be particularly painful for our little ones, it isn’t usually a sign of anything serious.

Sometimes, when our babies are agitated or uncomfortable, we might find it hard to know what the cause of their crying is. So to make things a little easier for all the moms and dads out there, Baby Schooling have created a list of the common causes of gas in babies, including signs to look out for, following up with some tried-and-tested methods for how it can be treated.  

Causes:

1)      Swallowing Air

Swallowing air is a common cause of gas in babies, as it can happen due to incorrect latching onto the breast or a bottle. As your baby will feed for multiple times during the day, it’s inevitable that on at least one of these occasions, they are going to swallow some air. Little ones can also swallow air simply from babbling or crying, so sometimes gas can be unavoidable.

2)      Excessive Crying

Crying can be a cause of gas, but it can also be as a result of gas. This makes it hard to figure out the original source of your baby’s tears, but it’s still something to bear in mind if your child always seems a little gassy after a crying spell.

3)      Minor Digestive Problems

Most commonly, babies will get gas when they are unable to pass a stool, such as if they are constipated. Other digestive issues that may cause gas include GERD or minor reflux. If the gas happens often, is quite severe or comes with other symptoms, it may be worth speaking to your doctor for some peace of mind.

4)      New Foods

In older babies who are being encouraged to eat solid foods, the introduction of these new foods may cause gas as the digestive system adjusts. Excessive gas may be a sign of a food allergy or intolerance, so it may help to make a food diary of what your little one is eating and their symptoms.  

Symptoms:

A baby with gas may cry at times when they’re not likely to be hungry or tired, will possibly arch their back and lift their legs, and may have a swollen looking tummy. Also, on a more obvious note, they may be passing gas or belching.

How To Treat:

There are some home remedies for treating gas in a baby, and these may be trial-and-error depending on what works best for your little one! Try out these following methods below next time your baby has gas:

  •         Raising their head above their stomach.
  •         Moving the legs in a bicycle motion.
  •         Going for a car ride – the rocking may soothe your baby and ease their pain.
  •         Swaddling.
  •         Cradling the baby face down.
  •         Massaging your baby’s belly.
  •         Burping.
  •         Tummy time.
  •         Probiotics – speak to your paediatrician about which ones are safe for your little one.

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