Parenting

Baby gas – reasons & remedies

Gas is the most common problem, specially in infants and babies who’ve completed six months. Baby being fussy, burping, bloating and crying are few symptoms of gassiness. It is a natural occurrence in kids and adults too. It is just that babies are uncomfortable while they pass gas. Few familiar reasons of gassiness are:

  • Food: Breastfeeding mother’s and child’s (six or more months old) intake of gas causing food e.g ; cauliflower , kala Chana (black chickpeas) , spicy meals etc
  • Positioning and Burping: No burping during and after the feed and not keeping baby’s head a little higher while feeding
  • Bottle & Pacifier: few milk feeding bottles that make babies gulp milk speedily and pacifiers can make them sip bubbles and generate air
  • Low Physical Activity: babies below 6 months are less active, thus passing gas is difficult and painful
  • Less water intake: not drinking enough water for proper bowel movements
  • Overindulging: filling babies with large amount of food or milk in one feed

Although the above mentioned points are relevant, it is not the case with all the babies and after experiencing this with my daughter (Vrisha), I can jot down some veracious causes of gas like,

  • Food allergy (mostly intolerance  to protein and caffeine)
  • Feeding when baby is starving & crying 
  • Lactose overloaded
  • Feeding food other than breastmilk to newborns

Fore-milk and Hind-milk

Lactose overload: it is due to abundance of breast milk. hence, baby gets lots of mother’s fore-milk i.e initial slim milk (contain less fats) and little of hind-milk i.e last portion of milk (more creamy milk). The large amount of low-fat milk goes down quickly and lactose is not digested completely, thus causes gas, discolored potty and even loose motions.

Few precautionary measures are:

  • Check milk bottle that won’t let the baby gulp milk


  • Keep baby’s head upright for feeding
  • Feeding her before she’s starving otherwise she’ll gulp speedily

 

Exclusive breastfeed is recommended for babies below 6 months, as their system is not mature enough to digest different foods. Still one should try a new food for at least 4 days for 6+ months baby, to check if she has any allergic reaction

Home remedies:

  • Baby bicycle Exercise: 

Moderately move her legs in circular motion to help release gas

  • Massage & tummy time: Put her on tummy (under the supervision) for some time to help release gas. Also, a gentle massage on tummy is advised since this puts a moderate pressure on her stomach and help her pass gas
  • Hing (asafoetida) : 

Usually my daughter (Vrisha) gets gassy during the night time, while hing is a saviour for me, I dissolve it in warm water and apply on her tummy, it does wonders for us

  • Feed the Hind milk: 

Try nursing on only one side each time and make sure that the breast is empty before switching to other breast, so that your baby get the hind milk (full of fats)

  • Gripe water:

It can also be used as an alternate however I haven’t used it yet and prefer home remedies since they have always worked

These were few remedies which always worked for me and Vrisha. Other than this breastfeeding mothers can always take ajwain (carom seeds), jeera (cumin seeds) and saunf (fennel seeds) with warm water, it will go through milk to her baby to help release gas.