In case you didn’t know, babies are gassy. Baby farts, burps, shart and poop, are common around the clock. The amount of gas they release on an hourly basis can sometimes put a grown man to shame.
Meanwhile, here’s a tiny human who won’t stop with the air pockets, and there’s little you can do about it. Several new parents are unaware of the fact that babies pass through gases.
So, if you are one of those mums and dads (and it’s completely okay to be so) and have been wondering – why does my baby fart so much? We have the answer for you.
Flatulence is a common occurrence in the human body. It is caused by excess gas in the digestive system and can be quite embarrassing for some people.
The amount of flatulence produced varies from person to person, but it is often considered a sign that something is not getting digested properly.
If you notice that your child is especially uncomfortable or cries incessantly while farting, then that’s a reason to worry. | Image Source: Stock
Why Does My Baby Fart So Much?
Since babies eat quite frequently, their digestive systems work round the clock. Moreover, babies gain weight rapidly at about 140 to 200 grams each week, to be precise. Their tummies grow, so does their appetite, and the cycle continues.
Apart from regular growth, there could be other reasons for your baby’s excessive gas.
Your consumption of food that causes gas is one culprit. Other suspects include intake of extra gas while breastfeeding, starting solids sooner than six months, or even drinking citrus juices. Let’s understand each individually.
1. Growing digestive system
Your baby’s digestive system is immature and growing slowly. When your baby breastfeeds or eats solids, his digestive system doesn’t break down the food properly.
As a result, gas gets trapped in the intestines, and it causes pain when passed. This is why your baby farts so much. As your baby grows up and his digestive system matures, this situation is automatically corrected.
2. Bacterial imbalance in the body
Babies are born with a clean gut, which means they do not possess probiotics—the good bacteria in probiotics process nutrients in the food and supplement digestive enzymes.
That’s why it takes babies a few months to digest breast milk properly. This often leads to the formation of excessive gas. Once the baby picks up ‘good bacteria’ through breastfeeding and food sources, the excessive farting will stop.
3. Incorrect breastfeeding postures
If your baby has a poor latch or is trying to keep up with a heavy milk supply, they may swallow a lot of air. This air could form bubbles in the intestines leading to excessive farting.
One way to help your baby in this situation is to switch between breasts while feeding, so they don’t swallow excess air in the tummy. You can also try placing your baby in a vertical position while feeding. You will notice the baby fart go down.
4. Breastmilk and bottle feeding
When you breastfeed your baby, all the nutrients you consume automatically pass on to your baby. And if you eat gassy foods such as citrus or dairy, your infant may suffer from flatulence.
Also, it’s natural for your baby to inhale air bubbles while feeding. This is especially true if he uses bottles with small nipples where the chances of swallowing more air bubbles increase.
Babies tend to get gassy when you first start solid foods at the age of 6 months. | Image Source: Pexels
5. First solid feed
Many babies also become extremely gassy when they are introduced to solid foods. Since their digestive systems are immature and only used to breast milk, introducing solids forces their digestive tract to work more. This leads to the release of gas.
Nevertheless, as the digestive systems start adapting to solid foods, the farts stop on their own.
6. Incessant crying
Life outside a mother’s womb can be challenging for babies. And as they grow older, they become sensitive to the world. All of this can make the baby uncomfortable, making him cry incessantly. That is his only response to everything. Crying causes excess gas to enter his body and excessive baby farting.
7. Gassy mum, gassy baby
If you notice a peculiar smell in your baby’s fart (let’s admit it, all mums have smelled their baby’s farts), it may be because of the food you are eating. For instance, garlic, cauliflower, egg, asparagus, and starch-rich foods such as potatoes, rice, bread, and potatoes can cause your baby’s farts to stink.
If you are worried that the food you eat is to blame, stop eating these foods for at least three days. Maintaining a food diary also helps identify the correct reason for the farts.
8. Lactose intolerance/ Transient Lactase Deficiency (TLD)
Another reason your baby may be so gassy is that he is lactose intolerant. Our adult bodies naturally produce the enzyme ‘lactase’ to break down sugars like galactose and glucose.
But sometimes, the baby’s body cannot produce enough lactase to break down these small sugars, and he may develop lactose intolerance.
This unbroken lactose then travels to the large intestine, where it ferments and is converted into gas. So within two hours of consuming lactose, a baby may become cranky or gassy.
9. Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER)
When your baby spits up after his feed, it is medically called GER. A baby with reflux spits saliva, digestive juices, breast milk and sometimes vomits.
Although babies outgrow it when they are over six months of age (since they sit and crawl more often), the unusual amount of spitting and throwing up can make the child irritable and, therefore, gassy.
10. Use of antibiotics
Sometimes babies suffer from infections that require antibiotics. These antibiotics often destroy microflora in their intestines. This gives rise to flatulence, excessive farting and sometimes even diarrhoea.
Also, if the mother is prescribed antibiotics, her breast milk during that period can also lead to excessive farting in the baby. While all of these factors can cause excessive farting, it is still considered normal, and after your baby strengthens his digestive abilities, flatulence may go away.
Image courtesy: iStock
Is It Normal for a Baby to Fart Lots
It’s normal for babies to fart a lot. They’re still learning to control their muscles and digestive system, so it’s no surprise they’re farting more than adults.
Babies will also pass gas because of the types of foods they eat and the way those foods are digested. For example, if you feed your baby rice cereal, which is high in complex carbohydrates, they might be more likely to pass gas because it takes longer to digest.
How Do I Know if My Baby Has Digestive Problems
Infants can have trouble digesting foods for several reasons. If you notice that your baby is spitting up or gagging after eating, vomiting, or having frequent constipation, it might be time to bring them in for a checkup.
The first step is ensuring your baby isn’t just overstimulated or tired while eating. If they are, try giving them small portions of food every few hours rather than one big feeding. If they still can’t eat without discomfort, bring them into the paediatrician’s office as soon as possible.
If you’re worried about your child’s digestive health, here are some signs to watch out for:
- Your baby spits up more than usual
- Your baby has diarrhoea (loose stools)
- Your baby has constipation (hard stools)
- Your baby has blood in his or her stool
- You notice a foul odour coming from your child’s diaper
Why Does My Baby Fart So Much: Should You Be Worried
Image Source: iStock
If the smell of your baby’s fart is as nasty as that coming from his dirty diaper or if he farts uncontrollably, perhaps it is a cause for concern. In that case, it’s better to gain a complete understanding of the health condition of your gassy baby.
To begin with, if your baby farts a lot, it doesn’t necessarily mean he is unwell. It could just mean that he is gassy. As a rule, observe your baby first. This is normal if you see him cry a little and rub his eyes or make faces while farting.
But if you notice that your child is especially uncomfortable or cries incessantly while farting, he may suffer from excessive gas. You should also keep a lookout for the following indicators of excessive gas in babies:
- Bloated tummy
- Burping more than usual
- Excessive farting
- Excessive crying
- Tummy cramps (cries when you press his/her tummy)
- Hard tummy
These are indicators of excessive gas, but there is no need to worry. As your baby grows, his digestive tract will get stronger.
Meanwhile, you can try a few things at home to ease the baby fart and help the gas out of your baby’s body.
How to Get Rid of Baby Gas Fast
Getting rid of baby gas fast is a common problem for new parents. It can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, but luckily, you can do a few simple things to help get rid of it.
- Burp your baby frequently throughout the day. A lot of the time, gas comes out when the baby burps.
- Try feeding your baby with a spoon instead of a bottle or breast pump. This will encourage an easier swallowing motion that will help them break up the bubbles in their tummy.
- Give your baby some air! If you’re in a public place, take advantage of any downtime to let your baby stretch his legs and get some fresh air (make sure he’s strapped safely into his carrier). Just being able to move around can help him get rid of gas faster!
- Make sure to give the baby some tummy time throughout the day.
If these measures still aren’t helping, check with your paediatrician about an over-the-counter medication that could help ease the discomfort of baby gas for both of you!
baby massage for gas
Baby Massage for Gas
Stomach gas is the most common complaint new parents have, and it’s easy to understand why. Babies are growing so fast, and they’re constantly eating. The result? Lots of gas!
Luckily, there are many ways you can help relieve your baby’s discomfort from gas. One of the most effective is the baby massage: rub your baby’s abdomen in a circular motion for about 30 seconds, then release it. Repeat several times throughout the day until your baby feels better.
Here’s how it works: rubbing your baby’s abdomen stimulates the pressure points in their digestive system, which helps relieve gas pain by relaxing those muscles and increasing blood flow. And since babies can’t tell us when they need help with gas pain like adults, we must learn what works by trial and error (and lots of crying).
So try massaging your little one’s stomach today—you’ll both feel better!
Home Remedies To Relieve The Baby’s Gas
- Start with laying your baby down on his tummy and gently rubbing and patting his back to get the gas out of his body.
- Gently rub your baby’s tummy in a clockwise direction and move his legs in a cycling motion.
- Give your baby some gripe water to ease gas out of him.
- Try warm fermentation on your baby’s tummy.
Give him some time, but if the situation persists after a day or so, take him to a doctor for proper health analysis.
Updates from Pheona Ilagan
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