Have you ever wondered how such a tiny, adorable baby can produce so much gas?
Newborn babies look so cute and content, so it comes as a big surprise when they can literally clear the room with their trumpet-sounding farts. But don’t worry! Excessive farting is perfectly normal, providing your baby doesn’t seem bothered by it or in discomfort.
This main reason is that your baby has an ‘immature’ digestive system and still learning how to work efficiently. Diet and daily circumstances can all play a huge part on your little one’s gut and intestines, causing excess gas.
Read on to find out exactly why your baby farts a lot and what can help to relieve your baby’s tummy. Making it a happier (and smell-free!) zone for everyone!
Disclaimer: While we aim to offer helpful tips and advice, these are ONLY for guidance. If you’re still concerned about your baby’s health, be sure to consult your healthcare providers.
Let’s Get Loud: Why Babies Get Excess Gas.
Newborn babies are still learning how to perfect the muscular actions to move food down to the intestines and digest properly. Since babies are born with no gut flora to break down foods for digestion, this often takes a few months before their systems are developed to manage.
Compared to older children, babies are likely to swallow more air, which can create gas. There are many reasons this may happen. A poor latch from breastfeeding or incorrect nursing position can make baby intake more air during sucking. Frequent crying or uncontrollable laughter (as cute as it sounds!) could also bring in more air into the stomach.
Another reason could be your baby’s intolerance to too much lactose – a protein found in human milk. When a mother produces a lot of milk, her baby will tend to frequently feed. And if the baby is unable to digest this high volume of lactose, this often leads to intestinal gas.
No. They’re Not Smiling: How Can I tell When My Baby Has Gas?
While our little ones can’t yet verbally communicate their discomfort, there are some signs we can look out for. These include:
- A bloated tummy could mean it’s full of wind
- Burping regularly throughout the day
- Constant passing wind
- Frequent crying could signal pain and discomfort
- Tummy feels a little hard and baby reacts in pain when you push gently
Gone With The Wind: What Can Help Gassy Babies?
Frequent burping – Burping regularly during and after feeds can help release air before it settles in the tummy.
Baby tummy massage - Everyone loves a relaxing massage, especially babies. After a warm bath, use a baby-safe oil or lotion and gently massage the tummy. This tummy massage can take away some of the discomforts by manually guiding the trapped air through intestines. It’s also great for bedtimes!
Playful tummy time – Babies love to play and wriggling around on their tums. The pressure from ‘tummy time’ is a good way to help push excess gas out. As they kick and move themselves on the floor this also aids any wind to move along the digestive system.
Baby exercise – With your baby lying on their back, gently do ‘bicycle’ circular movements with your baby’s legs. This relaxing movement can help move intestines and release any uncomfortable trapped wind.
Upright position - Positioning your baby upright, could help their digestive system move along efficiently. Babywearing wraps/slings allow you to hold your baby close while still keeping upright. This is a great way to relieve a ‘windy’ baby.
Change the flow on the bottle – Try to avoid using a fast flow bottle nipple for bottle-feeds. A rapid milk flow could cause your baby to gulp down their milk fast and swallow excess air as a result.
Gut-friendly bacteria - Probiotics can replace the friendly gut bacteria that aids digestion, and usually come in easy-to-administer oral drops. If your child is in discomfort, this may relieve some of that. However, it is important to seek advice from your healthcare provider to discuss an appropriate one for your baby.
More Helpful Tips:
Can a breastfeeding mum’s diet cause gas?
Breastmilk contains all the nutrients and benefits for newborns, but little tummies can still react to certain foods mum eats. If you suspect your baby could be reacting to a certain food in your diet, keep a daily food diary to track your meals and monitor baby’s gas symptoms. There may or may not be a link, but at least you’ll know what the culprit is!
What foods can cause gassy babies?
Experts recommend to avoid or reduce dairy products such as cow’s milk, cheese and yoghurt. Caffeine, nuts or ‘gassy’ vegetables such as onions, cabbage, beans broccoli or tomatoes can all have an effect on babies tummies.
What is colic?
When a healthy baby cries inconsolably for no obvious reason, this is known as colic. As they cry, they intake excess air which may be a cause of their discomfort. While it sounds alarming, it’s quite common and babies usually grow out of colic in 6-8 weeks.
What’s the difference between colic and wind?
Colic is defined as a high-pitched, crying for more than three hours at least three days a week, and wind is sporadic. It is also more difficult to sooth your baby with colic than it is with excessive gas. Classic symptoms of colic includes baby clenching their fists, going red in face or bringing up their knees to their chest.
How many times should a baby fart in one day?
It’s perfectly normal for babies to pass wind a whopping 13-21 times a day!
Can sucking on a dummy make gas worse for babies?
Generally, your baby’s favourite dummy will not directly create gas. But if your baby swallows air as a result of repetitive sucking, it can produce excessive wind. Check the dummy is sealed all around and not letting air through.
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