It’s perfectly normal for a baby to have gas. Babies eat almost constantly, so their digestive systems are constantly producing gas. What often catches new parents off-guard is how much gas a baby can have and how fussy it can make them. Babies obviously cannot tell us when their tummies are uncomfortable—they simply cry and fuss until they feel better. Since a baby’s usual response is to cry and fuss whenever anything is bothering them, finding out that gas is the problem can be tough for some parents, as is finding ways to relieve the symptoms. Fortunately, between time-tested physical remedies and over-the-counter products such as gripe water, gas doesn’t have to be a problem for your baby.
What Causes Gas in Babies?
Gas is usually caused by swallowed air and the normal digestion of food. This is true for people of all ages, but babies tend to be gassier than adults; they swallow more air, since they cry a lot more than adults, and they often have a harder time passing gas on their own. Gas is completely normal for a baby, and it is rare that it becomes a serious problem. Even though they may be fussy, babies may not even be as uncomfortable as they seem. They may appear distressed during bouts of gas, but this is normal and, as long as it’s temporary, nothing to be concerned about.
Gas Relief for Little Ones
This doesn’t mean that you cannot help relieve a baby who is fussy and uncomfortable because of gas. Some common remedies for soothing babies include feeding them in a different position, so that the head is higher than the stomach, bouncing the baby gently on your knee, rubbing the stomach in a circular motion and pumping the legs while the baby lies on their back as if they were riding a bike.
There are also a number of over-the-counter products to help relieve the discomfort your baby may experience. One common product is gripe water. Gripe water is a solution of dill and other herbs mixed with water. It’s an all-natural supplement that is often used to relieve gas and treat colic, a condition often mistaken for gas in which a baby cries for more than three hours a day for at least three days a week. You can find gripe water and other helpful products at www.mommysbliss.com.
Although the distress a baby displays when she is passing gas can be alarming to parents who aren’t ready for it, it is completely normal. All babies get gassy from time to time, usually much more frequently than adults and older children. Most of the time, babies and their parents can just wait it out until it passes, but the tips above should help you when your baby starts to feel uncomfortable.