Infants to adults, we have all suffered from gastric concerns.
Babies suffering from gas problems is a major concern since their digestive system is under-developed. They inhale a lot of air while breast/bottle feeding, due to excessive crying and also during teething.
This post gives you a detailed information about causes of gas problems and home remedies to treat gas in babies/toddlers.
How do you know if baby has gas problems?
Often babies cry uncontrollably when he is uncomfortable with the gas not being passed out of his body.
However here are the signs and symptoms by which you can understand your baby has gas problems.
- Keeps pulling the legs up crying
- Cries right after feeding
- Tummy gets hard
- Becomes extremely cranky and fussy
What causes gas or flatulence in babies and toddlers?
There are quite a few reasons for gas formation in babies and toddlers.
Babies eat through out the day and night. Hence their bowels produce a lot more gas compared to adults.
If you are breastfeeding and has taken some gas causing foods in your diet, it can cause gas as it passes on to the baby through breast milk.
Swallowing air while crying can also cause gas. Breastfed and bottle-fed babies can have gas problems as they suck in a lot of air along with milk making a build up of air in the intestine.
Gas problems are mainly caused by the substances called natural sugars like fructose, lactose, raffinose and sorbitol and/or soluble fiber. Since these substances are not digested in the stomach, they make their way down to the intestines.
The bacteria in the intestines does the needful resulting in the release of gas, bloating and flatulence.
Many fruits, vegetables, legumes, dairy products, carbonated drinks contain these substances hence these gas problems are unavoidable. We can only follow a few home remedies to treat gas in babies and toddlers.
What can I do to prevent formation of gas in baby?
Make sure the head of the baby is in a higher position that his belly while feeding. This prevents the gas settling in the stomach.
Bottle feed with a smaller hole. Large holes can pass out a lot of milk at a time resulting in baby sucking alot of air bubbles along with milk.
Burp immediately after every feed.
If your baby is bottle fed, he or she can suck in a lot of air bubbles. Always make sure to tilt the bottle in such a way that the whole nipple is filled with milk while feeding. Read to know the advantages and disadvantages of formula feeding.
9 Safe and Easy Home Remedies To Treat Gas in Babies, Toddlers and Kids:
I have listed down 9 home remedies which are easy and safe to treat gas in babies and kids.
#1. Burping after every feed:
Infants who are breastfed must be burped after every feed.
Don’t make them lie down once they have had their full.
Take your baby in upright position, pat her back and carry her for sometime. This avoids most of the gastric troubles in infants.
#2. Bicycling your baby’s legs:
Bicycling your baby’s legs few times a day keep the gas away. The rotations relieve them of gas and soothe pain, if any.
It is an easy method which can involve singing, talking and playing. This technique keeps them happy, active and playful too.
#3. Massaging with mustard oil:
Giving a gentle massage with warm mustard oil daily is a very healthy method.
Apart from calming the digestive system, it also strengthens the bones, brightens skin and promises a sound sleep.
#4. Heat fermentation:
Dip a soft cotton towel in warm water and place it on the baby’s tummy after squeezing out excess water. This eases the gastric pain and baby feels at peace.
Please make sure that the towel is not too hot for the baby. Check for warmth by placing in your hand first.
#5. Ajwain ka pani or Carrom seed water:
Boil water with a handful of ajwain (carom seeds) and set aside.
Keep giving this water at frequent intervals. This remedy is best for babies of 6 months and above.
Adding ginger to your baby’s food soothes and simplifies the digestion process.
Ginger reduces stomach gas and flatulence.
Please go slow with ginger and include just a pinch of it in your baby’s food, preferably after 8 months of age.
Cumin has Thymol, a compound which triggers the pancreas to produce digestive enzymes.
Boil 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds in a glass of water. Give this water at regular intervals to relieve gas .
Suitable for babies aged 6 month and above.
#8. Cardamom (Elaichi):
Elaichi is packed with minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium and it also has iron and vitamin C. Since it reduces the air in the stomach, it speeds up the digestion process and also fights anemia.
Add a few grains of elaichi in baby food. Helps to fight gas in babies and adults as well.
Take a pinch of asafoetida and dissolve it in warm water making a paste.
Apply this paste around the infant’s navel. This is an excellent gas reliever.
For babies over 1 year old, we can add a pinch of hing/asafoetida powder to their khichdi, dal etc.
For older kids, you can add a pinch of hing in their buttermilk/chaas.
You can also read about how asafoetida worked wonders for my daughter’s gas problems
As babies and kids grow-up they become less susceptible to gas problems and issues. This is completely natural and cannot be shunned away.
If this persists for a long time, gets extremely painful or is quite frequent, a doctor’s consultation is a must. He would prescribe anti flatulent medicines suited for babies and toddlers.
Hope this article on home remedies to treat gas in babies and toddlers was useful and informative.
Please share your home remedies with us and let us all know the tactics to deal gas, flatulence and acidity problems in babies.