What is causing gas in my breast-fed baby?

Babies can’t tell us when they’re feeling sick or uncomfortable, and sometimes you feel like you need a degree to decipher just what your tiny human needs. Midwife Pippa Hime looks at one of the reasons your baby may be unhappy.

Babies cry for many reasons. It’s their way of communicating. They may be hungry. They may have a dirty happy. And, they may have gas – babies hate gas! It makes them desperately uncomfortable and they can’t deal with it themselves. The tiny bubbles of gas create painful pressure in your baby’s maturing digestive system. They need you to help relieve the pain and eliminate the causes.

ALSO SEE: 9 ways to decode your baby’s cries 

What could be causing gas in my baby? 

Gas in babies is unavoidable. They take in small amounts of air when feeding and this needs to be winded out of them after a feed. It is best to ensure your baby’s latch is good so they limit the amount of air they take in when breastfeeding. Excessive crying can also mean they will be windy as they swallow mouthfuls of air when crying. For some sensitive babies, your breast milk can make your baby gassier.

ALSO SEE: How to burp your baby

Just like food or supplements can give you gas – the same happens with babies. These are the obvious gassy culprits:

  • Cabbage
  • Onions
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Dairy
  • Caffeine

This is by no means absolute, but if you find your baby is desperately uncomfortable and you happen to have eaten a bowl of cabbage try avoid these gassy triggers.

Certain supplements such as fenugreek and spirulina can also cause gas and discomfort in baby.

What should I do?

The best thing to do if you suspect the food you have eaten, or the supplements you have taken, is causing gas in your baby, is to eliminate it and see if it makes a difference over the next couple of days.  If your little one is getting better, they could be intolerant or allergic to the food or supplement you have eliminated. If you notice no difference, return to a normal diet.

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