Passing gas is a point of amusement for teenage boys, adults and sometimes babies. Gas is serious business for a infant. It’s not uncommon for a baby or an adult to pass gas more than 20 times in a day. While this might seem like a lot, relieving gas is a vital function of the body. Usually the expelling of the gas isn’t overly uncomfortable for a baby. Keep in mind, the peak age for gas discomfort for children is 3 to 6 weeks.
Where does baby gas come from?
Most baby gas comes from the same place as it does for adults including food digestion and swallowing air. Due to crying, babies swallow more air than children or adults. They also have a harder time releasing the gas than their older siblings.
Babies also ingest air while eating, especially during nursing. For this reason, it is important to burp every 3 to 5 minutes during feedings or between breasts. If your baby is bottle-fed, make certain that the bottle’s nipple is the right size. A nipple that is too large may cause the baby to eat too fast, or too small, they will gulp air while trying to eat.
Another possible reason for infant gas is hyper-lactation syndrome. When a mother has a very abundant milk supply, she may produce a larger amount of foremilk. Foremilk is higher in water content, higher in lactose.
Is Gas Painful For A Baby?
In most cases, no. “If the baby is generally happy and only fusses for a few seconds while passing gas, that’s a sign that it’s normal,” says Jennifer Shu, MD, a board-certified pediatrician in Atlanta and the author of Food Fights:Winning the Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood Armed with Insight, Humor, and a Bottle of Ketchup, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
It’s important to note that gas doesn’t cause colic. This is a common misconception. This belief stems from the fact that colicky babies cry more and swallow more air and therefore pass more gas. While gas can cause discomfort, it doesn’t cause the inconsolable distress and crying that are symptoms of colic.
How to Relieve Gas In Your Baby
- Burping – Slow repeated gentle patting on your baby’s back should do the trick — there’s no need to pound hard. To prevent messy cleanups when your baby spits up or has a “wet burp,” you might want to place a towel or bib under your baby’s chin or on your shoulder.
- Gripe Water – Many European countries use Gripe Water, which has been known to ease a baby’s discomfort due to colic, gas, hiccups or teething by acting as a digestive aid. Doctors and pharmacists in other parts of the world routinely recommend Gripe Water for babies with these symptoms.
- Massage – Rub your baby’s belly gently with a circular motion. Running your hand gently down toward the pelvic region can also help relieve pain caused by baby gas.