Gas Problems in Infants and Babies

Almost all babies experience discomfort due to gas, regardless of being breastfed or bottle-fed. It can be a painful experience and the degree of pain varies for every baby. Some gassy babies don’t feel much discomfort, while others can get extremely restless, constantly crying till they’ve passed gas. Gas problem in babies is not necessarily a medical condition. It is merely because the baby’s digestive system is developing and is therefore sensitive.

We have a handy list of things below that will help you identify signs that your baby might be gassy and how to relieve your little one’s pain. The thing to remember though is that this is perfectly normal and most babies feel gassy at some point or another, so don’t worry dear parents. Keep reading to know more.

Signs that my baby is gassy

Your little ones have limited means when it comes to communicating their distress to you, mom. And when they are in pain we understand it can leave you feeling perplexed and helpless. But not to worry, it’s perfectly normal for every baby to feel some discomfort from time to time. There are, however, a few symptoms that you can watch out for to recognise gas problems in infants. Crying is the only way babies, especially newborns, communicate. And if your baby is crying, even after being fed and diaper change, the possible reason could be that the baby has a gas problem. Apart from that watch out for symptoms such as restlessness, arching of the back, lifting of legs, a bulging belly, flatulence, and belching.

Difference between colic and gas

Colic is when babies, usually at four weeks, cry incessantly, for three hours or more in a day, for no apparent reason. This normally happens in the evenings. These colic bouts peak usually between six to eight weeks, and can last for several months. Gas does not cause colic, as is mostly believed. However, the crying during the colic episodes can lead to a gassy baby as they inhale air while they cry.

What exactly causes gas?

There are multiple reasons why babies get gassy. First and foremost, gas is an outcome during the digestion of the nutrients in breastmilk or formula milk. This gas then gets trapped in the intestines, causing a build-up of pressure. And since the digestive system of babies is still developing, it becomes difficult to cope with this pressure. Other factors that contribute or worsen this problem is when babies inhale air while feeding – either breastmilk or bottle – due to improper feeding posture or poor latch. Another reason why babies inhale too much air is when they cry, which is just about always since that’s their sole medium of communication, mostly.

Which is why digestion problems in babies in the form of gas is close to inevitable. The first hurdle is recognising that your baby has gas issues. Look out for the signs as mentioned above in the symptoms.

Once you’ve notices the symptoms in your little nincompoop, there are several home remedies for gas problems in babies that one can try:

  • Leg movement

    For newborns, lay the baby flat on their back, and lift their legs with their knees bent. Now, move them mimicking a bicycling motion. This helps relieve trapped gas.

  • Upright position

    Hold the baby in an upright position and patting their back gently for burps.

  • Face down cradle

    This is one of the most efficient techniques, not just when the baby is gassy but even when they are cranky or fussy. Cradling the baby with face down, elevating the head a little with adequate support, and pacing gently soothes them.

  • Tummy massage

    Gently massage baby’s tummy, and gauge their reaction to know whether to apply or reduce pressure. It usually helps in calming them down and relieving some gas but discontinue if baby seems irritable.

  • Tummy time

    Allow your baby to spend some time on their tummy. This can be done only for babies who can support their heads. It promotes movement and strengthens upper body muscles. When they elevate their heads, it helps release some of the trapped gas.

  • Maintain a food log

    Keeping a track of what your baby eats, number of times, and at what intervals, it will help you understand the baby’s diet and observe a pattern, if there is any. If you breastfeed your baby, take a closer look at what you eat. Certain foods like processed milk products or caffeine may make it difficult for your baby to digest breastmilk. If you feed formula milk, try changing the brand to see if it makes a difference.


There is no need to visit the doctor for minor gassy problems. However, if the problem persists and the baby is in severe pain that does not seem to go away, then it is always advisable to seek medical guidance. Most doctors prescribe drops that can be given to babies, ensure to always check dosage with your doctor and administer accordingly.

If baby finds no relief then the doctor may recommend certain tests to rule out any major. We understand parents may feel helpless watching their little ones restless and in pain. But know that this is a natural occurrence and will improve with time. As your baby’s digestive tract grows and matures, the gas problem too will disappear.

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