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Home > Health Library > Abdominal Gas and Colic
Some people have problems digesting milk protein or milk sugar (lactose intolerance). But these problems are very rare in babies. Until your doctor can evaluate your baby, it is usually not advisable to switch formula or stop breastfeeding as a means to remedy suspected food digestion problems.
Causes of gas include:
A baby may swallow excess air during bottle-feeding when drinking too rapidly or when lying down. A baby may also swallow excess air if the nipple has holes that are too big. If you bottle-feed your baby, use nipples with holes large enough to drip cold formula at 1 drop each second.
A baby who cries for an extended period of time, especially if the crying is intense, can swallow extra air.
Babies may trap intestinal gas while lying on their backs. Until the first birthday, babies should always sleep on their backs to reduce the risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). But when your baby is awake, you may help prevent or relieve some belly discomfort by holding your baby upright or allowing some "tummy time" while you closely supervise.
Giving certain foods to your baby may cause your baby to have excess gas.
You may be able to prevent abdominal gas by not feeding your baby certain foods until they are older. Try these tips.
Cow's milk protein can be hard for a baby's body to break down. And cow's milk has less iron and vitamins than babies need.
Juice may cause a baby to have excess gas. Give only a small amount to your child.
If the doctor thinks your baby's food is a source of gas, he or she may recommend a change in what you are feeding your child. For example, many babies younger than 4 months of age can't digest the starch in cereals.
Try the following tips to relieve abdominal gas in your baby during and after feeding.
Feed your baby in a partially upright position, and put him or her in a baby seat for about 15 to 30 minutes after feeding. Be sure to burp your baby during and after feeding.
Lay your baby on his or her abdomen across your lap and massage his or her back after feeding.
If your child's doctor suggests medicine to reduce gas, use it exactly as prescribed.
Current as of:
September 20, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: John Pope MD - PediatricsKathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: September 20, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:John Pope MD - Pediatrics & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
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