What is gas?

Preventing belly (abdominal) gas in your baby by not feeding certain foods

You may be able to prevent gas by not feeding your baby certain foods until they are older. Try these tips.

  • Do not give your baby cow's milk before they are at least 12 months of age.

    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.

  • Do not give your baby juice before they are at least 12 months old.

    Juice may cause a baby to have excess gas. Give only a small amount to your child.

  • Work with your baby's doctor.

    If the doctor thinks food is a source of gas, they may recommend a change in what you are feeding your baby. For example, many babies younger than 4 months of age can't digest the starch in cereals.

Relieving belly (abdominal) gas in your baby

Try the following tips to relieve gas in your baby during and after feeding.

  • Use the proper position during feeding.

    Feed your baby in a partially upright position. After feeding, put them in a baby seat for about 15 to 30 minutes. Be sure to burp your baby during and after feeding.

  • Massage your baby.

    Lay your baby on their belly across your lap and massage their back after feeding.

  • Give medicine as prescribed.

    If your child's doctor suggests medicine to reduce gas, use it exactly as prescribed.

What are common causes of gas?

Common causes of gas include:

  • Swallowed air. If swallowed air is not burped up, it passes through the digestive tract and is released through the anus as flatus. Excessive air swallowing may cause hiccups.
  • Foods and drinks such as beans, broccoli, carbonated drinks, and beer. The amount of gas and the odor that different foods cause vary from person to person.
  • Lactose intolerance. A person who can't easily digest lactose, a type of natural sugar found in milk and dairy products, can have both gas and bloating as well as other symptoms.
  • Constipation. This can cause bloating but generally does not increase gas.
  • Medicines or nutritional supplements. Both prescription and nonprescription medicines, as well as dietary supplements, can cause bloating and gas as side effects.
  • A medical condition, such as a bowel obstruction or Crohn's disease.
  • Changes in hormone levels. It is common for people to have bloating right before their periods because their bodies retain fluid.
  • Pregnancy.

What is gas?

Gas (flatus) is made in the stomach and intestines as your body breaks down food into energy. All people pass gas, some people more than others. It is normal to pass gas from 6 to 20 times per day.

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