7 Effective Home Remedies To Manage Gas Problems In Toddlers

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A gas problem in toddlers is common and is seldom a cause of concern. Usually, it may not require any clinical analysis or treatment interventions. Instead, the mild discomfort due to gas is easily managed at home with simple remedies. However, if your toddler has been experiencing constant and unbearable gas pain, you must seek medical advice. This post tells you about the possible signs, causes, and remedies for gas in toddlers.

In This Article

How Do You Know Your Toddler Has A Gas Problem?

Increased discomfort is a sign of gas in toddlers

Image: Shutterstock

Some of the common signs and symptoms often associated with gas in toddlers include:

  • Uneasiness and increased discomfort.
  • Difficulty in passing stool.
  • FussinessiThe quality of being difficult to please. and coliciProlonged, frequent, and intense crying in an infant. even after proper feeding.
  • Clenching his or her fist repeatedly.
  • Increased burping.
  • Frequent squirmingiTo exhibit or experience discomfort or distress. .
  • Pulling of legs towards the tummy.
  • Flatulence

Understanding the cause of the problem may ensure better and effective treatment.

protip_icon Did you know?
It is normal to pass gas 14 to 23 times a day (8).

Common Causes of Gas Problem In Toddlers

Gas formation or gas pain in toddlers may surface due to a host of reasons. The most common ones are listed here.

  1. Lactose intolerance: Lactose intolerance occurs when the small intestine does not produce or produces less lactaseiEnzyme found in mammal’s small intestine that helps in the digestion of the sugar lactose. enzyme. A deficiency of lactase causes an inability to digest lactose, which is a natural sugar found in milk. A toddler with lactose intolerance can have digestive discomfort accompanied by symptoms such as gassiness, pain, nausea, and diarrhea, upon consumption of milk and dairy products (1).
Lactose intolerance could cause gas in toddlers

Image: IStock

  1. Dietary choice: According to the University of Michigan Health System, high fiber intake can cause gas. Vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, radish, carrots, onions, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, potatoes, green salads, and beans may also cause gas. Apricots, prunes, raisins, dried fruits, foods rich in bran, wheat germ, brown rice, whole wheat, cheese, citrus fruits, pears, and oatmeal also fall under this category (2).
  1. Fruit juice: Incorporating excessive amounts of fruit juice in a toddler’s diet may lead to bloating and gassiness in some (3).
  1. Improper chewing: Gas problems may also surface if your toddler does not chew the food well while eating.
  1. Carbonated drinks:These beverages contain a significant amount of dissolved gases that may cause gas problems (2).
  1. Swallowing air: Eating food quickly can cause the ingestioniThe process of consuming food and allowing it to enter the body. of excess air, which may cause gassiness (2).
Swallowing air when eating fast may cause gas problems in toddlers

Image: IStock

  1. Other causes (4):
    • Intake of some medicines, like antibioticsiMedicines used to treat bacterial infections in humans and animals.
    • Malabsorption and maldigestion of nutrients.
    • Medical reasons such as irritable bowel syndrome, food allergies, and intestinal parasites can also be a reason for gas in toddlers.

Dr. Sharon Wiener, MD, a board-certified pediatrician from Plano, Texas, says, “The most common causes of gas pains in toddlers include constipation, viral gastroenteritis, and anxiety or stress. Other causes could be intestinal blockage and appendicitis.”

protip_icon Quick fact
Maternal diet may cause gas in breastfeeding babies and toddlers through breastmilk (9).

Gassiness can be usually managed with some home care tips.

Home Care For Toddlers With Gas

The following tips may provide some relief for toddlers with gas problems (5) (6).

  1. Bicycle motion: Lay your toddler on their back. Move their legs gently in a bicycle or pedaling motion. This motion may be helpful in releasing the gas.

Becca Campbell, a mother of two and a pediatric sleep consultant, offers valuable advice on easing gas troubles for your toddler. She advises, “When your little one is struggling with gas, here’s what you can do. Lay your baby down on a flat surface and gently bicycle their legs. Remember, don’t apply too much pressure, and let them move at their own pace. This gentle motion can help move the air through their tummy, providing relief (i).”

Bicycle motion for relief from gas pain in toddlers

Image: Shutterstock

  1. Warm bath: Giving your toddler a warm bath may reduce the gas at night.
  1. Check for bubbles: Bubbles in the milk or formula milk may be one of the underlying factors causing gas in toddlers. While feeding the formula milk to your toddler, make sure there are no bubbles in the milk. Also, adjust the nipple in such a way that the milk flow is neither too fast nor too slow.
  1. Tummy massage: Massaging your toddler’s tummy with some oil may also help release the gas, providing some comfort. However, do not exert too much pressure on the tummy while massaging.

She adds, “You can also give your toddler’s tummy a gentle massage, moving your hand in either a clockwise or counterclockwise motion. This can help move the air through their tummy and provide some relief.”

  1. Warm compression: The application of warm compression on your toddler’s abdomen may also help reduce the gas.
  1. Avoid fruit juice and carbonated drinks: Give your toddler an assortment of fresh fruits instead of letting them have fruit juices and aerated beverages.
  1. Feeding position: Place the toddler’s head higher than the tummy while feeding from the breast or the bottle. You can try other positions too, and check what works the best in reducing gassiness in the toddler. Additionally, avoiding overfeeding and quick feeding can aid in managing gas in infants.
protip_icon Quick fact
Simethicone gas drops are believed to provide relief from gas in toddlers (10).

When To Seek Medical Care?

Seek medical care when the toddler also has severe constipation

Image: Shutterstock

Pediatric care and medications may be needed in the following cases.

  • The toddler is cranky and inactive.
  • The toddler also has severe constipation.
  • They have disturbed sleep because of the problem.
  • The toddler develops mild to moderate fever.
  • The gas problem is causing a loss of appetite.
  • The toddler cries incessantly, resulting in colic. However, there isn’t much scientific evidence to suggest that gas may cause colic (7).

Dr. Wiener recommends, “See a doctor if your child has blood in their stool, persistent nausea and vomiting, pale or yellow skin, severe belly pain when touched, and bloated and swollen abdomen.”

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can you give OTC medicines for gas to toddlers?

No. Do not administer over-the-counter medicines and antacids to a toddler without consulting a pediatrician or gastroenterologist. Over-the-counters may not be made for children, and could cause harm.

2. Can gas be painful for toddlers?

Gas can cause discomfort and mild abdominal pain in toddlers (8).

3. Which sleeping position is best for a gassy toddler?

A gassy toddler may find it difficult to fall asleep. However, holding the baby upright against your chest, patting their back while laying them on their belly, or laying them on their back and pedaling their legs helps ease abdominal discomfort by releasing the gas through burps and farts (9).

4. Why is a toddler’s gas worse at night?

A toddler’s gas is worse at night due to their immature digestive system as a result of which the gas can take time to release.

5. How long does trapped gas last in a toddler?

Gas can last up to two hours in the body and tends to cause excessive discomfort, nausea, or pain after feeding and when laid down (10).

Gas pain in toddlers is a manageable digestive problem that is usually not a cause for concern. Ingestion of gassy foods, lactose intolerance, improper chewing, swallowing air, and intake of antibiotics are some of its common causes. Giving your toddler a warm bath, moving their legs in bicycling motion, and tummy massage are simple home remedies that may provide relief. However, prompt pediatric consultation is required if the toddler exhibits signs such as extreme discomfort, disturbed sleep, appetite loss, and fever.

Infographic: Home Care For Toddlers With Gas

Gas is a common issue for toddlers and can be caused by various factors, such as eating habits and certain foods. While it may be uncomfortable for your child, it is typically not a cause for concern and can be managed at home. Here are some tips for providing home care for toddlers with gas.

how to manage gas in toddlers at home (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • Gas in toddlers can cause discomfort, fussiness, colic, and burping.
  • Causes of toddler gas can include diet, medicines, and medical conditions.
  • Home remedies for toddler gas include massage, warm bath, and position changes.
  • It is important to see a doctor if the toddler experiences constipation, fever, or loss of appetite.
gas pain in toddlers_illustration

Image: Dall·E/MomJunction Design Team

Gas problems in toddlers can be a harrowing time, for them and their parents. For toddlers grappling with gas issues, this video outlines domestic remedies—such as soothing baths, gentle massages, and playful tummy time—to ease their discomfort.

Personal Experience: Source

References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.

1. Lactose Intolerance; John Hopkins Medicine
2. Helpful hints for controlling gas (flatus); University of Michigan Health System
3. The Use and Misuse of Fruit Juice in Pediatrics; American Academy Of Pediatrics; May 2001.
4. Gas-Flatulence; Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
5. W S Swanson; How To Help Your Gassy Baby; Seattle Children’s Hospital; Dec 7, 2017.
6. How To Treat Gas in Babies; International Foundation For Mother And Child Health (ifmch)
7. Colic; Stanford Children’s Health
8. Gas in the Digestive Tract; Children’s Hospital (CHOC)
9. Burping Your Baby; Nemours
10. Gastroesophageal Reflux; Nemours

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Dr. Anuradha Bansal is a highly accomplished pediatrician and neonatologist with 13 years of professional experience. Presently, she is working as Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at PIMS Jalandhar. She has done her MBBS and MD Pediatrics at GMCH, Chandigarh.

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  • Dr. Sharon Wiener
    Dr. Sharon WienerMD Dr. Sharon Wiener is the primary, board-certified pediatrician at Pediatric Offices At Willow Bend and founder of Wellness at the Spa aesthetics and wellness center. She did her Doctor of Medicine (MD), Pediatrics Residency Program from Children's Medical Center and has over 20 years of experience.
    Dr. Sharon Wiener is the primary, board-certified pediatrician at Pediatric Offices At Willow Bend and founder of Wellness at the Spa aesthetics and wellness center. She did her Doctor of Medicine (MD), Pediatrics Residency Program from Children's Medical Center and has over 20 years of experience.
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Dr. Ritika Shah is a certified lactation counsellor (CLC) from iNational Health Care Academy, Singapore and a dental surgeon with more than seven years of clinical experience across various cities in India. She did her graduation in Dentistry from KM Shah Dental College.

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