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Infant Gas: Preventing and Treating It

来源:WebMD Medical News 作者:佚名 2013-7-20

摘要: Infant gas symptoms include burping, flatulence, bloating, cramps, and, of course, crying。 What Causes Infant Gas。 Gas is generally caused by: ? Swallowed air Normal breakdown of undigested foods Since babies cry more than older children or adults, they naturally swal......


All babies have gas. But many new parents are surprised at just how much gas their tiny infants seem to have and how fussy it can make them. Infant gas symptoms include burping, flatulence, bloating, cramps, and, of course, crying.

Most often, infant gas is not a sign of a bigger problem. And what may seem to parents like too much infant gas may not be. Passing gas 14 to 23 times a day is normal for both adults and children. But there are ways to help prevent your baby from having too much gas, and strategies to help them pass it more easily.

What Causes Infant Gas?

Gas is generally caused by:  

Since babies cry more than older children or adults, they naturally swallow more air and have more gas. They also have a harder time getting the gas out of their tummies than older babies, children, and adults.

What can you do to make it easier for your baby?

First, realize that your child may not be as uncomfortable as you think. “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.

“Even if they turn red and make noise, it doesn’t mean that it bothers them. If they’re happy in between episodes and not too distressed during them, there’s probably nothing wrong,” Shu says.

Don’t mistake gas for infant colic. Gas does not cause colic, although colicky babies may swallow a lot of air while crying, which can bring on gas. And while gas can cause discomfort, it doesn’t cause the inconsolable distress and crying that are symptoms of colic.

These tips can help minimize your baby’s gas and relieve it more easily:

Over-the-Counter Infant Gas Remedies

How effective are OTC remedies such as simethicone and commercial gripe water? Shu says they may work for some babies.

Simethicone may help lessen gas in a baby’s stomach, although studies are limited. 

Gripe water is another over-the-counter remedy you may have heard about. It's a mixture of herbs, mostly dill, and water. It's said to calm colic and gas, but there's no clear research showing this.

Gas and Eating

Can gas be caused by what your baby is eating? Possibly, says Lavine. Although it’s not recommended, some parents give infants fruit juice, which contains sorbitols (sugar alcohols) that the baby can’t absorb.

It’s possible for a baby to have trouble digesting some of the foods you eat that are transmitted in your breast milk.  Legumes (such as beans, peas, and lentils) and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage), milk products, and caffeine (in coffee, tea, soft drinks, or chocolate) are common culprits. But before you change your diet a lot or cut out any foods, check with your pediatrician so that neither you nor your baby miss out on important nutrients.

A baby’s gas can sometimes be a sign of a gastrointestinal problem. For example, reflux doesn’t always involve spitting up, so it may be mistaken for gas, according to Shu. Here are three ways to check for a larger problem:

Contact your pediatrician if your infant shows any of these symptoms. Most likely, though, your infant’s gas is nothing for you to worry about. “Usually, the parents are much more disturbed by it than the baby is,” Shu says.


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