Managing Gas in Your Breastfed Baby

Managing Gas in Your Breastfed Baby

Identifying a Gassy Baby Who is Breastfed


If you're noticing that your baby seems unusually fussy, and you're wondering if excess gas might be the cause, there are several signs that could confirm your suspicions:

  • Burping: If your baby is burping more than usual, it could be because they've swallowed too much air while nursing or during prolonged crying spells.
  • Regurgitation: While it's normal for babies to spit up occasionally, trapped gas in the stomach can force breast milk to be regurgitated.
  • Distended abdomen: A bloated belly could indicate a buildup of gas in your baby's stomach.
  • Excessive flatulence: While all babies pass gas, if your baby is doing so more than usual, it could be a sign of excess gas.
  • Arching back and pulling legs towards the stomach: Babies often adjust their bodies in an attempt to alleviate the discomfort caused by gas pains.


Causes of Gas in Breastfed Babies


Gas in breastfed babies is quite common and can be due to several reasons:

  • Rapid feeding: If your milk let-down reflex is strong, your baby might gulp down your milk, swallowing extra air in the process. Feeding your baby in a more upright position can help them control their milk intake and flow.
  • Bottle introduction: If your baby is transitioning from breast to bottle, they might swallow more air during feedings until they get used to the new method.
  • Constipation: Constipation can cause gas to be trapped in your baby's stomach, making it difficult for them to pass it.
  • Prolonged crying: When your baby cries for extended periods, they might gulp in air, leading to gas.
  • Maternal diet: Certain foods in your diet, such as dairy, soy, or wheat, can cause gas in your baby. Keeping a food diary can help identify any potential dietary culprits.


Foods That Can Cause Gas in Breastfed Babies


While a mother's diet is not typically the main cause of gas in babies, certain foods are known to cause gas and could affect both the breastfeeding mother and the baby. These include:

  • Fiber-rich foods: Such as bran, beans, and whole grains.
  • Certain fruits: Including citrus fruits, prunes, plums, peaches, and apricots.
  • Specific vegetables: Like broccoli, cabbage, and Brussel sprouts.
  • Garlic-flavored foods: Such as pasta dishes or garlic bread.
  • Dairy products: Including yogurt, ice cream, and milk.
  • Carbonated drinks: If these cause you to burp, they might also make your baby gassy.

Remember, it's not necessary to eliminate all your favorite foods while pregnant or breastfeeding. Health professionals suggest making dietary changes only if there's a clear link between what you've eaten and your baby's gas issues.

Once your baby starts eating solids or finger foods, it becomes easier to identify and eliminate any food that might be causing gas.


Soothing a Gassy Baby


There are several strategies to alleviate your baby's gas discomfort. You might need to try a combination of these to find what works best for your baby:

  • Double burping: Try to get your baby to burp twice instead of just once.
  • Upright position: Holding your baby upright during burping can make it easier for them to pass gas.
  • Tummy time: Placing your baby on their stomach can help push out gas.
  • Bicycle exercises: Laying your baby on their back and moving their legs in a cycling motion can help with both gas and constipation.
  • Tummy massage: A gentle belly massage can help move gas out.
  • Correct latch:Ensuring your baby has a proper latch during breastfeeding can prevent them from swallowing too much air.


Don't fret, mom - Gas is usually a normal part of a baby's life, and most babies experience bouts of gassiness. With a few minor adjustments, you can help alleviate your little one's discomfort and help them navigate through these gassy periods.

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