When babies are born their digestive systems are not fully developed and continue to develop as they are fed breast milk/formula milk until they are ready for solid food. Once solid food is introduced, this can lead to indigestion, bloating and be a reason why your baby has difficulty sleeping.
The Reasons Your Baby Wakes Up With Gas The Same Time Every Night
There are several factors that can cause indigestion in babies. The indigestion is not often from breast milk/formula milk as their body’s are equipped to handle it but instead could be due to these five factors.
Babies, like adults, can get stressed! Stress can negatively impact digestion and impact how nutrients are absorbed. Gas is the result of the inability to absorb nutrients effectively.
Swallowing Too Much Air During Feeding And Crying
A baby may swallow too much air when they are bottle or breast fed. Swallowed air is not digestible or absorbable meaning that if your baby swallows lots of air, it will either come out as a burp or as gas. Along these same lines, when babies have periods of excessive crying, this can cause them to inhale large amounts of air. Even when they suck on a pacifier, it can increase the amount of air they inhale!
“When your baby swallows to much air it either comes out as a burp or as a fart”
A baby’s digestive system is still developing meaning that it might still be sensitive to solid foods. Whenever you start introducing new solid foods, gas is perfectly normal! In fact it’s so normal that it will continue for the rest of their life! If you ever have a feeling that something is wrong with your baby’s digestion, such as excessive gas, bloating or abdominal pain, we encourage you to talk with your pediatrician! At the end of the day, you know your baby best!
Physical activity is very important for a baby! Exercise aids in a process called peristalsis which is the muscle contractions that push food along the digestive tract. Without adequate exercise, there is less blood going to these muscles and it can slow down food in the digestive system. This could potentially lead to bloating, gas and abdominal pain.
There are several medications and supplements that can cause bloating and gas in your baby. Some examples are, aspirin, antacids, diarrhea medications, opioid pain medicines, fiber supplements and multivitamins. Always consult your pediatricians before giving your baby any medications!
3 Tips on how to improve your baby's digestion
There are several different strategies that you can employ whenever you try to improve your baby's digestion. If none of these tips work that doesn't mean that something is wrong with your baby. Every baby is different! It's all about finding what works for you and sticking with that!
Burping and Massages
Burping babies after eating can help flush out the excess air that is trapped in their digestive system. If burping doesn’t work then try putting them on their back, moving their legs in circles (it should look like they are riding an imaginary bicycle) and pushing their legs against their stomach. By going through a routine of “cycling”, pressing their legs against their tummy and burping them this should relieve any built up gas.
If indigestion is a continual issue, you could also use essential oils along with the massage that you give your baby to help release trapped gas. Click here to read more about which essential oils are safe for your baby.
Feeding Your Baby On Their Left Side
Feeding a baby when they are positioned on the left side of their body can allow their stomach to expand better.
This method of feeding can be beneficial in reducing acid reflux. Acid reflux may not directly cause your baby to be more gassy, however, acid reflux can make gas more painful for your baby.
Changing Their Diet
It is perfectly normal if your baby passes gas 13-21 times a day! However, if it is consistently more than that, first talk to your pediatrician because a potential issue could be the types of solid food you are giving them. There are two types of negative reactions that can happen when you give your baby solid foods.
A Food Allergy:
You will most likely notice a food allergy the second time your baby is exposed to this food. The first time your baby comes into contact with a food they are allergic to is called the sensitization period.
During this time period, their immune system believes the food is a threat and begins gathering forces to prepare should it come back. If the food does return, their immune system will recognize it and have the forces to do something about it.
The result could be gas, oral inflammation, nausea, hives, cramps which could progress to more serious issues such as anaphylaxis. This is why people who have really bad allergies to peanuts carry around epipens!
In general, the most common allergies are to eggs, cow milk, wheat, peanuts, soy, fish, shellfish and tree nuts. When it comes to allergies, trust your gut, you are the expert of your baby!
A Food Intolerance:
A food intolerance differs from a food allergy as it does not involve your baby’s immune system. Instead it stems from your baby being unable to digest certain components of food. The inability to break down certain foods can lead to bloating, abdominal pain, gas and diarrhea.
The two most common food intolerances are lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance.
“Lactose intolerance can be found in up to 70% of the world’s population!”
This is why you see lactase pills in the supermarket! It’s designed to break down lactose (the sugar in milk). Doesn’t that seem incredible that our food guidelines are based on cow’s milk which a substantial percentage of the population can’t consume!
Now We Want To Hear From You!
What information about baby indigestion surprised you? Is there any information or tips that we missed?
Have you tried any of these tips? If so, which ones?
Leave a comment down below!