Flatulence in babies - causes and home remedies

Flatulence in babies - causes and home remedies

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Gas is produced in the body in babies when bacteria in the intestines process gas-producing food like beans. Gas also forms when the air is jammed, for example when the child sucks on an empty bottle. Parents should pay close attention to how and why the baby is crying. Babies also cry to communicate. However, when the child feels pain due to gas formation, the crying is sharper and more intense. It also shows otherwise that it feels uncomfortable, for example by wriggling its legs or clenching its fists.

Causes of bloating in babies

The breastfeeding mother's diet can affect the baby. For example, if the mother eats citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons or limes, this can trigger short-term indigestion in the infant. The acids in these fruits can disrupt a baby's digestive tract. This also applies to kiwis, pineapples, strawberries, cherries and plums. Dairy products in the mother's food can also lead to intolerances in the baby.

The problem lies in the milk protein in milk, cheese, butter, yoghurt, ice cream etc. This milk intolerance is often accompanied by an intolerance to soy and peanuts.

Air bubbles can enter the baby's stomach through the mouth. This usually happens when sucking on the mother's breast. Therefore, the baby should make a baby every 3 to 5 minutes while suckling. When breastfeeding with the bottle, the size of the nipple is crucial. If it is too big, the baby will suck too quickly. If he is too small, the child swallows air.

Another possible cause of gas formation in infants is hyper-lactation syndrome. If a mother produces a lot of milk, there is also a large amount of foremilk. Foremilk is the watery breast milk that the child first gets into the mouth - with a lower fat and higher lactose content. This pre-milk quenches the baby's thirst and stimulates the development of energy and the brain. To a large extent, the foremilk can cause stomach cramps in the infant.

After-milk, on the other hand, is the creamy milk with a higher percentage of fat, which is produced in the milk-producing cells higher up in the breast and helps to stimulate the growth of the baby.

A baby who swallows the flowing milk too quickly also easily takes in too much air. Because and if the baby does not get enough of the rich after-milk, he wants to drink more often, and this increases the problem. Babies suffering from hyperlactation weigh more than usual and their gas production increases.

Over stimulation

If a baby is overstimulated, this can also lead to increased gas formation. Too many visitors, noise on television, ringing telephones etc. stimulate the baby. Too much stimulation means stress, which can trigger gas formation because the baby breathes faster.

All babies cry, but when the baby cries particularly often, too much air gets into the digestive tract. Sensitive infants who are "bombarded" with sound, and also with light, touch, and multiple experiences, will usually "turn off" to reduce stimulation. Babies who are quickly overloaded with stimuli form more gas and also have trouble falling asleep.

Since a baby cannot speak, crying is his only way to communicate. So a certain amount of screaming is normal. The baby shows that it is hungry, feels alone, is too warm, too cold or uncomfortable. Babies generally swallow air when crying. These air bubbles can build up in the stomach or pass through the intestine. Pain can follow swallowing air directly while screaming.

Natural home remedies for gas formation in babies

Breastfed children have to belch after each meal. In most babies, the burping when feeding and afterwards removes all air bubbles. Try to have a baby tucked away during the natural breaks while breastfeeding - for example, when it slows down because it has emptied its first breast.

Some babies need to be burped more regularly. However, many parents make the mistake of stopping eating so the baby can burp. This extends the feeding time, frustrates a hungry baby and can cause the baby to frantically breathe in air bubbles.

Jammed air causes immediate suffering, the baby feels full without having finished his meal, or the air gets into the intestine and causes flatulence that hurts.

"Riding a bike" with baby legs

Exercises with the baby legs, which mimic the movement of pedaling, press on the stomach and help the baby to release the gas. This method also keeps the baby happy, active and playful.

Massage with mustard oil

A massage with warm mustard oil and a bath in warm water can alleviate gas problems. Warm baths also make the baby sleepy. Massages with mustard oil promote blood circulation and make the body flexible, so the gas can escape. Mustard oil also strengthens the bones and leads to a peaceful sleep.


This dried gum resin is useful for eliminating bloating and stomach problems. To give it to infants, make a paste with water and the resin and rub it on the child's stomach. The resin works against inflammation and helps effectively against flatulence. However, it takes a few minutes for it to take effect.

Warm compresses

Warm compresses on the child's stomach relax the stomach and intestines, facilitate the escape of gases and soothe the child.


Fennel is highly recommended when babies experience pain due to gas formation. It promotes digestion and prevents gas formation.


Basil has both antispasmodic and sedative effects, triggered by a substance called eugenol. This is why tea with basil leaves is helpful to treat colic that causes pain in the intestinal tract of the baby. A teaspoon of dried basil in a cup of hot water, steeped for ten minutes, is the usual dose. Breastfeeding mothers can also drink basil tea to transfer the beneficial effects of the milk to the baby.

Camomile tea

Chamomile has an anti-spasmodic effect and helps against internal cramps. It also has an anesthetic effect and helps the body relax. Chamomile has been used in traditional medicine for stomach pain for millennia and the history of chamomile as a medicinal plant can be traced back to ancient Egypt.


Peppermint-infused water has been used against colic for many centuries. Mint contains antispasmodic substances that relieve the child's inner spasms that cause colic. Peppermint helps to correct bloating and other indigestion. It relaxes the muscles in the stomach and allows the aching gas to escape. When peppermint is combined with chamomile and fennel as herbal tea, it helps against colic even better.

Colic water

Colic water is a natural, very fast-acting home remedy for flatulence and colic. We make it with natural plants like ginger and fennel. These are simply placed in the water and take about ten minutes to soak. Apart from colic, it also helps against toothache and flatulence.

However, the mother should be careful not to give too much to the baby, because colic water stowed in the body attracts bacteria that can trigger illnesses. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dr. phil. Utz Anhalt, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch


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Video: Natural Solutions for Treating Infant Gas (May 2022).