Babies can get away with a lot of otherwise grotesque behavior. They can spit up at the dinner table, drool in front of company and urinate on the ceiling. And, no matter what they do, they will still be the cutest person in the room. Many new moms find that their babies pass a lot of gas. Though no one in the room is likely to point the finger of blame at your bundle of joy in anger, it can be an unpleasant experience. Though it isn’t your favorite habit of your baby’s it is usually perfectly normal and nothing to worry about.

Though you can’t completely stop your baby from passing gas, you could start a food diary if he has already switched to solids. Though the switch to solids alone might be the culprit, there’s a chance you’ll be able to identify exactly which solid is causing the problem. Write down what he ate that day, and then make notes of whether or not he became gassy. There’s a good chance he’s passing gas because of the food he ate, so cutting down on that particular type of food will help you (and your baby) control it. So, if you know you’re having company over and you want your baby to be on his best behavior, skip the gas-inducing food that morning. If you notice that milk seems to be causing the gas and a tender, painful stomach accompanies the flatulence, your baby might be lactose intolerant. In that case, you’ll need to talk to his or her pediatrician about milk alternatives.

While babies pass gas frequently because they haven’t yet developed control of their bowels, toddlers pass gas because they have. When your toddler has finally become potty trained, he or she will be able to “hold it.” In doing so, gas could build up in the bowels and be released often.

Gas is only a serious problem when it’s a sign of constipation. If your baby seems to be passing a lot of gas but rarely has a bowel movement, it’s a sure fire sign that he has a lot built up in his bowels. It’s extremely important that you bring it up to his doctor as soon as possible, because constipation could lead to a range of other problems and serious health issues. Otherwise, gas is just one of the things you’ll have to endure. 

Source: Jean-Michel Hascoet et al: Effect of Formula Composition on the Development of Infant Gut Microbiota. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Volume 52 Issue 6 pp. 756-762 June 2011

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