Gas Pains


Our 1-month-old seems to be experiencing a lot of gas-type of discomfort. Any suggestions?

Dr. Greene's Answer

The peak age for gas pains or discomfort for children is 3 to 6 weeks. The extra gas usually comes from swallowing air, which may lead to crying, which may lead to swallowing more air. In some kids it may come from something in mom’s diet (if they are nursing) or from difficulty with the formula, if they take formula.

Several things may help. The more babies are carried throughout the day, the less gas discomfort they have, especially in the evening. The gentle jostling seems to help the gas find its way out. Tummy time also helps many babies. The gentle pressure on the abdomen moves gas along when the gas has built up. Laying the baby on his back and bicycling the legs can help, as can sitting in a little warm water. Try getting caffeine and caffeine-like products (including chocolate) out of your diet if you breastfeed; this helps for most babies. And for some babies, getting nuts or dairy out of your diet would help.

Simethicone drops are safe and gentle. The studies about their effectiveness are plus/minus, but many moms report that they work great for their babies. Scientific evidence supporting it’s use is unconvincing.

Medical Review on: December 15, 2009
About the Author
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Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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