One of the hardest parts in the early weeks of parenting is when your little one is crying more than usual. Parents often wonder if their little one’s tummy is upset or if something they are eating is causing increased gas or pain.
The idea that what a mother eats when breastfeeding can cause gas in her infant, is certainly talked about a lot. It is one of the top questions I get asked in practice. While anecdotally, some parents will notice certain foods make their little one more gassy, no research has actually found that the maternal diet increases gas in infants.
What this means is that in most babies there is no specific food that will increase gassiness. However, if you notice that every time you eat a specific food your baby seems gassier or seems to cry more it is okay to try and cut out that food and watch for improvement. Keeping a food diary can be helpful in determining if in fact a specific food is making your little one more uncomfortable. Typical gassy foods include broccoli, cabbage, beans, cauliflower or spicy foods. Some people also think dairy makes their babies gassy for others it’s caffeine, although there is no evidence for that. Each baby is different so it’s possible.
If there is no particular pattern to what makes your little one gassy or eliminating what you think is the culprit doesn’t seem to change anything, consider contacting a lactation consultant. Your milk flow or the positioning during nursing could be a cause as well.
In general, after around thirteen weeks of age, infant digestion tends to mature and overall gassiness will decrease. You may find that around that time you will see improvement in gas as part of normal developmental maturation.
When bottle feeding, using a slow flow nipple and decreasing air bubbles in the formula preparation can be helpful. It is important to always mix formula as directed. If your little one seems to have a more sensitive tummy, a partially broken down formula such as Earth’s Best Organic® Gentle Formula can help decrease gas. Burping midway through feedings and at the end of feedings can help reduce gassiness as well.
American Gastroenterological Association http://www.gastro.org/wmspage.cfm?parm1=689
The American College of Gastroenterology http://www.acg.gi.org/patients/gihealth/belching.asp
American Academy of Pediatrics: “Abdominal Pain.”
American Academy of Family Physicians: “Feeding Problems in Infants and Children.”
Published: February 10, 2020
Last modified: April 30, 2020