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My Baby Farts A Lot – Why?

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You have been dreaming of meeting your perfect little bundle for around 40 weeks. Their tiny hands and feet, their button nose, and that sweet baby smell. There really is no feeling like it in the world. 

Many moms don’t realize that whilst their baby has been growing inside there are many bodily systems that cannot achieve their full growth potential until they are born.

Take the lungs, their first breath cannot happen until they have come into contact with the world. The same goes for their digestive system. 

I can remember seeing my daughter for the first time so pretty and precious then the unreal sounds trumpeted from her behind, I found myself blaming her quite publicly so people didn’t think it was me stinking up the hospital room.

After a while, I came to the conclusion that my baby farts a lot. At first, I was a little worried but decided to do some research and see what I could find about it.  

Is It Normal?

In hindsight yes it is perfectly normal!

As mentioned your baby’s digestive system is still growing and working through the bodily functions of the first poop, feeding, and of course the build-up of gas. 

We all realize that after feeding a newborn it is important to take some time to burp them, this releases the gas and build-up of air they consume whilst they are eating. The same goes for farting really! Their tiny intestines are working hard for the very first time and they need to force the stinky gas out in the best way possible!

Providing your little one doesn’t look in pain or discomfort then allow them to trump all they want, it all signifies a healthy working digestive system.

Ways To Help Them Get Rid Of Gas

Now at some point in our lives, we have all been there with the dreaded trapped wind! It feels as if your insides are going to explode or you could be bubbling up from the inside.

We don’t want our dear babies to feel anything like this so what can we do to help them get rid of that excess gas?

Regular Burping

this helps shift the gas in either direction, you may notice that your little one will appear to smile as you are shifting the gas. This always appears to be cute until they let it rip! 

Noticing The Bloat

After a big meal we sometimes sit and wish we can undo the button on our pants to let our belly expand with the bloat, the same thing applies for babies too!

Now don’t get me wrong I don’t expect you to unbutton their pants or diaper but just noticing their belly is bloated can alert you there is a build-up of gas.

I liked to sit my daughter on my lap and gently rock her foreword and back to shift a bit of the gas, usually, it resulted in a big stinky trump which was better than allowing it to build up.

Tummy Time

baby being massaged on the stomach

My daughter loved this when she was small. If we think about it newborns are only ever in one position which is usually on their backs being cradled or in their crib.

Now the guidelines of tummy time are very important to follow and always check with a professional to see if your baby is old enough, but essentially allowing your baby to lay on their tummy can help with digestion and also exercise their neck and back muscles.

Don’t be frightened if your baby doesn’t like this, many babies don’t, it is hard work! Introduce it in short bursts with stimulating toys will encourage them to embrace this new position.

Bicycle Legs

I was given this tip by another mom when my daughter was suffering from gas, when you are changing them move their legs gently in alternate circular movements. It mimics them riding a bike. This exercise allows for their legs to move and break up those pesky bubbles.

Seek Medical Help

Now you have exhausted every possible way of helping your baby with their gas buildup. Nothing seems to work, feelings of mom guilt and being helpless start setting in.

Lack of sleep may be hindering your concentration but hope is not lost! Some babies need extra help when breaking down their milk. Medics can guide you to what some moms may call magic drops.

You can add them to a baby’s feed or give them before their meal, these drops are packed with friendly bacteria that can aid a baby’s digestion. After all, it is already working so hard so giving it a helping hand will benefit you and your baby.

When Is It Time To See A Pediatrician?

Now if you are a mom like me, I exhausted every possible way of helping my daughter break up the bubbles, to release her gas.

When she was first born she should have held an award as in public I found I had to apologize to strangers when she farted, many times I think they thought it was me! Embarrassing was not the word! 

Now apart from the fact that this is hilarious, it signaled that something was amiss with my daughter. Her gas was either overly excessive or nothing at all.

I knew something needed to be done when she was refusing her bottles. I researched loads of possible outcomes and had everyone’s input on what to do next, but nothing was working!

So for me now was the time to get some medical advice. If you notice that your baby has any of the following symptoms then it is time to see your pediatrician for further advice.

  • Starts refusing feeds
  • Fewer bowel movements
  • Less urinating
  • Excessive runny diapers
  • Excessive vomiting
  • Continuous painful cry

Now in my situation, we found that there was a bigger issue other than just gas. I had read about intolerance in babies and the need for alternative milk.

To cut a long story short, after seeing the doctors over a course of agonizing weeks, we decided to change the formula we were using to a lactose-free alternative. 

I immediately noticed a happier settled baby! She actually wanted her feeds again!

I don’t want to scare anyone but after weeks of projectile vomiting, messy diapers that ended at her hairline, I realized that this was not just gas! I suppose it is the mom’s intuition we don’t believe we have until it matters!

When a baby is lactose intolerant it doesn’t mean a lifelong chore of watching ingredients in foods. It is fairly easy to manage while they are on formula providing you find one that works for your baby.

When babies are born they all have an enzyme called ‘Lactase’ in their intestines, and as they grow this enzyme disappears.

This is where a baby’s digestive system should be able to make its own but as the digestive system is still immature, it may take some babies longer than usual for this to kick in, typically you follow a lactose-free diet for 12 months. 

Usually, after the first year, a dietician can guide you into introducing lactose products into your baby’s diet and all should be well again.

FAQs

Do colic babies fart a lot?

Yes, colicky babies often have excessive gas. The excess gas can be due to intolerance to lactose, an immature digestive system, inflammation, or poor feeding technique.

Why do babies farts smell so bad?

The smells that your baby produces via their gas in typically the healthy by-product of breaking down their formula or breast milk. The smell comes from a gas called sulfur which is very often compared to the smell of rotten eggs.

Can mom’s diet give baby gas?

It is rare that something in moms diet is causing their baby to have gas if you suspect that your baby may be sensitive to something that you are eating then it would be worthwhile tracking your diet for a few days as well as your babies gas symptoms and see if there is a pattern.

The Final Thought

Overall it is important to remember that a gassy baby is a healthy baby. It signals that they have a healthy digestive system and it is working! 

As we grow we understand the trumping/burping in public is deemed as rude and inconsiderate but as little babies we should be encouraging them to fart no matter what!

Whether you use one of the methods mentioned above or if you find a new way of helping your little one get rid of gas, we all know someone who has been in your shoes, apologizing in public for your beautiful precious baby making the most horrendous stinks or for belching loudly.

Although, I am yet to find anyone who doesn’t do their own little celebration when they hear a baby release their gas!

Hi, I'm Emma and I'm a mother to 5 beautiful children aged from 1 to 21 years old- life is hectic! I have learned so much along the way, not only from my own children but also through my professional life. In my positions as a Childminder and Teaching Assistant, I have studied Child Development and The Early Years Developing Practice. I wish to share all of this knowledge and help you with your own parenting journey!