Painful gas can leave your little one in tears. Find out how to calm your baby down.


Have you seen your baby raise their legs to their chest even as they cry? Your little one may be suffering from painful gas. Although your baby’s anguished wailing will probably make you panic, gassy babies are usually healthy.

You’ll probably wonder when your baby’s gas pains will improve. SmartParents paediatric expert, Dr Low Kah Tzay of Anson International Paediatric & Child Development Clinic, assures parents that their little one’s painful gas will improve by the time they are about 6 months old. This is because their digestive system will mature over time.

Here are possible reasons for your little one’s bloated feeling:

Your little one’s gas pain will get better by the time they are around six months, as their digestive system matures over time

a) Milk supply
If you have a lot of breastmilk, this could cause your baby to be gassier. Dr Low explains that an “excessive milk supply usually causes reflux as baby may inadvertently overfeed”. Adding that this isn’t common, he says that it can be controlled by “feeding only from one breast at every feeding”, or expressing some milk for storage before breastfeeding.

b) Lactose intolerance
The reason your child is feeling gassy could be because your little one is lactose intolerant ― meaning that they are unable to take much milk.

c) Review the food you ate
A certain food that you ate may cause your baby to get gassy. For instance, dairy products that you consumed earlier on may ultimately give your little one tummy gas when they breastfeed because they have problems digesting it.

If your little one is squirming in pain, and you are feeling helpless, Dr Low notes that it’s important for you to remain calm as this helps the baby to settle. Next, try to alleviate your baby’s pain using these methods:

1. Move your baby to a different position

Changing your baby’s position may help to remove the gas in your baby’s tummy. For instance, getting your baby to sit up or move a little may be effective in clearing the gas in their stomach.

2. Massage them

You can lay your little one down and move their legs back and forth, in a cycling motion. This helps to slowly move the gas out of your baby’s tummy.

3. Check your feeding position

Ensure that you’re holding your little one right ― their head should supported and held above their tummy. Dr Low says, “If baby is held at a higher inclined angle, it may reduce swallowing of air”. He also suggests that you check if your little one is latching on properly.

Also, when feeding your baby with the milk bottle, ensure that you are positioning the bottle in a way that the nipple has no air and is filled with milk.

If baby is held at a higher inclined angle, it may reduce swallowing of air”.

4. Burp them after feeding

After feeding your baby, burping them helps to get the gas out. If your baby is really gassy, you can stop the feeding to burp them.

5. Change the equipment you use

Changing the teat to a slower-flow one helps to reduce the amount of gas formed, as it will ensure your baby isn’t gulping down the milk.

6. Warm bath

You’ll probably agree that warm baths are a great way to relax, your baby is no exception. Giving your baby a warm bath will also soothe them. Add a little lavender oil as well to calm your little one down.

7. Feed your baby before they get really hungry

Feeding your little one before they start crying in hunger can prevent your baby from getting too gassy. This is because in the process of crying for food, your baby ends up taking in a lot of air.

8. Medication

If your tot is in great pain and seems really unsettled, causing your and your family’s stress to spike, too, Dr Low suggests getting medical advice. He says that “if a medical condition is excluded, many parents will feel more re-assured and calm”. He also notes that if necessary, medicine will be prescribed if your little one has reflux or colic, or is lactose intolerant.

Photos: iStock

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