Everyone’s experienced the discomfort of gas pains.
Whether you or your little one, you’ve been there and done that.
But what about when discomfort goes beyond comfort and becomes pain? Have you ever experienced gas pains? What about your child?
It’s NO fun. It hurts… especially when you’re little and you don’t know that it’s “just gas”.
A lot of times, we, as parents, can experience simple issues like gas for ourselves and we know how to deal with it, but when it comes to our baby or child dealing with it, we’re at a loss for what to do to help them.
Have you felt this way? I know I have.
So today, I wanna share what’s actually going on in your and your child’s gut when you’re dealing with gas and then give you some tips on how to help both of you through it.
6 Reasons Why Your Child Could Have Gas
Gas is caused by a lot of different things. Below is a list of some of the most common causes.
- swallowing air
- medical conditions (yeast overgrowth, Chron’s disease, esophageal problems, tongue/lip ties, etc.)
- medication/supplement side effects (antibiotics, processed foods, artificial sweeteners, etc.)
As far as the big culprit that is most likely causing you or your little to have gas… 9 times out of 10, it’s a digestive issue that involves diet.
Carbohydrates are made up of long sugar chains called polysaccharides, and they’re difficult for the body to digest. Lactose in milk can also be a common culprit. Even some fruits and veggies can cause gas in some people. Interesting enough, though, fats and proteins are the least gas-causing foods you can eat. Hummm…
From my research, it seems that everyone can be sensitive to different kinds of foods. You just have to pay attention to what triggers this in you and work with it. I personally wouldn’t say to stop eating the foods that give you gas right off the bat. Try a different approach at first. More on that below.
Babies & Gas
Now when it comes to babies and gas, they’re going to have more problems than you or I would especially when they’re being introduced to solids. First of all, their bodies aren’t used to digesting anything but milk. When you introduce solids, you’re shocking their system a bit. That’s why you do it slowly… a little here, a little there. Over time their body will learn how to handle that food, and you’ll be blessed with a less gassy baby and some horrific poops!
Children & Gas
I remember my sister-in-law telling me once that her oldest child scared her half to death with this once. I think my niece was 5 or 6 at the time. She woke up in the middle of the night screaming and crying, holding her stomach, and saying that it hurt so bad. My sister-in-law didn’t know what to do. She was afraid that she had appendicitis or something! I honestly can’t remember what she ended up doing. I know she waited until morning and took her to the doctor where they told her it was just gas, and yes… after a little more time and most likely some peppermint tea… her gas pains went away and she was as good as new.
You may have had a similar experience as this. When it comes to children dealing with gas, they don’t know what’s going on. All they know is that it hurts… badly. If they’ve never dealt with it before, it can feel like they’re dying. That’s scary to you as mom because you can’t feel what they feel. All you can do is go by what they say. And if your kid is anything like some of the kids I know (mine included), they can be very dramatic when they hurt whether it’s from a little scrape or full blown stomach cramps which can make it difficult to tell how bad off they really are.
How To Help Deal With Gas Pains Naturally
So now let’s talk about some way to deal with gas pains that are related to diet.
It’s thought that increasing the beneficial bacteria in the gut can help with this issue (see Nourished Kitchen’s prebiotics and probiotics post), as well as trying to soak your grains or buy products that are sprouted. This process starts the breakdown process and can help your body with digestion.
Here’s a great post from The Nourishing Home on how to soak grains for optimal nutrition, and here is another great post from Nourishing Days that shares her experience with soaking grains, nuts, and seeds – and what happened when she didn’t.
Another thing would be to look into digestive enzymes you and your child can take when you eat food that normally causes excess gas.
Lastly, let’s talk about herbal teas here. This is great for adults, babies, and children… even grandma. There are several herbs that help with digestion and ease tummy woes, but here are my favorite… not in order of preference.
Each of these herbs is time tested and have proven themselves over and over in aiding digestion and helping to relieve the pains of gas. My recommendation would be to start with one of the above herbs and give it a try. If it doesn’t work, switch to a different one. They all act in different ways so start with one instead of combining them all… especially if you’re giving them to your baby and she’s never had it before. If you wanna hear about another mama’s experience with using herbal tea to help her babies gas, check out the lovely Stephanie over at Keeper Of The Home and her post, Herbs For The Fussy Baby.
Fast & Cleanse
Another great thing you can do for yourself or your little one is to take a break from gas causing foods for a bit. Don’t give up on them forever. A period of fasting can go a long way. It can give you time to cleanse your system and then slowly introduce those foods back into the system.
This break allows your body to heal itself or to get stronger without the irritant to deal with. Focusing on things that aid in good digestion (above comments) or work to clean the colon via gentle methods safe for you and your little one if need be.
What About Colic?
No some of you mamas may be reading this saying, “But my baby doesn’t have normal gas problems. He has colic. What can I do to deal with this?”, and so my answer to you is this.
Colic is dealt very similarly to the above options you have. From my research, the main difference is that colic is more of an all-the-time ongoing problem until the babies digestive system matures (although it can be caused by other things like acid reflux as well – this would result in different treatment options) whereas regular gas is a here and there issue.
I found this great site called Colic Calm and they have a fabulous article on colic, complete with an interactive chart to help you understand causes and natural treatments. Check it out here.
As for treatment… try the above options, try the 5 S’s, check with your doctor to rule out any other causes of the colic other than poor digestion such as GERD or allergies.
Gas is a bummer for us, and it’s a bummer when our kids have to deal with it. But, the good news is that you can deal with it. You have options that you can try and see if you can work through it. Research further. Ask other’s what they’ve done that works. Experiment and see what you come up with.
The choice is yours. Again, you’re in charge of your health and your child’s health. As moms, we want to make our babies feel better. This is one way we can do that.