Last evening, little Aanya and I were busy playing Lego when all of a sudden Aanya said, “Mama, tummy full!”
Before I could say, “Yes baby, after drinking a whole glass of milk and eating half of a giant apple, your tummy should be full”, she started passing wind in quick succession.
After a few seconds, she smiled at me. It was full of relief, nonchalance and accomplishment (I am still not sure why the latter, anyways who can say anything with these kids).
Then she announced, “Mama, Aanya farted, farted.” I couldn’t control my laughter thereafter.
But on a serious note, gas is a common problem with kids starting from infancy.
Here are a few ways you can avoid/minimize gas problems in your child:
- It’s true that formula-fed babies are more prone to gas than their breast-fed counterparts. But then breast-fed babies also have their ‘windy’ episodes. May be that’s the reason why new mothers are advised to avoid certain foods for a few months or till the time they are feeding the child. Avoid spices and caffeine.
- After each nursing/feeding till the time they are six months old, put the baby on your shoulder and pat his back till he/she burps. It’s very important that the baby burps as they take in a lot of air while sucking.
- Put your baby on her back, hold her legs in either hand and move them as if cycling and now touch her feet on her head. If she is bloated, she will definitely pass gas. But be prepared for some other kind of accident too. So better sit with wet wipes/wet cotton wool.
- Give your baby some tummy time each day. Put her on her tummy and let her move (usually they look like tiny tortoises finding their way around. LOL).
- Once your baby starts crawling/walking, make sure she indulges in a bit of physical exercise daily. Make her crawl and walk around in the house.
- Avoid giving lentils and beans particularly chhola and rajma, cabbage, radish to your toddler/preschooler in the evenings.
- Earlier babies were administered gripe water, but due to some controversies, doctors nowadays do not prescribe it.
- Avoid giving straw bottles to your toddler/child. When they suck the liquid, they also suck in a lot of air.
Home remedies for gas problems:
- Boil ajwain (carom seeds) in some water. When the water becomes half, cool it down. Give a spoonful of this water to your infant/toddler. In an infant, this water (may) lead to loose motion a couple of times. To an older child, give a little ajwain and salt and ask him to swallow with water.
- Make a paste of hing (asafoetida) and water. Apply this paste around your baby’s navel. It causes irritation, in case your baby starts crying, wipe it off immediately.
- Give home-made curds/crushed ginger or ginger water for aiding digestion.
If your infant suffers from colic due to gas on regular basis, you can resort to Colicaid or Colimed after talking to the pediatrician. But if your older child suffers from a constant windy bottom, check if he is lactose intolerant. Talk to the doctor.