Toddler gas can be no fun for you or your little one. For them, it can lead to discomfort and fussiness, and for you, the pressure to help soothe it can cause stress or worry. Let’s walk through what gas is and where it comes from.
What is gas discomfort?
Gas can be located throughout the belly area and can lead to cramping or bloating. It can commonly be associated with side effect of toddler indigestion. Usually, this discomfort comes and goes over the course of a few hours. While gas can happen at any time of day, toddler gas discomfort at night can disrupt sleep patterns (and toddler’s need sleep for healthy growth!). Day or night, it’s important to identify the cause(s) to proactively remedy it!
Why does gas discomfort happen?
Toddlers can get gas discomfort from constipation or digestive issues, certain food triggers, sugary foods and drinks, overeating, or excessive swallowed air (due to a crying episode or distracted eating). If the GI tract is struggling to break down foods or liquids, much of what was consumed can sit in the intestines undigested. As the food ferments, it releases gas.
How do I know if gas is the issue?
A “stomachache” can mean anything in your toddler’s world, but if it appears that their discomfort is coming in waves, there’s a chance that it’s due to gas. Indications of gas discomfort include bloating or distension of the stomach, flatulence, and burping. Because gas and constipation can often go hand in hand, constipation could be an indicator that the tummy issues are actually gas discomfort, as well. Of course, always seek professional medical attention if you’re concerned.
Which foods could lead to gas discomfort?
Certain foods can irritate a toddler’s bowels, leading to gas and gas discomfort. Your toddler could have trouble digesting complex carbohydrates like beans, potatoes, and barely, as well as fried, fatty foods like French fries. Toddlers’ digestive systems are still growing, and when food can’t be broken down, it sits and ferments in the gut, causing gas.
Common culprits that can lead to gas include apples, bananas, peaches, prunes, cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts), and wheat. Before cutting any foods out, keep a food diary to identify the potential offender and/or incorporate a toddler nutritional drink designed to help ease gas.
How can I help ease my toddler’s gas discomfort?
There are some simple steps that you can take to try to soothe a gassy toddler (like tummy massages) and lifestyle changes (like distraction-free mealtimes) that could minimize future flatulence. Learn about how to help soothe toddler gas here.