Some causes of gas in toddlers include use of antibiotic medications, lactose intolerance, eating foods that increase flatulence, not chewing food thoroughly, swallowing large amounts of air while eating or drinking and not drinking enough water.
Immature digestive tract that results in rapid movement of the food through the digestive tract, not allowing adequate time for absorption is another common reason behind gas in small children.
If your toddler suffers from gas pain, a few simple steps and home remedies are all you need to prevent and tackle it. If the problem persists for a few days, consult a doctor to determine if there is an underlying cause that needs medical attention.
Asafetida is an excellent gas pain reliever due to its antispasmodic and antiflatulent properties. It also aids in digestion.
• Dissolve a pinch of asafetida powder in 1 tablespoon of warm water. Apply it around child’s navel in a clockwise motion. Reapply as needed.
• You can also put a small amount of asafetida powder into a mashed ripe banana and give it to your child to eat it a few times a day.
• If you are breastfeeding the child, add ½ teaspoon of asafetida powder to a glass of warm water and drink it twice daily.
Engaging your child in moderate exercise will also ensure smooth digestion. An active child will have fewer gas-related problems like stomach pain and constipation.
• Exercise your child’s legs in a gentle cycling motion between feedings. This creates pressure on the stomach to help expel gas.
• Encourage your child to engage in moderate exercises like walking, running, jogging and dancing.
There should be a gap of at least one hour between feeding and exercise. Also, do not allow your child to lie down immediately after eating.
Massage is another good choice for the parents of a toddler who suffers from gas pain. Massaging the stomach will help relieve the trapped gas out of the intestine.
1. Rub some warm olive or mustard oil on your hands.
2. Gently massage the toddler’s tummy in a clockwise direction for 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Then massage the back for 2 minutes to help relieve gas and promote sleep.
4. Repeat several times a day.
4. Warm Compress
A warm compress can bring immense relief from gas pain in toddlers. The warm temperature will help expel gas and make the baby relax.
1. Soak a soft towel in hot water and squeeze out the excess water.
2. Place the warm towel on your child’s tummy.
3. When the towel cools down, replace it with a new warm one.
4. Repeat the process 3 or 4 times.
5. Use this remedy a few times a day.
Note: Avoid using a hot water bottle or heating pad on children.
Fennel is highly beneficial in relieving digestive problems like gas in babies. It has carminative and antispasmodic properties that help trapped gas to dissipate and relieve the pain. It also prevents gas from forming.
• Boil 1½ teaspoons of fennel seeds in 4 cups of water for 10 minutes. Let it cool and give it to your baby in small doses 2 or 3 times throughout the day. Breastfeeding mothers can also drink this decoction.
• If your child can chew fennel seeds, then give ½ teaspoon of roasted fennel seeds a few times a day.
Chamomile is a good remedy for common stomach ailments like gas pain in small children as it contains chemicals that help reduce intestinal gas. This herb also helps relax the muscles in the digestive tract, in turn improving digestion and preventing gas formation.
1. Add ½ teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers to a cup of hot water.
2. Cover and steep for 10 minutes.
3. Strain, add a little raw honey and allow it to cool to room temperature.
4. Give your child 1 to 2 teaspoons of this tea several times a day.
Breastfeeding mothers can drink a cup of chamomile tea 2 or 3 times a day.
7. Cumin Seeds
An Ayurvedic remedy for gas pain in toddlers is cumin seeds. Cumin seeds stimulate digestion and prevent the formation of gas.
1. Boil 1 cup of water with ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds for 5 minutes.
2. Allow the water to cool and then give 1 tablespoon of this solution to your child a few times a day.
If your child suffers from gas pain, increase his fluid intake. The digestive tract functions more smoothly when the body gets an adequate amount of fluid. It will also help expel gas and prevent constipation.
• Make sure your child drinks enough water throughout the day. If possible, give your child warm water to drink as it aids digestion.
• In addition to water, you can also give fresh fruit juice, clear soup and cold milk to your child.
• You can give flavored water to your child, but only after consulting your doctor.
Avoid fizzy drinks like soda that can worsen the condition.
9. Fiber-rich Foods
To prevent gas from developing, include fiber-rich foods in your child’s diet. Fiber aids the digestion process and helps food move faster through the intestines. It also helps prevent constipation.
• Some of the best fiber-rich foods for children are bran, whole grains, berries, celery, squash, and oranges.
• Avoid giving your child too many refined and processed foods, which have had the natural fiber removed.
Breastfeeding mothers should also include fiber-rich foods in their diet.
10. Eliminate the Triggers
Certain foods may make your child more prone to gas and stomach pain. Identifying and eliminate these foods from your child’s diet.
• Some foods that can cause gas are cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, beans, onions, peas, pears, peaches and prunes. Avoid feeding your child these common trigger foods.
• Avoid foods that are high in fat and sugar. They are unhealthy and can lead to gas.
• If milk and milk products cause gas, avoid them for 1 or 2 days.
• Do not allow your child to drink soda and carbonated drinks.
• Breastfeeding mothers should avoid hot and spicy foods.
• Gently hold your child’’s feet up for a few minutes to help expel stomach gas.
• Avoid solid foods for a few hours. Give your child small amounts of mild and bland foods like rice, applesauce or crackers.
• Do not allow your child to chew gum, suck on hard candies or drink through a straw if he is prone to gas or experiencing gas pain.
• Slowly introduce probiotic yogurt into your child’s diet to improve digestion and prevent gas.
• Give your child enzyme-rich foods like 1 or 2 slices of pineapple, grapefruit or papaya to improve digestion.
• Do not give any medicine to your child without first consulting a doctor.