Gas is a quite common problem among toddlers and rarely a cause for concern. But when gas does not pass easily, it leads to pain and other symptoms that parents understandably want to alleviate as quickly as possible.
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.
The first sign of gas pain in a toddler is crying that is sharper, more intense and frantic than their typical cry. In addition, the toddler will be more fussy than usual and may draw his legs up toward the belly, not want to eat, have difficulty sleeping and not have a smooth bowel movement. You may also notice more flatulence and burping than usual.
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.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for gas pain in toddlers.
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.
- Rub some warm olive or mustard oil on your hands.
- Gently massage the toddler’s tummy in a clockwise direction for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Then massage the back for 2 minutes to help relieve gas and promote sleep.
- 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.
- Soak a soft towel in hot water and squeeze out the excess water.
- Place the warm towel on your child’s tummy.
- When the towel cools down, replace it with a new warm one.
- Repeat the process 3 or 4 times.
- 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.
- Add ½ teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers to a cup of hot water.
- Cover and steep for 10 minutes.
- Strain, add a little raw honey and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- 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.