New parents often do not realize some of the foods they offer their children are actually baby foods that cause gas. But should you eliminate gassy food from the baby’s diet? How do you recognize gassiness?
If you aren’t sure which foods cause infant gas, you can think of it this way: the same foods that make you gassy can do the same for your baby. But the list of gassy foods for babies is longer because babies might process the food slower than you.
Take breast milk, for example. It includes the best nutrients in a baby’s diet but still can result in your little ones passing gas and being fussy. The gas trouble becomes worse once you introduce solid foods? So, what should your child eat?
Keep reading to find out the baby foods that cause gas and what to do about them!
Passing gas is completely normal in infants, and can start quite early — a few weeks after birth. The reason isn’t always foods that cause gas in infants, but their immature digestive system and swallowed air.
Some babies are sensitive to certain food types they ingest either by solid foods or through breastfeed milk and a mother’s diet .
So, if you are wondering, “Can breast milk cause gas?”, the answer is yes. The baby might be lactose intolerant or have a milk allergy, or the reason is windy foods that the mom ate prior to breastfeeding.
Gas inducing foods in a mother’s diet are spicy foods, kale, spinach, beans, onions, peppers, garlic, and others . Therefore, if you notice your baby is gassy after breastfeeding, you might want to avoid these foods that cause gas in newborns, and see how your baby’s tummy reacts.
Luckily, not all babies are sensitive to foods mom eats.
But, a baby gassy after starting solids is another common issue. The baby’s digestive system is adjusting to processing different solid foods and new ingredients you are slowly introducing to the baby’s diet.
The list of foods that cause gas in babies isn’t definitive. So, one baby might be more sensitive to beans, while the other might be gassy after eating dairy products, certain fruits or cereals.
Keep reading to find out what foods give babies gas and how to tell if the baby is gassy.
Imagine how easy it would be if the little ones could speak about tummy pain, gas and stomach discomfort! Because it is impossible, parents need to learn how to interpret changes in a baby’s behavior to understand what is bothering their newborn.
Here is a list of symptoms that indicates the baby is gassy.
If a baby’s tummy is hard and swollen, and he or she hasn’t pooped for two days or more, the reason can be gas or constipation. But, in case of a swollen tummy, I always recommend calling a pediatrician, as it can be the symptom of other problems as well.
If the baby is fussy, squirms and cries whatever you do, in addition to other symptoms on this list, it is probably a sign of gas trouble.
You can try massaging the tummy, to help the baby pass gases and ease discomfort.
A sudden change of appetite can signal a few things. Sometimes after giving foods that make babies gassy, the baby might temporarily lose appetite or spit out foods from dislike instead of eating like usual. Also, it can be a normal phase of development after three or four months, as older babies don’t need as many nutrients as infants.
Trapped air, as one of the causes of gas, can affect a baby’s sleep. If that happens, let the baby sleep on the tummy under supervision, it might help relieve gas.
After eating gassy baby foods, little ones can have cramps and gases. Their instinct is to lift legs, twist the body, move their knees towards the chest. It is an instinctive baby’s reaction that helps them pass gas.
Monitor the baby for gas and long burps after meals. Burping is normal and recommended after a meal. But if it happens repeatedly, it might be because of the trapped air and gases.
Ultimately, if you are unaware of what foods cause gas in babies, you might notice a pattern after feeding certain foods. The baby might be nervous throughout the day, and might not enjoy what he or she previously enjoyed. In this case, something is probably bothering the baby.
If you notice other symptoms from the list, alongside the change in the behavior, gassiness might be the cause.
Symptoms of gas could start after two hours of giving foods that give babies gas, or if mother’s breast milk is “gassier” than it should be . It might be passing gases, belching, discomfort, cramps or other symptoms from the list I described above.
But two hours isn’t a definitive rule, some babies might be gassy sooner if they swallow too much air during feeding, while others might need more than two hours to digest food.
All the foods from the list are healthy and rich in beneficial nutrients important for early growth and development. Therefore, you don’t have to eliminate these foods from the baby’s diet, just reduce the intake if you notice the baby is gassy.
Here is the list of gassy foods for babies.
Pears are sweet and all babies love pear puree. The sweetness comes from fruit sugar — fructose, which can be difficult to digest for babies and adults, and cause gas and bloating.
Sorbitol, a substance that many sweet fruits (both dried and fresh) contain. This includes apricots, which make it super gassy. But, apricots contain another substance that a baby’s body converts to vitamin A. Don’t go overboard with apricots if the baby is gassy. Consider giving it to them as a treat once in a while instead!
Prune causes gas for the same reason as apricots — sorbitol. But, if you make prune juice or rehydrate dried prunes and give the water to the baby, it might actually help with constipation. Babies digest prune juice easier than fresh or dried prunes.
Squash is great for solid food introduction, as it offers a variety of flavors and textures for babies to explore. Parents usually offer squash as one of the food choices that is great for baby-led weaning sessions. However, because it dissolves slower, it can cause bloating and gas in babies.
Broccoli is considered a superfood, because of its highly beneficial effect on babies’ and adults’ health. But, it can also be the reason why a baby is gassy during the entire afternoon after the meal. Because of the high fiber content, broccoli is one of the top foods that cause gas.
If you choose cauliflower as your first solid food, congratulations, good choice! Cauliflower supports organ function, but the side effect is gas. The baby might need more time to digest it, so it is one of the foods to avoid for gassy babies. Maybe include it in meals occasionally.
Here is how to make cauliflower for a baby trying solids for the first time!
Asparagus is super gassy and can be difficult to process for young babies. So, wait until the baby is older to introduce it. It contains high levels of folate to promote overall health, but start with small amounts to prevent gassiness and help the baby digest it.
Peas make great overall food for babies. But, do peas cause gas in babies? Unfortunately, peas can be the most common reason for fussy and gassy babies because of the complex sugar raffinose which little tummies have trouble digesting. But, peas can also help some babies with constipation, so make sure not to eliminate peas from the baby’s diet!
You can start giving oatmeals to your baby as soon as the baby reaches six months. Oatmeals are fulfilling food and promote a healthy appetite. But, oat cereals can actually cause gas. It may continue to cause gas until the babies get used to processing single grain food like cereals. Constipation and gas can occur after giving oatmeals for the first time.
Brussel sprouts have high levels of antioxidants, fiber and ALA Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Too bad they cause gases and bloating! But, occasional Brussell sprouts meals are excellent in varied diets and shouldn’t be left out because of gassiness.
Watch the video and find out how to prepare delicious baby food out with brussel sprouts!
Cabbage is one of the foods that cause gas in breastfed babies when a mother includes it in her diet. When pureed in baby food, once you start giving solids to the baby, cabbage will most likely cause stomach distension. The high fiber content in cabbage will keep the baby full, but gassy at the same time!
Figs are heavy on the stomach, and the baby’s body might struggle to digest them, which will cause gassiness. But, figs have great health benefits such as antimicrobial properties. Therefore, you can add a fig or two when preparing baby food from other ingredients to reduce gassiness and still have fig benefits.
Kale is one of the healthiest foods for babies because of vitamins A, C, L, and high calcium levels. But, kale is known for bloating properties and gassiness. It can cause gas for breastfed babies and babies on a solid food diet. You can mix it with bananas or other foods to reduce bloating.
Onion is the most versatile ingredient you can add to baby food for flavors and texture, but it comes with a downfall. Onion has been reported to cause fussiness and gas in babies. However, some babies don’t have issues with onions, because they contain fibers and probiotics, which might help some babies digest other foods easier. Other juniors might find them too heavy for their digestive systems.
Spinach is such a healthy food, but most children despise it. At an early age, spinach causes gas, burping, bloating, cramps, and other symptoms of discomfort in babies. Older children don’t like it because of the taste and texture.
But, if you want your baby to be as strong as Popeye the Sailor, don’t give up on spinach too easily! Prepare some infant gas drops after the spinach meal, and if your kids hate eating it, here’s a guide on effective ways to make them accept veggies into their diet!
Many mothers monitor the foods that make breastfed babies gassy and wonder if something they ate causes discomfort to the baby. In short, if the mother is gassy, gas cannot pass to the baby through breastmilk, so a gassy mother doesn’t mean a gassy baby.
While the mother digests the food, certain proteins enter the blood and end up in breast milk. Some of these proteins may cause gas and tummy pain in babies. As I mentioned earlier, usual suspects for gassy babies caused by mother’s diet are spicy food, kale, beans, etc.
Still, it isn’t the rule. Some babies aren’t sensitive to proteins from their mother’s diet released through the digestion process, and they won’t experience any issues despite their mother’s diet.
Remember, gassiness is a normal phase in your baby’s development. During that phase, the formula might cause more gassiness than breastmilk, because it is artificial. According to Kellymom, babies on formula have more gas and are often colicky. To resolve that, you can opt for milk formula made for gassy babies.
Another reason for the baby’s tummy issues after feeding might be an allergy to proteins in milk. You should check with your pediatrician to confirm the allergy before changing the diet on your own.
In short, babies with milk allergies have additional symptoms other than gas and digestive issues, including skin rash and fever-like symptoms. Once the pediatrician confirms allergy, you will probably be advised to switch to a soy-based formula or other hypo-allergenic products. When choosing soy-based formula for the baby, look for Non-GMO labels to reduce the number of chemicals the baby takes in.
While some foods have the reputation of causing gas, not all babies and adults will experience the same discomfort. Just because other babies have gassiness and bloating after eating some foods, it doesn’t mean that your baby will struggle to digest them too.
Some foods like broccoli and spinach have helpful nutrients essential for the development and growth of babies older than six months. Therefore, slowly introduce gassy foods and observe your baby’s reaction. Reduce the amount of gassy food you feed your baby if necessary, and mix them with other foods that are easier to digest.
If your baby is very gassy from formula already, and you are worried that introducing solid foods will make things worse, you can consult your pediatrician to clear out doubts about certain foods.
So, what foods make babies gassy? Most likely leafy green vegetables and fruit with complex sugars might be heavy on little tummies. My trick for cooking gassy foods is to add a pinch of fresh ginger to reduce bloating and gassiness, though some parents try gripe water on their babies to remedy the potential gassy tummy issues.
Did you find the answers you were looking for? If you have more questions, feel free to ask!
What foods make your baby gassy? Do you have some tips that help your baby overcome gases? Please share them in the comment section or @babyjourney0183 on Pinterest, other parents might find them useful!