After you safely brought your little one home and things began to settle, you probable got in to a nice routine.
But one thing you may not have been expecting is your little one to pass wind as often as they do!
Many new parents wonder what causes babies to fart a lot, and whether this is normal.
Generally it’s perfectly normal for babies to fart lots, primarily because their digestive system is still developing.
But excess gas might be uncomfortable for your baby, so let’s take a look at 10 reasons why babies fart so much, and what you can do to help your baby and reduce their gas.
Table of Contents
- Why Does My Baby Fart So Much?
- Are Breastfed Babies More Gassy?
- Do Colic Babies Fart A Lot?
- Breastfed Baby Farts Smell Bad
- Why Do Babies Fart So Loud?
Why Does My Baby Fart So Much?
1. Mom’s Diet
If your baby is breastfed then what you eat directly impacts your little one.
There are some foods out there that naturally lead us to produce more gas, thanks to their high levels of sulphur.
Foods like beans, broccoli, cauliflower, onion, garlic, kale and Brussel sprouts may not only cause mom to pass wind more, but they may do the same for baby too via your breast milk.
2. Baby’s Diet
If your little one is past the aged of 6 months and has started weaning, then their diet may also be causing them to pass wind a lot.
Again, it’s worth thinking about how many of the foods above your baby is eating, in addition to other baby-friendly vegetables and meat (which babies can safely eat several times per week), as both these food groups can give babies wind.
These foods tend not to have too much of an affect on adults.
But when your little one, who has a developing digestive system (more on this shortly) eats them, they may fart a lot more than a grown up.
3. Allergies or Milk Intolerance
Breast milk and formula both contain lactose, which is basically a sugar or carbohydrate.
Consuming lactose is important for babies, because it aids in the absorption of calcium and supports the growth of good bacteria in your baby’s intestinal tract.
However, lactose may be difficult for your baby to digest, thanks to their developing digestive system, and this may be causing them to fart a lot.
If you think your baby has a genuine intolerance to lactose you should speak with your pediatrician.
But it’s worth noting that according to the AAP, lactose intolerances are actually quite rare in babies, and don’t usually develop until a child is 3 years of age.
4. Developing Digestive System
When babies are young their digestive system is still developing.
This makes it more challenging for your child to fully and easily digest the proteins, fats and carbohydrates in the food they are served, which includes formula or breast milk.
While food such as beans, broccoli, eggs, meat, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, onions and garlic might only have a slight affect on an adult’s digestive system, they may cause a baby to fart a lot.
5. Feeding Techniques
A lot of gas in babies could be down to how they are fed.
You probably know it’s important to burp your baby after every feed, given they cannot burp themselves, which may take up to 9 months.
But it’s also important to ensure there are no bubbles or air in the nipple of their bottle, as ingesting air is a common source of gas in infants.
Poor latching, feeding too fast and feeding too often could also cause a lot of wind (more on these below).
Finally, a helpful tip when preparing formula is that after it’s mixed with your chosen type of water and shaken, you should let the contents settle a little to reduce some of the air bubbles in the bottle.
When babies cry they swallow a lot of air, and unfortunately once this air enters their system it need to eventually get out, and often this via a fart.
It’s easy to forget that just like mom and dad, babies can get stressed too.
You may be aware that adults experience gas (burps or farts) when feeling anxious, and your baby is no different.
8. Poor Latch
If you are breastfeeding your child and they are experiencing a lot of gas, it’s worth checking out their latch.
What you’re looking for is a latch that is deep and tight, because otherwise your baby may take in a lot of air with their milk, and as mentioned above taking in air leads to excess gas.
9. Drinking Too Fast
Something you may not have necessarily thought about is how long your baby’s feeds take.
A breast feeding session for a newborn could take up to 40 minutes in total, so if your baby is gulping down formula or breast milk from a bottle in a much shorter time frame, this may be causing excessive wind.
One solution to reduce baby gas could be slow pacing your feeds or using a slow flow nipple, which should reduce the amount of air your baby swallows during their feed.
10. Feeding Too Often
Did you know that not all of your breast milk is created equal?
Foremilk is what your baby drinks at the start of the feed, followed by hindmilk later on.
The interesting thing about foremilk is that is contains more lactose, which is not always easily digestible.
So if your child has a lot of short, infrequent feeds, then they may have a foremilk imbalance, and this could be the cause of their gas.
Some tips for correcting this foremilk vs hindmilk imbalance and reducing baby gas include increasing the amount of time your baby is on each breast before switching, and expressing a small amount of milk before the your little one starts their feed.
Are Breastfed Babies More Gassy?
There is no definitive answer either way as to whether breasted babies are more gassy than formula-fed babies.
But if you are breastfeeding your baby and they are experiencing a lot of wind and farting often, there may be some good reasons for this.
Your baby essentially easts what you eat via your breast milk, and this means that if you are eating foods that naturally result in more gas, or foods that don’t agree with your child , then your baby is exposed to these too.
Breast milk contains around 7% lactose, and as we saw above, lactose can be difficult for some babies to fully digest.
Imbalanced feeds (where your baby consumes more foremilk than hindmilk) could also be causing your child to feed on greater amounts of lactose, and this may lead to more wind.
Finally, if your baby is not latching on to your breast properly, then they may be taking in a lot of air, which will need to come out in the form of gas (and farts in particular).
Do Colic Babies Fart A Lot?
The simple answer is that yes, colic babies may have a lot of infant gas and fart frequently.
The key thing to note here is that gas does not cause colic, it’s the other way around.
So if you baby has colic and cries a lot, then taking in and swallowing a lot of air may result in more gas.
Breastfed Baby Farts Smell Bad
As we covered in a previous article, it’s not uncommon for breastfed babies to have gas that smell bad.
If your breastfed baby is letting off gas that smells like rotten eggs, there’s a good chance the reason is either your diet or your baby’s developing digestive system.
Eating foods that are high in sulphur, such as beef, eggs, beans and cauliflower, could therefore be causing your baby’s farts to smell bad, and to even smell like rotten eggs.
Why Do Babies Fart So Loud?
When a baby lets out a loud fart it normally amuses everyone within earshot give it’s funny, unexpected and undeniably cute!
But why exactly do babies pass wind so loudly?
There is no medical reason as to why babies fart loudly, so the only plausible reason seems to be because babies have no filter or restraint, and when they need to pass wind, they let loose and really go for it!