Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Font Size
A
A
A

Abdominal Gas and Colic - Topic Overview

Some people have problems digesting milk protein or milk sugar (lactose intolerance). But these problems are very rare in babies. Until your doctor can evaluate your baby, it is usually not advisable to switch formula or stop breast-feeding as a means to remedy suspected food digestion problems.

A vast majority of babies diagnosed with colic do not have health problems that affect digestion. But many things can cause some degree of abdominal gas, which can make crying worse.

Causes of gas

  • Swallowing air when sucking. A baby may swallow excess air during bottle-feeding if he or she drinks too rapidly or is lying down or if the nipple has holes that are too big. If you bottle-feed your baby, use nipples with holes large enough to drip cold formula at 1 drop each second. For more information, see the topics Breast-Feeding and Bottle-Feeding.
  • Swallowing air when crying. A baby who cries for an extended period of time, especially if the crying is intense, can swallow extra air.
  • Position. Babies may trap intestinal gas while lying on their backs. Babies should always sleep on their backs to reduce the risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). But when your baby is awake, you may help prevent or relieve some belly discomfort by holding your baby upright or allowing some "tummy time" while you closely supervise.
  • Improper feeding. Giving certain foods to your baby may lead him or her to have excess gas. If the doctor thinks your baby's food is a source of gas, he or she may recommend a change in what you are feeding your child.
    • Wait to give your baby cow's milk until he or she is 12 months of age. Cow's milk protein can be hard for a baby's body to break down. And cow's milk has less iron and vitamins than babies need.
    • Many babies younger than 4 months of age can't digest the starch in cereals.
    • Juice may cause a baby to have excess gas. If you choose to give your child juice, it's best to wait until he or she is at least 6 months old and to give only a small amount.

Relieving gas

  • Use the proper position during feeding. Feed your baby in a partially upright position, and put him or her in a baby seat for about 15 to 30 minutes after feeding. Be sure to burp your baby during and after feeding.
  • Massage your baby. Lay your baby on his or her abdomen across your lap and massage his or her back after feeding.

If your child's doctor suggests medicine to reduce gas, use it exactly as prescribed.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
1
Next Article:

Abdominal Gas and Colic Topics

Today on WebMD

man holding his stomach
Get the facts on common problems.
blueberries in a palm
Best and worst foods.
 
woman shopping
Learn what foods to avoid.
fresh and dried plums
Will it help constipation?
 
diverticuliltis illustration
Slideshow
couple eating at cafe
Article
 
sick child
Slideshow
Woman blowing bubble gum
Slideshow
 

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Woman with crohns in pain
Slideshow
Woman with stomach pain
Slideshow
 
diet for diverticulitis
Video
what causes diarrhea
Video