Infant Gas: How to Prevent and Treat It
Over-the-Counter (OTC) Treatments
“There are several OTC medications available to help with a gassy baby,” says Jenna Faircloth, PharmD, BCPS. She's a clinical specialist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio.
Faircloth suggests you check with your doctor or pharmacist before using an OTC med to make sure the drug won’t interact with something else your baby is taking, that she isn’t allergic to anything in it, and that you give the correct dose.
You can try these OTC remedies for infant gas, but there’s no clear research that they work:
- Gas drops (simethicone or Mylicon)
- Gripe water (varying mixtures of herbs and water)
Infant Gas and Colic
During the first 4 months of life, colic is defined as crying for 3 hours, for more than 3 days a week, for more than 3 weeks. Gas does not cause colic, but colicky babies may swallow more air, giving them more gas.
When Should You Worry?
Contact the doctor right away if your baby has any of these symptoms:
- Constipation, bloody stools, or vomiting. This could mean a serious digestive problem.
- Extreme fussiness. If your baby is happy, there’s probably nothing to worry about. If you can’t get her to calm down, she needs to be checked by a doctor.
- Fever. If your baby has a rectal temperature of 100.4 F or higher, a doctor needs to rule out infection. If your baby is under 2 months of age, she needs to be seen immediately. “In rare cases, infant gas can be the first symptom of a more serious gastrointestinal condition,” says Faircloth.
Remember: Infant gas is normal and treatable. As your baby’s digestive tract grows, the gas will become less of a problem for both of you.