Flatulence is gas accumulation in the intestine. They arise in babies, especially by increased air swallowing during feeding or by fermentation processes of food components in the context of digestion. These are naturally occurring gas mixtures of oxygen, nitrogen, methane, carbon dioxide and hydrogen.

They are transported with the chair in the direction of the rectum and can escape via this. Depending on the amount and gas composition, the bloating may cause pain or an unpleasant odor.


The causes of bloating in babies can be manifold. Most frequently, increased air ingestion during feeding leads to flatulence. Swallowing the baby namely by hastily drinking beside the mother's milk still air, this leads to an increased gas accumulation in the stomach. Normally, most of the gases can be absorbed through the gastrointestinal mucosa and then exhaled through the lungs. But if the proportion of gas is too large or if the air is trapped in the form of small bubbles in the food, the air reaches the intestine. The resulting flatulence is rather odorless.

Flushing becomes odor intensive only when their gas is in mixtures. The mixtures are mainly produced by fermentation processes during digestion. These are mainly due to naturally occurring intestinal bacteria, which decompose nutrients. It is mainly the breakdown of protein, which can lead to malodorous flatulence in the form of hydrogen sulfide, ammonia or butyric acid.

A diminished peristalsis promotes the development of flatulence, since the stool lingers longer at one point of the intestine. Bacteria thus have more time to produce gases from food components, which lead to an expansion of the intestinal loops. Visually, this manifests itself in the baby through a bloated, round belly. This is also often present when food intolerances are present. If food components such as lactose or fructose can not be digested, these nutrients remain in the intestinal lumen. Bacteria only accumulate and cause increased gas development.

Can breastfeeding be the cause of flatulence?

Breastfeeding can lead to bloating in the baby. One reason for this is the increased air swallowing during feeding. Especially with hasty drinking babies do not completely enclose the nipple or the suction attachment with their mouth, so that they swallow the breath as well as the milk. For this reason, a baby usually also makes a burin after eating, when you lightly pat it on your back after feeding.

If the gas can not be excreted via this route, it enters the intestine and is excreted through the rectum. Another reason may also be the incomplete maturation of the gastrointestinal system in the baby. Although the intestine is present as an organ at birth, it does not work like an adult. Only with the mother's milk and supplied food he gets in contact with nutrients for the first time and has to split the food independently.

This process needs to be learned and requires some practice. In addition, a colonization of the intestine with natural intestinal bacteria may be reduced. Bifidus and lactobacilli are important for a controlled digestion. The child receives this through contact with the outside environment and through the gift of breast milk. The task of the bacteria is in addition to the support of the immune system in the intestine, the breakdown of fiber. If this natural component is missing, additional bloating occurs.


The diagnosis of flatulence can also be a layman. It is important to know that flatulence is only a symptom and not an independent disease. The baby should be well monitored for the diagnosis in daily use.

If an increased gas leakage is noticed, this indicates flatulence. These can be both odorless and malodorous. The bloating is accompanied by a round, bulging belly and a possible restlessness, which results from concomitant abdominal pain.

Accompanying symptoms

Accompanying symptoms of bloating in the baby arise from the increased accumulation of gas in the intestine. The gas leads to an expansion of the affected intestinal loops, which shows in the baby in an increase in volume of the abdomen. Parents can thus often observe a round, bulging belly in the baby. If the dilation of the intestinal loops is very strong, this can lead to pain in the baby. If the intestinal mucosa is stretched too much, this leads to irritation of sensitive nerve endings. This irritation is processed as a pain signal.

Another symptom is also increased crying and moaning. Often, babies themselves try to get rid of the bloating. Feel the pain, instinctively tighten your legs and move restlessly from one side to the other. The effect is to move the intestinal loops and thus to transport the gases towards the rectum. The tightened legs unconsciously facilitate the exit of the gases.

Especially in the context of so-called "3 Monatskoliken" babies often show this behavior. It is noticeable that the babies relax after the escape of the gases almost simultaneously and behave completely inconspicuously. Any signs of inflammation and fever are not typical for flatulence. They speak for an infection.

When the flatulence stinks

Unpleasant-smelling flatulence in the baby is caused by intestinal bacteria, which break down proteins. The proteins pass through the breast milk or fed food into the intestine to the bacteria.

In contrast to odorless flatulence, gas mixtures such as hydrogen sulphide or ammonia are formed in small doses during the digestion of proteins. These are very odor intensive. But they are harmless and should not give cause for concern.

What can you do?

In itself, flatulence is harmless and should not give rise to intervention. Only when the baby makes a dissatisfied impression or even expresses pain, should be intervened with various measures. Most gentle is the gentle massage of the abdomen ( see also : baby massage). For this, the baby's stomach should be gently stroked in a clockwise direction with circular movements.

This stimulates the natural transport of bowel movements and gases and facilitates excretion. In addition, the baby should be allowed to move freely. Babies know instinctively how to help themselves with flatulence. A restless turning from one side to the next or an increased tightening of the legs suggests that the baby itself is trying to move its intestinal loops back and forth, thus loosening possible blockages in the intestine.

To some extent, this should be tolerated. However, if the baby is whiny or behaves conspicuously differently, one should intervene with home remedies or possibly medications. The baby should always apply the principle as gently as possible to support. Herbal preparations should therefore be given priority and their proposed dosage should always be adhered to. The form of administration is to be selected depending on individual tolerance and best effect in the baby. So it is up to the own experience with the baby if rather drops or suppositories should be preferred.

Drops against flatulence in the baby

Drops for flatulence are medicines with various active ingredients. In general, antispasmodic agents are distinguished from defoaming agents. Antispasmodics like Buscopan help to relax painful muscle cramps of the intestine.

In contrast, defoamers such as Lefax or sab simplex help to reduce the surface tension of gases in order to facilitate absorption via the gastrointestinal mucosa. The effect begins with this form of administration within half an hour.

Homeopathic remedies

Homeopathic remedies for flatulence are administered in the form of globules. In particular, globules containing the ingredients of chamomile have proven to be helpful. In the pharmacy they are available under the name Chamomilla. In addition, electrolytes in the form of magnesium can also help. They are available as magnesium phosphoricum. Both ingredients have an anticonvulsant effect and can help relieve mild bloating.

Somewhat more unknown are globules with Okoubaka. It is a primeval forest tree whose bark has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial ingredients. Thus, these globules can alleviate flatulence with an additionally irritated mucous membrane of the intestine. In order for all homeopathic remedies to be dosed correctly, a physician should always be consulted regarding the use.

In the case of babies, it depends greatly on the size and the weight in which dosage they can be given. In addition, globules should be used only in case of slight flatulence and be replaced in case of severe discomfort by medication.

Home remedies for flatulence in the baby

Probably the best-known home remedy for flatulence is the so-called "four winds tea". It consists of a mixture of fennel, caraway, anise and peppermint. The main effect consists of the anticonvulsant component of the plants. If the tense muscles of the intestine are loosened, the body's own peristalsis can return to normal. The intestine can thus relax and relax in rhythmic waves and the gases can spread better. Thus, a proportion of them can be absorbed through the mucous membrane and exhaled through the lungs.

The other part in turn can be better maneuvered towards the rectum and excreted there. However, it is only suitable for children who already take liquid next to the mother's milk. These babies can also be offered some basil with the food, which is also deflating. With whom these measures can not help or are possible, heat is also a good option. The heat should be used very carefully, as it can quickly lead to burns when used in the form of heat pad.

It is therefore recommended, especially in small babies rather to pay attention to a reasonably warm clothes. The heat ensures a better circulation of the intestine. It activates the intestine and helps to mix the digestive porridge well. Gas bubbles are thus no longer enclosed by the stool and, as already described, can either be taken up via the mucous membrane or transported further.

How long does the bloating last?

It is very difficult to estimate the duration of flatulence. This is related to the fact that the gases are transported with the rhythmic attraction and relaxation of the intestinal musculature in the direction of the rectum as the chair itself. Escape so gases over the rectum, they last only as long as the peristaltic wave.

Flatulence is therefore periodic and may be accompanied by pauses. However, severe flatulence can last for hours. An overnight stay does not have to be pathological, but may indicate a possible dysfunction of the bowels.

How can you avoid bloating?

By itself, flatulence does not have a disease value. Rather, they are seen as a symptom that accompanies the digestive process. It is perfectly natural that gases are created. They become morbid only when additional symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea or cramps occur. If such complications occur with flatulence, prevention is advisable. If the cause of the bloating is an increased intake of air during feeding, it is recommended to use an anti-colic attachment when feeding with the bottle.

For nursing mothers, it is important to find out if the baby may need more frequent meals. Hurried drinking can be an indication of a strong feeling of hunger. But also the change of the position position during breastfeeding can help the baby to better enclose the nipple. Here it is necessary to vary with sensitivity and to observe changes exactly. After feeding, the baby should be kept in an upright position for a while to become a so-called "peasant".

The effect of the puffing is that swallowed air can escape through the mouth and not even transported to the other gastrointestinal tract. Flatulence is thus reduced as much as possible. For the baby to breathe the air, a light tapping of the back by hand can be supportive. Parents should not be surprised if this can take a few minutes.

If a baby has flatulence on a regular basis and suffers from it, the food supplied should be regarded as a trigger. Thus, flatulent foods such as boiled cabbage or peas are to be avoided during feeding. If there is no real trigger, eventually food intolerance should also be considered. It can be treated well by a targeted diet.

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