Infant 6m-12m

Why Kids Experience Flatulence

It is quite amusing when your baby breaks wind and you say to yourself ‘so you’re not left out in this farting business’ lols.

However, if your baby farts so loud and you think everyone would think you then you need to take a close look at your baby, there could be much more to these innocent farts. It is common for babies to be gassy in the first three months of life because their intestine is just maturing and in children of 6-12 months as when they are being introduced to complimentary meals.

If your baby is fussy with bloated and hard tummy, passing a lot of gas, burps often, crying a lot she could have a flatulence or gas pain and even colic/reflux.

Flatulence can occur under the following conditions

  1. Swallowing air when feeding:  Breastfed babies experience less of this because they can control how the milk flows compared to formula fed babies who could have challenges with the teat of the feeding bottle.
  2. The use of baby pacifier: pacifiers may help to stop your baby from crying but it encourages your baby to swallow air.
  3. Allowing baby to cry a lot: Babies cry a lot to communicate their needs but when you allow your child cry for a long time she will take in lots of air through the mouth.
  4. Lactose intolerance: Formula fed babies tend to be more at risk of developing milk protein allergy but breastfed babies can also develop an allergy to milk proteins from dairy product taken by the mother.

Intake of foods and drinks that tend to produce gas: Food such as beans and other high-fibre food, carbonated (fizzy) drinks can make your child gassy.

Here are some steps you can take to prevent your baby from having flatulence;

  1. Hold your baby uprightly during feedings: Feeding your baby in an upright manner helps the milk travel easily into her tummy, or you can tilt the feeding bottle to a 30 to 40-degree angle so that any air in it can go to the bottom of the bottle.
  2. Burp frequently: Burping your baby helps to expel any air that your baby may have swallowed. Burping should be done during and after feeding.
  3. Examine the feeding bottle’s nipple: if you are bottle-feeding your baby, you need to check the hole on the nipple. It should be just right –not too small or big because if it small your baby will have to gulp for milk and if big, the milk will flow too fast.
  4. Watch what you eat: what you eat is transferred to your baby through the breast milk. If you take, any food and you discover your baby has flatulence you have to eliminate it from your diet while you are still breastfeeding.

Ways to treat your baby’s flatulence;

  • Massage your baby’s abdomen: you can do this by laying your baby on the back, bend the knees, legs and apply gentle pressure on the stomach.
  • Baby’s leg exercise: move your baby’s legs in a cycling motion as she’s on her back
  • Warm baths
  • Use of gas relief drops
  • Gripe water
  • Burping

It is normal for a baby to experience flatulence but in few cases, it could be some of the tell-tale sign of a digestive problem if in addition to the flatulence sign your baby does not poop, has bloody stools, fussy, feverish, diarrhoea and vomiting.

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See How Your Baby’s Smiles Shows Their Emotions

Looking back now I remember how I watched out for my baby’s smile, I would ask when she would begin to smile, and my mum would ask me to be patient. 

Eventually, the smiles began to form and showed when she slept and then she began to smile face to face. It was the best times for me and a huge reward for all the late night feeds and sleepless nights. Those smiles were certainly rewarding and comforting.

Scientist say that babies smile starts from the womb! However, they are usually unintentional and involuntary act. Just as they move their arms and legs in the womb, but with time after babies are born, smiling comes on purpose. Your babies smile and your reaction to influences her social and emotional development.

Types of Baby Smiles

Researchers have been able to use modern pieces of equipment such as heart monitors, brain scans to observe and record reactions from interactions with babies to understudy their cognitive and emotional sensitivities.

  1. Spontaneous smiles or “dreaming of angels”: this is when your newborn smiles in his sleep. This smile is not connected to anything external and there is no known cause of these sleepy smiles. It is quite amusing when a professor of psychology at the University of Miami Dr. Messinger humorously says the spontaneous smiles- “We ask them and they don’t tell us.”
  2. Social smile: At six to eight weeks old, your baby will begin to smile in response to external stimuli such as listening to your voice and seeing your face. Your baby will smile more when people are around especially Mum, Dad, and siblings and smile less when she is alone.

At three months, babies also become sensitive to your facial expression and may get upset when you suddenly stop smiling at them. They also have the ability to control or regulate their emotions when they look away from the person while smiling.

  1. Duchenne smile: This kind of smile indicates strong and intense emotions expressed by 2 to 6 months old babies. It is often characterized by raised cheeks and constricted eye muscles in response to a known person’s smile.
  2. The open mouth smile: This occurs when your child is about 8 months, your child smiles with a raised cheek and open-mouthed grin when you tickle her. It shows that your child is happy. Researcher say that it is the strongest expression of joy for babies of that age. The open mouth smile is displayed when you play and interact with your baby.
  3. Anticipatory smile: At about six months, as your baby interact more with people and toys she begins to put out anticipatory smiles about what she is doing and turning to see your reaction too. For example, your child plays with a doll and it makes some noise, smiles and turns around to look at you as you also smile back at her.
  4. Laughing: This is the icing on the smiling cakes! When your baby laughs aloud that beautiful sound that is so irresistible. Between nine months to twelve months, your baby is capable of laughing at funny situations and even creating them too. Your child becomes more aware of people’s reaction to what she does, she begins to do things that call attention in other to engage with others.

It is really beautiful to watch your child grow in all areas including her smiles as you enjoy every stage of your child’s growth and development.  You do not have to be anxious if your child does not start smiling as soon as you want, babies meet their milestones at a different time. But if your baby does not smile for 3 months you need to see your doctor.

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