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15 Natural Ways to Eliminate Gas Pains in Toddlers and Children
If you have a toddler, or a young school-aged child, you already know that gas can be a real problem. Even when it isn’t a cause for concern, it certainly feels that way when they let out one of those blood curdling screams due to the pain from trapped gas.
Sometimes, toddlers get gas from medications, from being lactose intolerant, swallowing food before chewing it properly, swallowing air while eating or drinking, not drinking enough fluids, and eating foods that cause gas.
A toddler’s digestive tract is not fully developed, and this results in food passing quickly through the body. This can lead to gas and episodes of painful trapped gas.
You can usually tell when your toddler has gas; they let out those gasps of pain, then they cry but it’s usually more intense, almost frantic. They are often fussy and sometimes pull their legs up to their belly. Occasionally they don’t want to eat, or refuse to eat as much as they normally do. You might also notice a great deal more burping and passing gas than normal.
If you find that your toddler or young child is suffering from gas pains, there are plenty of natural ways to help relieve the pain and allow the trapped gas to escape naturally. If your child should continue to have gas pain for more than a few days, or if it continues reoccur regularly, consult a doctor to be sure that there is not an underlying problem that requires medical attention.
In most cases, these problems resolve themselves, but in the meantime, check out the top 15 natural remedies that you can use to give your toddler some relief.
1. Anise Seed
Anise is a popular plant that smells exactly like black licorice and it has powerful anti-spasmodic compounds that will relax the digestive track and stop cramping. Once the intestines and abdominal muscles relax, gas can pass out of the body. See if your toddler will chew on some seeds or put a teaspoon in some honey or yogurt. If your baby has colic, most find relief from soaking some anise seed in water and then giving the baby a bottle filled with the flavored water. If you are nursing, you can try chewing some anise seed yourself as it will pass into the breast milk.
Gas is sometimes caused by the improper digestion of food, which is why high fiber foods, such as beans, cause gas. Pumpkin reduces the amount of gas crated in the intestine. Serve it anyway your child will eat it, including baked, steamed, broiled, or even canned pumpkin served with a touch of honey. Most kids love the taste of pumpkin. Try serving at least a half a cup of it with each meal.
3. Peppermint Tea
This is another natural substance that is great for upset stomachs as well as easing gas pains. Peppermint oil contains menthol, which is a great anti-spasmodic. Try and offer your toddler some warm peppermint tea sweetened with some honey after meals.
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4. Eat More Fiber
To help prevent gas in the first place, try including plenty of fiber rich foods in your child’s diet. Fiber will improve the digestion process and keeps things moving through the intestines. It will also prevent constipation. Some of the best foods for children are berries, squash, celery, and oranges. If you are breastfeeding, be sure you eat plenty of fiber rich foods every day.
5. Cumin Seeds
This is actually an old Ayurvedic remedy for gas pain. Cumin seeds prevent the formation of gas and stimulate the digestion. This remedy involves boiling 1 cup of water, then adding ½ of a teaspoon of cumin seeds and then allowing it to soak for about 5 minutes. Strain. Allow the water to cool and give 1 tablespoon of this remedy to your child three times a day.
6. Fennel Seeds
Fennel is a super beneficial herb when it comes to relieving gas in toddlers and babies. It relaxes the intestines, which helps trapped gas to dissipate, which will relieve the pain. Fennel is also great because it helps stop gas from forming in the first place! Boil 1.5 teaspoons of fennel seeds in 4 cups of water for 10 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool and give a teaspoon two or three times a day to babies, a tablespoon for a toddler, or if your child will chew the seeds, you can give them ½ a teaspoon of fennel seeds a couple times a day, until the problem is resolved. If you are breastfeeding, you can also chew the seeds or drink the tea once or twice each day.
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For fussy toddlers who are reluctant to try new foods, you can try to massage out the gas. Warm a bit of olive oil and then gently massage your toddlers tummy in a clockwise direction for a couple minutes, then turn your toddler over and massage his back for another couple of minutes. Be aware that the gas might really explode here, so keep your face turned away or lie next to your toddler. You might want to light some incense too!
8. Asafetida Powder
This powder is an excellent antispasmodic as well as anti-flatulent product that also improves digestion. Simply dissolve a pinch of asafetida powder in a tablespoon of warm water and rub it around your child’s belly button in a clockwise motion. Reapply as often as needed.
Alternately, you can put a couple pinches of asafetida powder on a ripe banana and mash it up thoroughly. Let your child eat as much as he wants of this mixture for a day or two or until the problem is gone. If you are breastfeeding, you can also add ½ a teaspoon of this powder to a glass of warm water and drink it once or twice a day.
9. Warm Lemon Water
The acidity in lemon juice stimulates hydrochloric acid, which is what breaks down food. When food is broken down better, there is much less gas and bloating, Warm some water and squeeze the juice of an organic lemon into the water. If your child refuses to drink it, add a bit of honey. Try giving it to them in the morning, on an empty stomach, or after eating a meal. Read more about lemon water benefits.
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10. Ginger Tea
Perhaps nothing calms an upset tummy and digestive system like ginger. Ginger has two powerful compounds, gingerols and shagols, which relax the intestines and ease inflammation and pain. Ginger root both prevents the formation of gas and helps to expel gas that is present. Make a mild ginger tea mixed with honey and, once it has cooled down to where it is merely warm, give it to your child to drink once or twice a day. Breastfeeding mothers can also drink ginger tea.
11. Water and Other Liquids
The digestive system works better when the body receives sufficient amounts of fluids. Having your child drink more fluids will help prevent constipation as well as expel gas from the body. Make certain that your child is drinking enough water during the day. If your child isn’t fond of water, you can offer flavored waters, fresh fruit juice mixed with water, clear soups, or milk. Avoid fizzy drinks, especially sodas, which will only make the problem worse.
Chamomile tea is a great way to remove gas as well as stop stomach complains as it contains compounds that reduces intestinal gas. It also relaxes the intestines, which prevents the formation of trapped gas. Make a cup of chamomile tea with a bit of honey and give your toddler a teaspoon or two several times each day. If you are breastfeeding, you can drink two or three cups of this relaxing tea each day.
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13. Warm Compress
Warm compresses can bring almost immediate relief from the pain of trapped gas in your toddler. The warm temperature will expel the gas and help your baby relax. Soak a towel in some hot water and wring it out. Place the towel on your toddler’s tummy. When it cools down, repeat this process. Do this three or four times or until the gas has been released. Don’t use hot water bottles or heating pads on children as they can be easily burned.
Well, the truth of the matter is, gas is usually easily expelled by doing some light exercise. This will help with digestion as well. Active children have fewer gas related incidences than those who are sedentary. If your toddler hasn’t really mastered walking, you can have them lie on their back and move their legs in a cycling motion between feedings. This creates pressure on the stomach and intestines to help remove gas. Encourage walking, running, games like tag, or even dancing about one hour after eating to encourage foods to move along through the digestive tract.
15. Eliminate Triggers
Certain foods are known for causing gas and bloating. If your child tends to get lots of gas from these foods, you should cut back or remove them from their diet until they get a bit older. Some of the worst foods are:
You should also avoid foods that are high in sugar or high in fat. If dairy products cause gas, try removing them from your child’s diet for a few days, and then reintroduce them slowly. Breastfeeding mothers should avoid spicy or hot foods. Breastfeeding mothers should also burp their child frequently. Never give your toddler sodas and don’t overfeed them.