By the time that children reach the toddler stage, belching and flatulence may be some of the funniest things in the world! But gas pain is no laughing matter at any age, and it’s a very common occurrence in kids between two and four.
This article discusses whether it’s normal to see excessive gas in toddler aged children and some reasons why toddlers experience more gas than other ages of children.
Most levels of gas experienced in toddlers are totally normal and natural, as kids get gassy for many of the same reasons that adults do. Passing gas 10 to 12 times per day is average, but some people pass gas more than 20 times per day and are perfectly healthy.
One of the biggest reasons why toddlers experience more gas is because they are regularly trying new foods all the time. Food that isn’t fully digested, such as the sugar in soda or the lactose in milk, travels to the colon and is fermented by bacteria. This natural bodily process can create to gas and abdominal pain, as well as diarrhea and vomiting in more severe cases.
When compared to babies, toddlers’ bodies have an increased ability to control bowels and accumulate gas because their stomachs are growing and developing. Toddlers can control bowel movements better than when they were younger, which may lead them to hold gas in. Proper training in bathroom habits may help to alleviate this situation to some degree.
Another cause of gas in toddlers is moving around during meals. Parents should encourage kids to sit still while eating to promote good digestion. Constantly chewing gum may increase the amount of air swallowed and cause gas. Drinking too much juice or soda rather than water can cause gas in toddlers, which is one of several reasons why it’s important for parents monitor beverage intake. High-fiber foods, antibiotics, and other types of medications can cause more gas than normal as well.
Gas that has an unusually strong odor or that isn’t accompanied by normal bowel movements may be a sign of constipation or another gastrointestinal issue. Toddlers may be fussier or have difficultly passing bowel movements when suffering from excess gas. PediaCare’s Gas Relief Drops are recommended for children up to three years of age, and this over-the-counter medication may help to relieve gas pain and discomfort.
Simple dietary changes may help to relieve a toddler’s gas, such as cutting back on gas-producing foods like cabbage, legumes, and cauliflower. Promoting more exercise, using a warm compress on the abdomen, and giving a gentle massage on the tummy may help relieve gas as well.
It may be time to consult a doctor if a toddler’s gas is accompanied by weight loss, diarrhea that lasts more than a week, or a distended belly. Loss of appetite, blood in stool, and severe abdominal pain are also reasons to take a child to a doctor to determine the cause and appropriate remedy for excessive gas.
In this parental guide to gas relief, PediaCare provides resources for parents seeking answers for their child's special circumstances. Medicine made for kids, helps getting better easier!