Flatulence in babies and children is gas from your child’s digestive system leaving their body through their bottom. It’s also called passing wind, farting – and many other things as well!
Flatulence can happen when you eat foods that are high in fibre like beans or carbonated (fizzy) drinks. Wind can also be caused by swallowing air – for example, your child might get gassy when sucking on an empty bottle, or when they cry.
Wind can sometimes be a sign of lactose intolerance and other food intolerances, some gastro infections, coeliac disease or irritable bowel syndrome.
Your child might also have more gas in their body if they have constipation or diarrhoea.
Symptoms related to flatulence
If your child has flatulence or wind, they might sometimes have stomach pain and bloating too. This can happen when the gas builds up in your child’s intestines and your child can’t get rid of it.
Does your child need to see a doctor about flatulence?
Take your child to see your GP if your child has a lot of flatulence or wind and also:
- stomach pain
- blood in their poo
- weight loss or loss of appetite.
Treatment for flatulence
Your child doesn’t usually need treatment for flatulence or wind.
But if you notice there are certain foods that seem to give your child a lot of flatulence, you could try to cut back on them in your child's diet. These foods might include milk, beans, onions, cabbage, peas, broccoli, legumes, fizzy drinks, artificial sweeteners and chewing gum. It’s a very good idea to talk to your GP or a dietitian if you’re thinking about big changes to your child’s diet.
You might also want to check that your child isn’t eating or drinking too quickly and swallowing too much air.
If your child has a lot of flatulence as well as other symptoms, your GP might order a blood or poo test. Treatment will depend on what’s causing your child’s symptoms.
If your child has a lot of flatulence, encourage them to sit on the potty or go to the toilet to do a poo, without delaying or holding on. This helps to set up good toilet habits and avoid constipation.