Is your baby really gassy and windy and you’re either worried about starting solids with them? Maybe you’re concerned it might make them worse, or you’re not sure what to give them.
When you’re getting ready to wean your baby, they less likely to have problems digesting their food if you wait until around six months.
The normal phase for weaning is between four and six months but most of the advice nowadays is to wait until they are around six months old.
By 6 months their digestion will be a little bit more mature and able to handle food better. They’re also more able to chew up their food so less chance of big lumps going through their digestions.
(Although that does happen, even when they are in six months!)
Weaning kick starts digestion
Before solid foods your baby has only had a liquid passing through the intestines. Food is moved along by muscles that squeezing food through this very long tube, through the small intestine into the bowel.
When we’re introducing food, especially any big lumps that they’re not chewing up properly, this makes the job a little harder for the stomach muscles.
Food may sit in the intestines for a little longer than perhaps it should be which may lead to fermenting a little and more gas.
Has weaning caused constipation in your baby?
Sometimes as the food slows down in the bowel it can lead to more trapped wind.
If this happens to your baby, there are some foods that are well known to support a better bowel movement.
- Dried fruit can be added into your baby’s diet. E.g soaking prunes or raisins and then blending them up, or adding them to that porridge / yoghurt
- Stewed apple is really good for the gut. It is really soothing and provides fibre that helps to keep things moving along.
Keep up the milk intake
Make sure that they’re still getting enough liquids, to be sure that they are not dehydrated.
Lack of liquids could lead to harder stools as water is absorbed back out of the store into the body from the bowel.
If you want to introduce water you can do so from the point that your baby eats solid food.
You won’t be replacing any milk feeds at the start, but it can be fun to try adding water.
Water can be an addition with meals or a little sip here and there in between meals.
Weaning food causing wind
Some food may cause irritation to the bowel, and your baby may get diarrhoea.
This may happen if you have given your baby fruit juice or too much fruit because that can loose in the bowels.
Sometimes we see extra gas through babies reacting to certain foods, it could be, to the lactose in milk, it could be with gluten in their food. It really does depend on if they’ve got other symptoms that such as issues with their behaviour or mood, their sleep, their skin health might all lead to you assess whether they might have an intolerance to certain foods.
If they’ve got really nappy rash that won’t go away and eczema flare ups congestion in the nose all sorts of other things that might lead to you thinking that perhaps they’re not digesting their food quite as well.
Some foods are more gassy
We’re thinking about beans pulses cruciferous bed like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage. It’s not to say that you shouldn’t give these foods to your baby.
The reason that they’re causing fermenting and gas is because they’re feeding the good bugs in the gut, and it can take a little while for these to get settled down.
We want lots of fibrous rich foods in our diet to create a healthy digestion, and feed those beneficial microbes in the gut.
The key is to add these foods really slowly if you are noticing extra wind.
And if you find those certain foods that really give them wind, and it’s causing them a problem, then think about how you can do that in a very slow, gentle way.
Start weaning slowly
Don’t rush into giving them everything all at once, three meals a day because it can take a little while for their digestion to get used to solid food in the gut.
Anna Mapson supports busy parents to get family nutrition right, taking away the stress if feeding your family. In Bristol or online via video call
- Weaning Consultations & Group Classes
- Children’s Nutrition Consultations (e.g. fussy eating, constipation, eczema, healthy growth, behaviour)