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  • Post last modified:January 6, 2021
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by Paula

My son has always had lower gas problems. Recently (at 9 months old), he has started sleeping only about 20-40 minutes and then he arches his back, moves his legs and screams. There is no gas coming out.

I feel terrible. He writhes in pain for 20 minutes to a 1/2 hour and nothing helps. I have been to the doctor and they keep suggesting Simethicone and we are now trying Prevacid but nothing seems to be helping.

Has anyone else ever experienced this, what did you find out if anything and what helped? I have tried everything, swaddling, gripe water, simethicone and now Prevacid. The only way he will sleep is when I hold him and he still wakes up screaming and writhing. Any help you can offer would be appreciated.

Baby Help Line:

Remedies For Gas In Babies

I really feel sorry for your son and also for you – you must be exhausted!

From the fact that your baby is Prevacid, I can assume that he has an acid reflux along with his lower gas problems. Although reasonable for the reflux, this medication may, in fact, be worsening your baby’s gas symptoms and digestive disruptions. If your child does not have an acid reflux, you may want to talk to your doctor about reconsidering the Prevacid prescription.

You have not said anything about your baby stool pattern, but if he is often constipated and, especially, if he had failed to have his first stool within the first 36 hours of life, consider discussing Hirschsprung’s disease testing with your pediatrician.

I don’t know if your son has started with solid foods and whether in that case, the diet change affected his belly in any way. If he does eat solid foods, here are a few things to try:

  1. Feed him twice as often, half the amount. (Babies can often get gassy from undigested foods. If you give him less each time, he is much more likely to be able to digest everything.)
  2. Give foods that are the least likely to cause allergy and/or intolerance, such as avocados, squash, pears, applesauce, apricots, broccoli, rice, sweet potatoes, and papayas.
    Avoid completely: berries, citrus fruits, corn, cow’s milk, egg whites, nuts, peanut butter, soy, tomatoes, wheat, and yeast.
  3. Focus on foods that do not cause constipation, since constipation is often a hidden cause of gassiness. Avoid rice cereal, unripe bananas, cooked carrots, applesauce, cheese, yogurt, white bread, pasta and large amounts of white potato.
    Instead serve him a lot of fruits and veggies; pears and prunes for example as well as avocado and sweet potato. Make sure he gets a lot of fluid and again, that he eats often but only small amount.
  4. If your son still breastfeeds, consider increasing the frequency. Also take a look at your own diet, and consider removing anything that might cause gas as well. For some more foods that can make babies gassy when mom breastfeeds, click here.

In addition, consider giving him a warm bath, leg bicycling exercises and a tummy massage before he goes to sleep for the night. Elevating the head end of your baby’s bed may also help.

I hope this helps,
(Answer approved by our Medical Reference Team)

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Find answers and comments below.


Aug 15, 2013

poor baby

I suggest you ask your baby’s doctor about putting your baby on lactose free milk to see if that might help.

There are several different things that can cause babies to cry like this. One of my nephews cried like this as a baby and continued to cry as he grew and was eventually diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis. It is unlikely this would be the case with your baby but just saying to make sure all avenues are covered as a baby doesn’t cry like this unless there is something wrong

Dec 24, 2013

9 month old wakes in pain

by: Leisa

My daughter is a year old now and she has done that same thing very often, like at least a few times a month. I took her to the doctor and they said she is constipated and to give her 1/2 to a full cap of maylox constipation relief. When this happens again feel your baby’s tummy; if it is hard or really firm no softness you can massage it from left to right in a clockwise motion below the ribs. You might look up baby massaging it will show you how. It helps my baby everytime. She is blocked up and the massaging helps to lightly move it through the colon. I hope this helps and good luck to you.

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