Can Probiotics Help Gassy Babies?

Can Probiotics Help Gassy Babies?

Babies get fussy for a variety of reasons, from hunger to boredom.  Even the slightest bit of discomfort can make a baby upset and cry out. They’re still adjusting to being in the world, after all, and a variety of sensations that most adults have learned to deal with are still new to them. Being gassy and having intestinal discomfort are some of these sensations, and, unfortunately, it’s almost certain that every baby is going to have to deal with these pains at some point during their growth.

But, as of late, there has been a movement within the baby market that aims to help combat this and help give babies (and their parents!) some much-needed relief. Research is starting to show that the use of certain probiotics can help prevent acid reflux, constipation, and colic in young infants.

While findings are still mixed, there is a fair amount of evidence to support that the use of probiotics can have an effect on the gassiness of your baby. In this article, we’ll talk about this topic more in-depth and help you decide if giving your baby probiotics could help relieve the discomfort in your little one!

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Probiotics have started popping up in a variety of items marketed towards babies—from infant formula to supplements, to other food products. As a parent of a child who may be suffering from gas-related pains, you may be wondering about what exactly probiotics are, whether they’re safe for babies and if they actually have any benefits for your child. 

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the following subjects:

  • What Probiotics Are
  • How They’re Helpful
  • Why Babies Get Gassy, and, finally
  • Do Probiotics Actually Help Gassy Babies?

By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of whether or not giving your baby probiotics would be the next best step for you. 

What Probiotics Are

Probiotics are living microorganisms that, when consumed or applied to the body, are said to supply certain health benefits. 

While many people often think of bacteria and other microorganisms as germs, many millions of them already exist on and within our bodies, and most are actually helpful! Some bacteria help digest food while others destroy disease-causing cells or produce vitamins. 

In fact, many of the microorganisms that are present in products that contain probiotics are actually the very same as or exceptionally similar to the microorganisms that already live in our bodies!  

How They’re Helpful

Probiotics are considered good bacteria, and their function in the body spans a variety of purposes. They help renew the good bacteria in your gut as well as help you to digest food and fight off infections. They can also aid in the suppression of bad bacteria, limiting the growth of illness-causing strains like E. coli.

For adults and older children, in particular, scientific evidence says that probiotics can also help to:

  • Keep good bacteria intact while on certain medications, like antibiotics
  • Decrease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation
  • Prevent diarrhea caused by infections or as a side effect of antibiotic use

While there is minimal clinical evidence to support these claims, it’s possible that probiotics can also help manage and treat a few other health conditions—though more research is needed to be sure.

Some research suggests that probiotics may also help:

  • Control eczema, asthma, or food allergies
  • Prevent urinary tract infections, as well as
  • Improve oral health by reducing tooth decay and other signs of periodontal disease

Why Babies Get Gassy

While your baby underwent miraculous changes and growth over the course of your pregnancy, they’re not fully done developing when they’re born. Several of their bodily systems will still be maturing and learning how to function properly over the months and years to come. 

Because your baby’s muscles aren’t efficient at creating the most effective rhythm with which to move the food through the GI tract, it creates pockets of gas in the intestines. 

Sometimes, if you’re breastfeeding your baby, it could also have something to do with your diet. Gas can be caused by the trace amounts of certain foods like legumes or cruciferous vegetables found in your breast milk. Gas can also be produced by certain acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus, or berries.

While this is all perfectly normal, it’s unfortunately very uncomfortable for your child. 

And when your baby is uncomfortable or in pain, you can be sure they’ll let you know it through their sometimes inconsolable crying and fussing, a condition also known as colic.  

Do Probiotics Actually Help Gassy Babies?

Truthfully, at least scientifically speaking, the jury is still out when it comes to whether or not using probiotics is actually helpful for your baby. Anecdotally, however, there have been some success stories. 

It’s thought that—much like in adults–probiotics can help to balance out the bacteria that is still growing inside your baby’s intestinal tract, adding beneficial bacterial flora to the gut that may not be fully developed just yet. 

As the healthy bacteria has a chance to grow over time, it can then aid in the digestion process and help the intestines secrete enzymes. Using probiotics may also help reduce intestinal inflammation, preventing pockets of gas from getting stuck in the intestines.


While there may be no sure way to know that probiotics are helpful for your baby until more research is done, recent studies point to them having at least some potential benefits if you find your baby is having digestion issues. 

If you’re wondering if they may be helpful, there’s certainly no risk in trying them out and seeing if there are any improvements in your child! There’s a real possibility that they can help with gassy babies. And while probiotics aren’t regulated by the FDA, in general, they are known to have very few side effects in healthy adults and children. 

However, more research is needed to fully understand their benefits and risks, especially in infants, and so you should always plan to consult with your doctor if you have any concerns!

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