Why Does My Newborn’s Belly Look Bloated? Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Have you ever looked at your newborn’s belly and thought, “Why does it look so bloated?” It can be concerning for parents to see their little one’s tummy looking bigger than usual, but it’s not uncommon. In fact, many newborns have a naturally round belly from their final weeks in the womb. But in some cases, a bloated belly can be a sign of a more serious issue.

There are several possible reasons why your newborn’s belly might look bloated. One reason is simply that their digestive system is still developing. It takes time for their tiny organs to learn how to process milk properly, which can lead to gas and bloating. Similarly, some newborns may struggle with constipation or other digestive issues that can cause their belly to appear swollen.

Another possible cause of a bloated belly in newborns is an allergy or intolerance to certain foods. If your baby is formula-fed, they may have trouble digesting the proteins in the formula and show signs of discomfort, including bloating. Breastfed babies can also experience this if the mother has consumed allergens, such as dairy or nuts. While these issues can be concerning for parents, there are some steps you can take to alleviate your little one’s discomfort. As always, it’s important to speak with a pediatrician if you have concerns about your newborn’s bloated belly.

Common causes of newborn bloated belly

Seeing a bloated belly in your newborn may be concerning, but it is actually quite common. This is because your baby’s digestive system is still developing, and can sometimes lead to an accumulation of gas or air. Here are some common causes of a bloated belly in newborns:

  • Swallowed air: Newborns swallow a lot of air while feeding or crying, and sometimes this air gets trapped in their digestive system, leading to a bloated belly.
  • Immature digestive system: The digestive system of a newborn can sometimes struggle tobreak down and digest certain foods, leading to an accumulation of gas or air, which can cause bloating.
  • Constipation: Newborns can struggle to have a bowel movement, leading to a backup of stool in their intestines, which can cause abdominal distension and bloating.

How to prevent and ease a bloated belly in newborns

If you notice your newborn has a bloated belly, don’t worry too much, there are a few things you can do to help prevent and ease this discomfort:

Firstly, be mindful of how they feed. Make sure they are latched onto the breast or bottle properly so they are not taking in excess air. You can also burp your baby frequently during and after feeding to help release any trapped air.

Secondly, make sure that you are feeding your baby a healthy and balanced diet that is best suited to their stage of development. If you are breastfeeding, try to avoid any foods that could be causing your baby’s belly bloating. If formula feeding, make sure to follow the instructions carefully and consider switching formulas if you think it might help.

A good way to ease bloating in your baby is to gently massage their tummy with circular motions. This can help to release any trapped gas or air and bring relief to their discomfort.

If your baby is constipated, make sure they are getting enough fluids to help softenthe stool, and try gently cycling their legs in a bicycle motion to help stimulate bowel movements. You can also speak to your healthcare provider for advice on any dietary changes or medical treatments that may help.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, a bloated belly in newborns is quite common and is usually not a cause for concern. By being aware of the common causes of this condition and taking proactive steps to ease it, you can help ensure your newborn stays comfortable and happy.

Bloated Belly Symptoms in Newborns: Causes of Newborn Bloated Belly:
Abdominal distension Swallowed air
Gastrointestinal discomfort Immature digestive system
Constipation Constipation

By knowing the symptoms and causes of bloating in your newborn, you can take steps to prevent and ease this discomfort for your little one.

How to Ease Gas and Bloating in Newborns

Newborns are more prone to gas and bloating due to immature digestive systems. Here are several ways to ease gas and bloating:

  • Positioning: Hold your baby in an upright position during and after feedings to help prevent gas buildup.
  • Burping: Burp your baby after every feeding to release any trapped air in their stomach.
  • Bicycle legs: Help your baby do bicycle legs by gently bending their legs towards their stomach and then straightening them out. This can help move gas along their digestive tract.

It’s important to remember that while gas and bloating may be uncomfortable for your baby, it is usually not a serious issue. However, you should contact your pediatrician if your baby has persistent vomiting or diarrhea, refuses to eat or drink, shows signs of dehydration, or has a fever.

In addition to these techniques, some parents use gas-relieving drops, such as simethicone. While these drops can be helpful for some infants, it’s important to talk to your pediatrician before using them and to follow the recommended dosage.

Understanding Gas-Producing Foods

In some cases, a breastfeeding mother’s diet may exacerbate her baby’s gas and bloating. Dairy products, cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli and cauliflower), and beans can all be gas-producing foods. If you suspect that your diet may be contributing to your baby’s gas, talk to your pediatrician or a lactation consultant. They may recommend eliminating certain foods from your diet or trying a different feeding position.

If your baby is formula-fed, switching to a different formula may help alleviate gas and bloating. Some formulas contain broken-down proteins, which can be easier for babies to digest.

When to Call the Pediatrician

While gas and bloating are common in newborns, there are certain situations where you should contact your pediatrician. These include:

Signs to Look Out for: Possible Cause:
Persistent crying and fussiness Colic or other medical condition
Refusing to eat or drink Possible medical condition or feeding issue
Green, watery, or mucus-filled stools Possible infection or allergy
Signs of dehydration (such as fewer wet diapers) Possible medical condition or feeding issue
Fever Possible infection

If you have any concerns about your baby’s gas and bloating, don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician. They can help determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment.

When to seek medical advice for a bloated belly in newborns

A bloated belly in a newborn is a common occurrence. However, it can be hard to determine when it is a sign of a medical issue that requires attention. The following are some guidelines to follow.

  • If your baby’s belly is tense and swollen, especially if accompanied by a fever, seek medical advice immediately.
  • If your baby’s belly is not improving, has been consistently bloated for over a few days, and accompanied by diarrhea, vomiting, or constipation, consult a pediatrician.
  • If your baby has a weak suck and shows no interest in feeding, making irregular bowel movements, and crying excessively, then it may indicate an obstruction within the intestine. In this case, immediate attention from a pediatrician is necessary.

If your baby has any of these symptoms, it is critical to seek medical attention right away. These signs can indicate possibly serious medical conditions. Make sure you consult a pediatrician if any of these symptoms occur.

However, it is important to note that a baby’s belly may appear bloated naturally during the first few weeks of life. Newborns swallow air when they feed, which can cause their bellies to appear puffed up, and they may also experience constipation and gas more frequently. As the baby’s gut develops, this issue should clear up naturally. It is typically not a cause for alarm unless accompanied by the above symptoms.

Lastly, it’s a good idea to have regular checkups with a pediatrician to ensure your baby’s digestive system is functioning correctly throughout infancy. Bring up any concerns or questions regarding your baby’s digestion or bloating at these visits.

Belly is tense, swollen, and accompanied by a fever. Seek medical advice immediately
Belly is not improving, has been consistently bloated for over a few days, and accompanied by diarrhea, vomiting, or constipation. Consult a pediatrician
Weak suck and no interest in feeding, making irregular bowel movements, and crying excessively. Immediate attention from a pediatrician is necessary

By following these guidelines, you can help protect your baby’s health and ensure that they receive the medical attention they need when necessary.

Difference between bloating and normal baby belly

As a new parent, it can be confusing to know what is normal for your newborn’s belly. While babies do have some gassiness and occasional bloating, it’s important to distinguish between what is normal and what might be a sign of a more serious issue.

  • Normal baby belly: A newborn’s belly is naturally round due to their underdeveloped abdominal muscles. They might also have a bit of leftover amniotic fluid in their bellies, which can cause some temporary bloating. As long as your baby is eating and pooping regularly and without discomfort, their belly is likely just fine.
  • Bloating: On the other hand, if your baby’s belly is visibly distended or if they are in discomfort or pain, this could be a sign of bloating. Bloating occurs when too much gas builds up in the intestines, creating pressure and discomfort for your little one. This can be caused by a variety of things, from overfeeding to lactose intolerance.

If you’re worried about your newborn’s belly, it’s always a good idea to check with their pediatrician. They can evaluate your baby’s general health and help you determine if there’s an underlying issue.

Below is a table summarizing the key differences between normal baby belly and bloating:

Normal Baby Belly Bloating
Round and slightly distended Visibly distended or swollen
No discomfort or pain Discomfort or pain
Regular eating and pooping Irregular or infrequent pooping

Remember, while some bloating is normal for babies, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and speak with your pediatrician if you’re concerned about your little one’s belly.

Foods to Avoid to Prevent Bloating in Newborns

Bloating is a common problem in newborns. Their digestive system is not fully developed, and they are still getting used to the process of digestion. Bloating can be caused due to several factors such as overfeeding, lactose intolerance, and consumption of gas-forming foods. As a parent, you need to be mindful of what your child is consuming, especially when it comes to food that can cause bloating. In this article, we will discuss some of the foods that you should avoid to prevent bloating in your newborn.

  • Dairy Products: Avoid giving your newborn cow’s milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products as they can cause bloating and discomfort. Newborns are often lactose intolerant, and their digestive system cannot break down milk sugar effectively. Instead, opt for breast milk or a suitable formula for your baby.
  • Cruciferous Veggies: Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts can cause bloating in newborns. These vegetables contain raffinose, a complex sugar that is hard to digest, resulting in gas and bloating.
  • Spicy Foods: Spicy foods can irritate your baby’s digestive system, leading to bloating and discomfort. They can also cause acid reflux in some babies. Avoid giving your newborn spicy foods, especially during the first few months after their birth.

Other Tips to Prevent Bloating in Newborns

Apart from avoiding the above foods, there are several other tips that parents can follow to prevent bloating in their newborns. The following are some tips that you should consider:

  • Feed your newborn in small and frequent intervals. Avoid overfeeding your baby as it can cause bloating and discomfort.
  • Burp your baby after each feeding to release any trapped air. This can help reduce the chances of bloating and gas.
  • Hold your baby upright for some time after each feeding. This can help the food settle in their stomach and prevent reflux and bloating.


In conclusion, bloating is a common problem among newborns and can cause discomfort and irritability. As a parent, you need to be mindful of what your baby is consuming to prevent bloating and promote healthy digestion. Avoiding gas-forming foods such as dairy, cruciferous vegetables, and spicy foods can help reduce the chances of bloating and discomfort in your newborn. Additionally, following some simple tips such as feeding your baby in small and frequent intervals, burping them after each feeding, and holding them upright can go a long way in promoting healthy digestion.

Food to avoid Reason
Dairy products Newborns are often lactose intolerant, and their digestive system is not mature enough to break down milk sugar efficiently.
Cruciferous Veggies These vegetables contain raffinose, a complex sugar that is hard to digest, resulting in gas and bloating.
Spicy foods Spicy foods can irritate your baby’s digestive system, leading to bloating and discomfort.

How to prevent bloating in newborns during breastfeeding

As a new parent, it can be concerning to see your newborn’s belly look bloated, but it’s actually quite common. Babie’s digestive system is still developing and can be sensitive to certain foods. Here are some tips to prevent bloating in newborns during breastfeeding:

  • Watch your diet: What you eat can affect your baby’s digestion. Avoid foods that are known to cause gas such as broccoli, cauliflower, and beans. Pay attention to how your baby’s belly reacts after you eat certain foods. Keeping a food diary can help you identify any patterns.
  • Correct latch: Ensuring your baby has a proper latch can prevent them from swallowing too much air, which can lead to bloating. Consult with a lactation specialist if you’re unsure about how to achieve a proper latch.
  • Burp frequently: Take a break during feeding to burp your baby. This will help release any trapped air in their digestive system. You can try different burping positions to see which one works best for your baby.

If despite these measures, your newborn still appears to be bloated, consider consulting with your pediatrician. They can help rule out any underlying medical conditions and provide specific advice to help ease your baby’s discomfort.

It can be challenging to navigate the early weeks and months of parenting, but rest assured that with the right knowledge and resources, you’re well equipped to give your baby the best possible care.

Home remedies to treat bloating in newborns

Bloating in newborns is a common occurrence, but it can be quite discomforting for the little ones. In most cases, it is caused by swallowing air while feeding or a buildup of gas in the intestines. While medical intervention may be required in some cases, there are several home remedies that can be used to treat bloating in newborns.

1. Burping

Burping is the first line of defense when it comes to treating bloating in newborns. After every feeding, make sure to burp your baby to release any trapped gas. Keep your baby upright for about 15-20 minutes after feeding to help with the burping process.

2. Massage

Gently massaging your baby’s belly can help to provide relief from bloating and gas. Place your baby on their back and gently massage their tummy using circular motions with your fingertips. You can also try bringing your baby’s knees up to their chest and holding them in that position for a few seconds to help release gas.

3. Warm Bath

A warm bath can help to soothe your baby’s belly and provide relief from discomfort. Add a few drops of lavender or chamomile essential oil to the bathwater to help your baby relax.

4. Probiotics

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help to promote the growth of healthy gut flora and prevent the buildup of gas in the intestines. Probiotics can be found in yogurt, kefir, and other fermented foods, or you can give your baby a probiotic supplement.

5. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is a natural anti-inflammatory and can help to soothe your baby’s stomach. Steep a tea bag in hot water, let it cool, and give your baby a small amount to drink. Chamomile tea can also be applied topically to your baby’s tummy using a warm compress.

6. Fennel

Fennel is a natural digestive aid that can help to relieve bloating and gas. Crush fennel seeds and steep them in hot water for a few minutes. Once the tea has cooled, strain it and give a small amount to your baby to drink.

7. Diet Changes

  • If you are breastfeeding, try eliminating dairy, soy, and other common allergens from your diet. These foods can cause digestive issues in some babies.
  • If you are formula feeding, talk to your pediatrician about switching to a different type of formula that may be easier for your baby to digest.
  • Avoid overfeeding your baby, and try feeding smaller, more frequent meals.


Bloating in newborns can be uncomfortable, but there are several home remedies that can be used to provide relief. From burping and massage to probiotics and diet changes, these remedies can help to prevent and treat bloating in your little one.

FAQs: Why does my newborn’s belly look bloated?

Q: Why does my newborn’s belly look bigger than usual?
A: Newborns have immature digestive systems, which can cause gas to build up in their bellies and make it appear bloated.

Q: Is my newborn’s bloating a cause for concern?
A: Occasional bloating is normal for newborns, but if it’s accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy, it’s best to contact a pediatrician.

Q: Can my diet affect my newborn’s bloating?
A: Yes, consuming gassy foods like broccoli, beans, and onions can lead to bloating in both breastfeeding and formula-fed infants.

Q: What can I do to relieve my newborn’s bloating?
A: You could try burping your baby more frequently during feedings, holding them upright for 20-30 minutes after feeding, or giving them a gentle tummy massage.

Q: When will my newborn’s bloating go away?
A: Most newborns outgrow their bloating by the time they are two to four months old as their digestive system matures.

Q: Why does my baby become fussy when they are bloated?
A: The build-up of gas in the belly can cause discomfort or pain for a baby, leading to fussiness and agitation.

Q: How can I prevent my newborn from getting bloated?
A: Some tips include feeding your baby smaller amounts more frequently, making sure they are properly positioned during feeding, and avoiding overfeeding.

Closing Thoughts: Thanks for Reading!

If you’re concerned about your newborn’s bloating, remember that occasional bloating is normal, but it never hurts to ask your pediatrician for advice. Be mindful of your diet and feeding habits to prevent bloating, and try some of the recommended tips for relief. As your baby continues to grow and develop, their digestive system will mature and bloating should become less of an issue. Thanks for reading and keep coming back for more helpful tips and information!