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Does Caffeine Cause Gas in a Breast-Fed Baby?

author image Theresa Rosenthal
Theresa Rosenthal has been freelance writing for over 10 years on the subjects of health, frugal living, cooking and family. Her work has appeared on various websites. She has her Master of Arts in holistic health education, nutrition from John F. Kennedy University and has been a practicing holistic nutrition and wellness coach since 2008.
Does Caffeine Cause Gas in a Breast-Fed Baby?
Caffeine may effect your baby. Photo Credit FamVeld/iStock/Getty Images

All babies get gas, regardless of their mothers’ diet. Your baby may pass a lot of gas without showing any signs of pain. If your baby’s gas seems to be causing her discomfort, though, you may want to look at your diet, including your caffeine intake. Some foods and beverages are considered to be more volatile on a baby’s fragile system than others. Consult your physician before eliminating entire food groups from your diet.

Know Your Caffeine Intake

Caffeine is not just in coffee. It's in sodas, teas, chocolate, energy drinks, and natural and over-the-counter medications. Brewed coffee contains the highest amount of caffeine, according to BabyCenter.com, with around 330 mg. Even decaffeinated coffee can contain up to 26 mg of caffeine. Black tea contains the most caffeine of any tea, with as much as 120 mg in eight ounces. Sodas contain 35 mg to 72 mg, and energy drinks can have as much as 83 mg of caffeine. Coffee ice cream can contain 60 mg of caffeine in eight ounces, while a 1.45-oz bar of dark chocolate contains 31 mg of caffeine. If you are avoiding caffeine, consider the many products that may contain it.

Caffeine and Your Breast-Fed Baby

When you breast-feed your baby, caffeine passes through your breast milk into his system. About 1 percent of your caffeine consumption passes on to your baby; in small amounts, it may not cause any disruption. In the first few months of life, your baby can’t break down caffeine and excrete it from his body, so if you are consuming caffeine regularly, he may accumulate it in his system. The effect of caffeine is different for every baby. A moderate amount of caffeine is less than 300 mg per day; that might be fine for your baby. However, if caffeine is a problem for your baby, it might cause gas, sleep disturbances or irritability.

Other Gas-Causing Foods

Caffeine may or may not cause gas in your breast-fed baby. Other foods might be the culprit. Some foods in your diet that may cause gas for your baby, according to AskDrSears.com, are broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, green peppers and tomatoes. BabyCenter.com says dairy is a usual suspect for gas in babies, followed by soy, wheat, nuts, fish, corn and eggs.

Relief for Baby’s Gas

Skipping the caffeine may relieve your baby’s gas. If not, try eliminating dairy for a couple of weeks to see if there’s a change. You might also try some exercises such as tummy time or bicycling her legs to see if this eases her gas pains. Holding her in warm water in the tub or carrying her around throughout the day may also help. Dr. Greene says on Parents.com that simethicone drops are safe for relieving gas and may be effective for your baby. Check with your pediatrician if you have questions.

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