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Toddler with trapped wind at night

(189 Posts)
Tellytub Mon 02-Mar-09 09:16:39

Hi, I am new to mumsnet. I have a ds 18 months, who has suffered terrible tummy pain and trapped wind since birth, being unable to sleep for any length of time at night. He has seen so many docs but we are told that he will most likely grow out of it. We have had trials avoiding all sorts of foods but it seems that all food upsets him. I am constantly searching the internet on information on toddlers with abdominal pain and trapped wind and came across a message on mumsnet from Fimbles who has dd, same age as my ds, with near exact symptoms. Alas the message was posted at the end of 2003. I am desperate to find out if fimbles found a cure for her dd but unable to contact her by CAT messaging. If anyone knows or is in contact with fimbles I would be most grateful if you would let her know of my message. If anyone else has any advice to offer please help. My son has recently been started on Lactulose 10 ml twice daily and Senna 10 ml at night. Initially he passed a lot of wind and slept pain-free for 5 nights but his symptoms recurred and he has been in agony again for 2 weeks. There is also a question of silent reflux and he has been on Ranitidine syrup for quite a while but again we are not really sure if this helps. He also now seems to be in pain, holding his bottom, when passing stools which is maybe once or twice a day.

ohforsomesleep Mon 08-Nov-10 21:12:22

Hooray I'm not the only person in the world who has to hoist a toddler over their back for winding at silly o' clock at night!

I have twins who are 2 yr 3mth, my daughter was diagnosed with reflux at 6 weeks and was in hospital for a week to stabilise her condition subsequently put on Enfamil formula and ranitdine which greatly helped but didn't stop the wind at night. From about 2 years old I have seen a marked improvement in wind at night and is rare if she wakes up at night now.

Sadly my boy is a different matter, he was a very difficult baby to wind and had bad colic with Colief seeming to be the only thing that helped slightly. We have wondered if he has silent reflux but our GP doesn't recognise this and as he doesn't lose weight and is otherwise healthy we are fobbed off with our request to see a paediatrician. He is only windy at night so guess it's to do with the lying down aspect, and I am up between 2-6+ times a night to pick him up, rub his back where he will burp from one end or another and settles back down to sleep. The poor mite does seems to be very distressed when he cries out and settles back down after burping but I keep thinking it can't be normal at this age.

Some things I have found helped are: -

Replacing bottle with sippy cup

Limiting the amount of liquids after 6.30pm

No heavy meals late at night

Fruit is given during the day and not after tea

Giving him at least an hour to digest his food before bed

Also giving him some warm water has helped move the trapped wind at night

It is really rubbish when you won't be taken seriously and night after night of broken sleep I am just hopeful it is a stage that he will grow out of.

wiltshire123 Thu 17-Feb-11 10:53:53

Tellytub - Did you ever find anything to help your toddler in the end?

Iggly Thu 17-Feb-11 11:51:07

I'd love to know too! DS gets this. We find fennel tea helps a bit - a few teaspoons in his water. Also give some if he wakes at night but doesn't stop him waking in the first place!

Chummuk Mon 28-Feb-11 08:47:26

Dear all
I was so releived to see the messages posted here. My baby has had this problem from birth too, on and off. Right now she is having a bad spell, waking up every 2 to 3 hours in the night, arching legs in pain. She is almost 2 now so for all the mums with younger kids, don't take a doc's word that it disappears at 2! I am fed up of it. We have tried gripewater, lactulose,probiotics, domperidone and even cutting out risky veggies and dairy. It reduced but then started again a month back....I don't know what triggered it...can teething be the culprit? She is getting her last teeth now. I am eternally grateful to anyone who can give me a possible cure. It is just too heartbreaking to see her sleep disturbed night after night. THank you.

Tara0408 Wed 09-Mar-11 13:24:15

Dear all,

It has also been a big relief for me too to find this discussion and I have just joined mumsnet to join in.

We have had this problem with DS (2 years old next week) on and off since day one.

He never has a problem during the day, but typically at around 6-7pm the pain starts. Now that he can talk he says 'bum bum sore' and quickly sits down on his bum and starts rocking on the floor as if he is trying to get rid of the pain. Have also noticed his little willy going hard during the pain. The pain seems to come in waves, almost like contractions. This definitely happens every time he has oranges when he has the sypmtoms for 5 nights, but he can be in pain on other nights and I don't have a clue why. It lasts about 6 hours where he continually wakes seemingly in agony, sometimes he will have some wind which may or may not help, other times I bring him downstairs and he may have a poo which may or may not help.

I even rang the emergency doc one night as he was in such a state I thought his appendix must have burst or something. Doc very helpfully said to put sudocrem on his bum! Also had no luck with health visitor. So we saw a nutritionist privately who said he was sensitive to wheat and yeast. I can't say whether his new diet helped or not as he can go for a few weeks with no symptoms. Now she says he is ok with wheat and yeast, but it is still happening.

I just feel at a loss as what to do as I can't pinpoint a pattern with the food. I am just hoping he will grow out of it.

A few of you have mentioned it being worse with teething. I have been wondering about this and am wondering whether the excess saliva they swallow when teething could be a factor as it contains acid. I am wondering with our DS as he is sensitive to the acid in organges whether there is a link? He has 2 teeth left to go, so if it stops after all his teeth are through I will let you know!

Any comments anyone has would be greatly appreciated.

My DD suffered with kidney infections, febrile convulsions, hospital stays etc etc when she was younger (shes 5 now) and I have to say I think this is more stressful as it is the not knowing and not being able to help the poor little mite.

Tara0408 Wed 09-Mar-11 13:30:26

Also meant to say that the nutritionist said it sounded like shooting pains up the bottom, does that ring any bells with anyone?

Pstan Wed 16-Mar-11 05:33:53

My son is 9 months and he has the same issues, he sleeps for awoke and then wakes up writhing in pain, he has never slept through the night. I have tried everything and am now trying prev acid for reflux but nothing seems to help. I feel terrible for him and for my 2 daughters who are woken up each night with his crying. If anyone has any ideas let me know.

sarkat Mon 21-Mar-11 10:05:44


New to mumsnet had to join as my 24mth old has been having wind problems for over a year.

Started when she was about 12mths and the pain got worse over several months, crying out and up for anything between 2-4 hours every night.

We noticed that her tummy was very big but put that down to 'toddler tummy', however she also developed an umbilical hernia about the same time as the wind problems.

I took her to doctors and finally got referred to a specialist at hospital who ordered an ultrasound and discovered a large cyst in her right kidney. This was removed promptly and for a while the pain stopped.

However, the wind has now returned and is getting worse again, I have tried many things to no avail. Doctors ordered an ultrasound and everything alright inside since the operation.

At the time of the operation, Oct 2010,the consultant wanted to put a stent in her utherea tube connecting her right kidney to her bladder to see if that helped with the pain,(a bent tube can cause pain)but during the operation she bled a lot due to pressure of the tube,so removed the cyst straight away. He never thought the pain I was describing was linked to the cyst, but the cyst would have made it worse due to pressure on her organs.

So back to square one! I am now pressing the doctor to refer me to a food alergy specialist to rule that out!

Any ideas would be gratefully received!


nickiemum2010 Fri 22-Apr-11 22:14:39

Hi Im new to this site and also a new mum my 9 month old some has been having problems with his wind since birth, tried speaking to the health professionals about this but have told me he should be bringing it up on his own and I keep telling them he is having a hard time doing so. It gets worse at night. Ive tried all the anti colic stuff around and nothing helps him at all. I'm find it hard to cope with and get quite upset that I cant help him.

FoxtrotMikiLima Fri 22-Apr-11 22:33:49

Although my ds didn't have it as severe as some of the cases on here, he has had issues with trapped wind since birth. We went to see a cranial osteopath who specialises in children for a separate issue but he did a full MOT on ds and said he had a slightly distended tummy - after he worked on it, ds's wind improved dramatically. I was initially sceptical about his diagnosis (thought he was creating 'issues' so we would need to pay to go back) but I really think it made a massive difference, and we only needed to go three times including the initial consultation.

Dh and I wonder if it is sometimes genetic as dh had the same problems when he was very little - so bad that it is probably his earliest memory.

His mum said he was given a drink of warm water with a little sugar dissolved in it after his tea each night which she claims made the problems less severe. She also rubbed warm almond oil on his stomach in movements which remind me of the movements I was told to do on ds's stomach in baby massage - and perhaps a more lo-tech version of the osteopathy???

Anyway, I would definitely seek out an osteopath who specialises in children's treatment if I had the same issue again. The one we went to is in Twickenham (and a reasonable distance from where we live) but worth the travel for the problems it sorted out.

nanatothree Fri 22-Apr-11 22:33:57

Start keeping a food diary and put down everything they have at mealtimes/drinks. It will help looking back to see if there is a pattern of worse nights/sleep. My DGS suffered since birth and was fobbed off with "its colic it will go when he is 6mths old". It didn't. But got so bad GP tried Neocate and lo and behold he was allergic to Cow Milk Protein. The pead.consultant he was referred to found not only milk but egg/wheat/soya.
Bloating/wind improved 90% cos sometimes its a babies form of IBS. Now he is 3 and still under consultant but so much improved but was hard to diagnose at first.

nanatothree Fri 22-Apr-11 22:38:23

Meant to say cost poor DD a fortune in meds trying one thing or another.Different bottles, different teats, different teething gels, different colic medicine, you name it she bought it. She was that desperate and the HV no help at all.

sophiemumof2 Mon 09-May-11 07:28:58

hi everyone

i have a 5 year old and a 1 year old, and i have all the problems as you guys. My 5 year old carried on with tummy aches till the age of about 3.5yrs, and i took him to a homeopath and it worked amazingly for him, my other son, not so much!

He doesnt get constipated, but has the runs every single morning. He is a big cheese and bananna lover, im going to cut this out today. also, his poo smells like wine !! i think its the milk fermenting in his stomach perhaps and giving him the pain and wind. I have tried him off formula and with full fat cows milk but he wont drink it and he wont eat yoghurts ... maybe he is trying to tell me something ??

ive also tried lowering wheat and use wheat free pasta and crackers and this helped for a while. My homeopath has told me to give him Carbo veg, which i think i will try more of as the first time didnt seem to help. It comes in tablet form that get from my local health food store. I might also try rice milk, but i think first thing is cutting out dairy .... will report back, wish me luck !!

sophiemumof2 Wed 11-May-11 07:28:32

its a couple of days on now cheese free, and my son has had now painfull wind or runs !!?? could this be the start ?

alypaly Wed 11-May-11 19:01:42

Lactulose can cause alot of wind....see if doc will prescribe Movicol. Its possible he may be impacted

Lizzie77 Fri 13-May-11 21:35:35

New to mumsnet.
Such a relief to see my 13 month old is not the only one! Will try lots of the ideas suggested.
The Health visitor says that it cannot be due to a food intolerance as she is gaining weight well. Is this the experience of those of you with a diagnosis?
Also, just wondering if any of yours are thumb suckers. She seems worse when she's been sucking a lot, but it may just be my imagination.

KaitlynsMammy Wed 18-May-11 21:18:15

Hi so happy ive found this thread...... Ive been searching on the internet about wind & milk intolerance in babies! My 8 month baby girl has been diagnosed as having a low tolerance to cows milk so her milk has been changed to nutramigen... She has been waking up at night for as long as i can remember with wind pains it really only gets bad at night the past few months she is ok during the day but suffers really bad at night and it is heartbreaking to see this as it is so hard to wind her as she tenses her back and neck.... She wont settle down at night for me if she has wind & could take ages to get up then eventually when she does she could wake up every few hours with more wind when i thought i had it all up!
The first doctor I said this to just dismissed it & told me she was old enough to get up her own wind!
She is now on the new milk nearly 6 days & the wind is still a problem what am I to do about this now??
This is my first baby so is all new to me but am getting some usefull info from websites like this so if anyone could give me any input that would be great thanks!

doradaexplora Thu 19-May-11 11:51:48

Im also new to mumsnet and decided to search about this because my d is suffering and it breaks my heart to see her in so much pain. She has also suffered with winds from birth but never diagnosed with colic / reflux, there were times when it would ease but after a couple months or so it would start up again. She is 16months now and having another terrible bout. Reading this thread has actually helped and I will be taking some of the advice given here. Thank you

jencon Sat 28-May-11 20:41:23


Wow, I just registered with mumsnet after I found this thread. I've never actually posted on a forum before!

My little boy was 6 weeks prem and had been on rantitidine and gaviscon since he was 6 weeks old for wind and acid reflux. Once he was on that, he gained weight really, really well (he was a wee fella back then, now a monster!) but he just couldn't go on his back at all, fed hourly to 2 hourly and couldn't sleep. The rantidine managed it really well and from about 6-12 months he slept through the night, except where it was obvious he had outgrown his dose and then he'd settle once the ranitidine was increased within a week.

But he's 14 months now and for the past 2 months he's been waking up every 1 to 3 (if we're really lucky) hours. Before he goes to sleep he kicks his legs, arches his back and moans for ages, whether I hold him or leave him- we've tried everything. Paed put him on a dairy and soy free diet and 20mg omeprazole. The diet has been 3 weeks now, how long has it taken others to kick in? He's really windy too. 23 farts in a hour the other night!

Anyway really sorry for the long post, but it is really reassuring to hear there are others in our position. I'm just sorry for the babies. It's really hard to see him in pain. Paed keeps going on about reflux after a year being almost "unheard of"!

Thank you

Lizzie77 Thu 02-Jun-11 18:17:14

Have had 2 good weeks after cutting out all onions. Could be nothing to do with it but touch wood dd has been better than ever before, when she did seem to be getting worse all the time. Onions are in everything though! At least it gets me cooking more. I'm not sure about garlic or leeks though. Has anyone else found this helps and if so what did you cut out?

nic0 Wed 06-Jul-11 01:34:50

This all sounds so familiar, I'm also compelled to post on a forum for the first time!

My 8 month old has been extremely unsettled since birth and we have struggled to find an answer.

He has terrible wind/gas/reflux during the day and night - he squirms, kicks and cries and is almost impossible to put to sleep (day naps are always on me in a carrier while I rock back and forth and night times he is in the bed upright on me but still waking in discomfort every hour or so, due to wind/tummy pain.

I am desperate to help him and have tried so many things: osteopath, herbal remedies, reflux medication and gaviscon, massage and leg pumps, elimination diets etc. But nothing really works, or if I think it has, the squirming returns soon after.

I'm sorry I can't help any of you, but I was hoping you might be able to answer a few questions:

- I am breastfeeding and only feeding fruit, vege and rice solids. Have you found eating certain foods makes things worse, and has this only applied when giving solids directly to your baby or also passing through your breastmilk?

- My little boy wants to breastfeed constantly, and feeds really quickly while he kicks his legs, strains, pushes to pass gas. He swallows so much air, but sometimes it is the only thing that will console him and allow him to fall back to sleep. Problem is he is then up with same problem again an hour later! Does/did feeding help your child and what else could I do instead of feeding at night?

- My boy seems to be constantly burping, but often he cries, squirms in discomfort and needs lots of help bringing up the burp (gripe water and then kept upright and distracted for hours). Did you experience the same thing, was the process of burping upsetting to your children?

- Lastly, the process of passing gas also causes him extreme pain. I try and help by massaging or pushing his legs to his belly, but this usually makes the pain worse. What else helps them pass gas and why is it this difficult for him? It also seems impossible to get ALL the gas out, so he NEVER seems completely comfortable.

Sorry for the long post, but it has been very difficult watching him so unhappy and being told "babies just cry", "he just needs routine" etc, when it is so obvious that he is different from other babies due to some serious discomfort!

Thanks in advance!

barns Fri 08-Jul-11 10:18:45

Hi, I have a 7 month old and could have writen the post above! I know this thread is old, but hoping someone will
come back and tell us the magic answer!

Jo2007 Mon 11-Jul-11 14:39:11

I posted a year ago on this thread and my ds now 3yrs 7months. Just to say that continued visits to an experienced homeopath have now got her to the stage where she has no problems in the day and sleeps through from midnight (if I rub her tummy after she has gone to sleep at about 8pm - so still a lot of work but better!) Also seeing a nutritionist who says it maybe candida of the intestines which requires you to cut out all processed sugar (and she didn't have a lot) and also reduce fruit - dilute fresh juice etc. Should know in a month if this is improving things further, will re-post then. Good luck everyone. Ps referals to hospital and GP visits are very hard worlk as no-one can belive it can they?

Lizzie77 Wed 13-Jul-11 21:11:31

I posted a few months ago and at the moment (touch wood) my 15 month old daughter seems much better now that she is not having any onion, leek or garlic and I'm keeping it to a minimum in my diet (she still has a morning bf). She gets a bit windy whenever she has a cold as she sucks her thumb a lot and I still have occasional nights where she spends a few hours in pain - but it is so much better than it was.
I spent months being told by HVs and GPs that I shouldn't cut anything out of her diet and I should just give Infant Gaviscon.
I'm convinced that onion etc. are at least part of the cause for her as when she is given some accidently she has a really bad night.
In answer to nic0 - I'm think that food I eat while breast feeding her has an effect, warm water from a cup sometimes helps at night (she likes peppermint tea), but to be honest I usually bf as it saves a trip downstairs, she doesn't mind the actual burping bit, but getting to that stage seems to really hurt.
Hope this helps a bit.

nic0 Thu 14-Jul-11 05:47:59

Great to see some responses, thanks for replying. It's nice to know that others have had the same experience and I hope we can help each other by sharing our stories.

I have recently stumbled across some info regarding lactose intolerance and lactose overload. All sounded very familiar, so i'm going to try using lactose free formula. For the last few days I have been replacing day feeds with LF formula (pumping to keep milk supply), while still breastfeeding at night. Eventually will try replace all feeds -although pumping is a hassle, i'm ready to try anything at this point. Apparently, it is also possible to get a test for lactose intolerance done, but Dr has not mentioned lactose intolerance so I have decided it's easier to take matters into my own hands.

The other development is that we have been referred to a speech therapist at children's clinic, due to our trouble with squirming while feeding and constant wind. Apparently, there could be a swallowing disorder or something. Could be interesting.

I will let you know the outcome, but thought these ideas might be helpful to those of you with similar problems.

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