Can Gas Give an Infant a Fever?

Intestinal gas by itself is not likely to cause your baby to develop a fever. If she has a fever with intestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea or vomiting, she may have a gastrointestinal bug. However, if she appears to be physically uncomfortable and is unusually warm, look for other reasons for the elevated temperature.

Infants and Fever

Your baby does not have the same protective mechanisms you have when you become feverish. His internal thermostat is not highly developed, so he may not experience a fever when he is ill. Fever in infants younger than 3 months is a serious matter requiring medical attention. For this reason, if you take your baby’s rectal temperature and it is higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, he needs to see the doctor.

Causes of Fever in an Infant

Causes of fever in an infant can range from overheating to infection and illness. If she has developed a viral or bacterial illness, she may have a fever. If you have dressed or wrapped your baby with too many layers of clothing or blankets, she may develop a temperature. Keep the home environment comfortable and dress her as you are dressed. If your baby has not taken enough fluids or is dehydrated, she may develop a fever. Dehydration may develop with gastrointestinal illness, such as diarrhea or vomiting.

Treating Fever

Talk to your doctor and let him know your baby has a fever. If the baby is not comfortable, ask the doctor about giving the baby a non-aspirin painkiller such as acetaminophen. If he tells you to give this medication to your baby, follow his dosing instructions.

Remove additional layers of clothing and blankets, keeping your baby dressed lightly. If his room is stuffy, place a small fan in the room, but do not direct the flow of air directly at the baby. Give the baby a lukewarm bath to bring his temperature down.

Symptoms of Infant Gas

Your baby can develop gas because she sucks air in as she breastfeeds or sucks on her bottle. Her symptoms can include passing gas, burping, abdominal bloating, cramping, crying, spitting up or vomiting, constipation or diarrhea. If she wakes up with gas, she may have a difficult time getting back to sleep. It can be difficult to determine when your baby is uncomfortable from excess gas. When she is having a bowel movement or passing gas, she looks like she is uncomfortable.

Treating Infant Gas

Burp your baby as you feed him and after he has finished a feeding. Mix 1 oz. of water with a small amount of sugar–1/4 tsp.–and feed this to your baby if he is gassy. This may help settle his stomach. Warm a small towel in the microwave and spread it across your lap. Test it to make sure it is not too hot for the baby’s tender skin, then place your baby face down over the towel. The warmth may help any gas in his intestines to expand so he can get rid of it. Give your baby a gentle stomach massage. Pour a small amount of baby oil into one hand and massage his stomach in a clockwise direction.