How To Prevent Gas
If your infant is suffering from gas pains, the first thing you can do is try to eliminate some of the gassiness from the breast milk or formula they consume. If you are breastfeeding, you may want to eliminate dairy, soy, and peanut products from your diet and then gradually reintroduce those products to see how the baby reacts. Also, try to stay away from beans and gassier vegetables like cabbage or broccoli, and minimize your caffeine intake. If you are formula feeding, you may need to experiment with different brands or types of formula. You should also make sure that you are burping your baby regularly while theyre feeding. If your baby is drinking from a bottle, make sure that the nipple is the right size so that theyre not taking in too much air as they suck. Nursing mothers should also make sure that the baby spends enough time on each breast so that the baby gets through the foremilkwhich is high in lactose and can cause gassinessand gets to the rich hindmilk.
Consider A Specialized Formula
While most babies can do well on a standard formula, some may need a formula that is specialized. The two options used most frequently for gastrointestinal symptoms are hydrolyzed and hypoallergenic formulas:
As a reminder, please always check with your pediatrician before introducing or switching to a specialized formula!
Baby Tummy Massage For Gas
Stomach strokes that massage the belly are designed to encourage trapped air to move. The goal is to move gas and other matter in the intestines towards the bowels.
Many of the stomach strokes suggested for gas begin at the lower right of your babys belly and end at the lower left of your babys belly . When looking at your baby, this means moving from your left to right.
Some of the infant stomach massage techniques listed in the book Infant Massage: A Handbook for Loving Parents by Vimala McClure include:
scientific evidence is lacking . Again, its best to talk to your pediatrician as a precaution before beginning any at-home remedy like reflexology.
If your doctor says its okay to give it a go, consider the pressure point for the stomach and intestines thats located around the upper middle of the foot, just below the pad. Gently stroking this area of your babys foot may bring some gas relief.
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Be Mindful Of Feeding Times
Try to feed your baby before you start hearing her hungry cries. This can help her eat at a leisurely pace and not gulp down her breast milk or formula too quickly. If youre a breastfeeding mama and your milk lets down quickly, you may want to unlatch baby for a moment and then re-latch. That can help her manage your milk flow more easily.
Do you have tried and true tricks you use to soothe your gassy baby? Let us know in the comments section on the page.
What Is The Difference Between Gas Drops And Gripe Water
Gripe water offers a combination of homeopathic ingredients like fennel and ginger. It soothes tummy troubles with its herbal ingredients and can also help babies pass gas. However, if gas is the main culprit of your newborns discomfort, gas drops with simethicone may be more effective for bloat relief. Ask your pediatrician if youre unsure which treatment to try.
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What Is A Proper Breastfeeding Latch
It’s a myth that babies are born knowing how to latch on and breastfeed correctly. The proper latch often takes time, trial and error, and yes, sore nipples.
The ideal latch encompasses both the nipple and the surrounding areola, the pinkish-brown flat circle that became darker during pregnancy. Ever wonder why areolas darken during pregnancy? Mother Nature wisely designed them to serve as visual cues for your newborn so she’ll close her mouth on the areola and not on the nipple alone.
Though breast milk comes out of the numerous tiny openings in the nipple, your baby’s gums need to compress the areola and the milk sinuses located underneath it to actually start the flow. If not, your milk won’t let down and new milk won’t be produced.
Is My Baby’s Poop Normal
What’s normal for baby poop depends on whether you’re breastfeeding or formula-feeding. If your baby is breastfed, her bowel movements will often be mustard-like in color and consistency. It can sometimes look loose, even watery, and sometimes seedy, mushy or curdy.
If she’s formula-fed, the stool will usually be soft but more formed than a breastfed baby’s, and anywhere from pale yellow to yellowish brown, light brown or brownish green.
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What Causes Gas In Babies
Starting with the first feeding, babies shift from obtaining nutrients from the placenta to drinking and digesting breast milk or formula. Thatâs a big adjustment for a small digestive system thatâs still developing, and itâs a chief reason that gas naturally occurs in infants. Overall, it takes time for your little oneâs gastrointestinal tract to fully develop and build a microbiome . And when an immature digestive system is challenged by too much air being swallowed, as often happens during a feeding, youâre even more likely to have a gassy baby.
Are There Any Probiotics Benefits For Babies With Gas
Of course, theres no reason you have to wait until your babys belly starts filling with gas to do something about it. If your infant tends to get gassy, be proactive and try introducing daily probiotics, like the new Infants Mylicon Daily Probiotic Drops. They promote digestive health and functioning by helping to balance good bacteria in your babys gut. Plus, if your infant is colicky, Mylicons probiotic drops have been clinically shown to help reduce crying and fussiness associated with colic. Not only could they help with your infants gas relief, you may end up with a quieter baby in your arms, too.
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How To Get Rid Of Gas Conventionally
When gas pains are severe and reoccur frequently, a trip to the doctor is in order. It is important to receive a proper diagnosis for the cause of the gas pain as some potentially serious conditions can present with bloating and pain.
In addition to a medical history and physical examination to check for distension, your physician will review your diet and perhaps order tests. Commonly requested tests include: blood tests, lactose intolerance tests, fructose malabsorption tests, colon cancer screening and, in some cases, an upper GI series of X-rays.
If persistent gas pain is determined to be caused by an underlying health condition, successful treatment of the condition should help to relieve symptoms. In other cases, your physician will often recommended dietary changes, lifestyle modifications and over-the-counter medications.
Medications recommended may include:
- Beano: Made from a sugar digesting enzyme, this medication may be recommended to help you digest the sugar in vegetables and beans.
- Lactase Supplements: A supplement made from lactase, the digestive enzyme that helps to breakdown lactose.
- Bisumth Subsalicylate : A medication that generally reduces the odor of flatus. This medication should not be taken long-term or if you have an allergy to aspirin.
- Simethicone Antacids : Medications that help to break up the bubbles in the gas, making it easier to expel.
- Antibiotics: In you have SIBO or another infection.
Yoga And Sleeping Positions
Yoga can stretch the stomach and digestive tract to release trapped gas and relieve bloating. Yoga poses that relieve gas include wind-removing pose, supine twist, cat-cow pose, and happy baby.
The best sleeping positions to relieve gas include keeping your head elevated, sleeping on your left side, and lying face down.
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Choose The Right Bottle
Certain bottles are better at preventing gas buildup than others. If youre bottle-feeding, look for a bottle with an anti-colic valve, which is designed to vent air out of the bottle and reduce the air that baby takes in while feeding.
Youll also want a slow-flow nipple, which mimics the flow of milk from a breast and keeps baby from feeding too quickly. Slow-flow nipples make sure that baby wont gulp down too much breastmilk or formula at once, and wont take in as much air as a result.
In addition to this, make sure the bottle nipple is always completely full of milk or formula
Baby Has Abdominal Pain Or Cramps
Abdominal pain can range from mild to severe and can last anywhere from a few minutes to days, depending on the cause. Cramping can be continuous or it can present in waves or spasms.
It’s not easy to tell when a baby has pain. Parents often become concerned when they observe normal infant behavior. For example, young babies regularly fuss, grunt, groan, pull faces and strain as they pass gas or a bowel movement. This is due to the gastro-colic reflexand not necessarily a sign a baby has pain.
It is a common belief that when a baby draws up his legs while crying that this is a sign of abdominal pain, but this is not always the case. Young babies naturally pull up their legs when they become distressed – for any reason.
What can appear like pain may simply be a sign a baby is distressed. Babies often become distressed, and scream inconsolably for long periods of time, for reasons that have nothing to do with pain or discomfort.
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How To Treat Gas In Babies And Toddlers
There are a variety of treatment options for gas-related pain and discomfort, though what is safe and appropriate will be dependent on your child’s age. While determining the underlying cause and preventing gas is the best bet, there are things you can do to help your child when they experience gas pain. Home remedies and over-the-counter medications are often very effective at improving gas-related symptoms.
Why Medications Don’t Work For Gassy Babies
There is a huge array of medications on the market which are used to ‘treat infant gas’ and/or colic. The majority of these products aim to reduce the amount of gas in a baby’s stomach by helping to facilitate a big burp.
Some medications act as muscle relaxants to “aid the passage of gas through the bowel”. Of concern is that many of these medications contain alcohol or drugs that provide a sedative effect. In theory, these medications claim to relax the bowel, but in practice their effectiveness in the treatment of gas in infants remains unproven. What is often perceived as an improvement from their use may be due to the fact that they make the child sleepy.
Whatever these products aim to achieve, they are limited in their effectiveness in treating gas in infants by the fact that they do nothing to correct the cause of excessive gas and/or a baby’s distress . Medications do little to resolve the problem of a distressed, crying baby other than to provide exhausted parents with some relief by sedating the child.
Almost all medications have side effects. The side effects may outweigh any benefits of using medications to treat infant gas or infant colic. See Colic medications for more on the effects and side effects of commonly used medications.
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How Can Breastfeeding Make Your Baby Gassy
There has been some research which suggests that the foods in your diet could make your baby gassy if youre breastfeeding. The evidence isnt conclusive yet, so be sure to try other things first. If theyre still gassy, and you notice that they get gassier when you eat certain foods, theres no harm in cutting that food out of your diet to see if it helps.
You can work with your doctor, too, to nail down foods that might be causing the gassiness. Some common gas-inducing foods include:
- Cruciferous veggies like cabbage, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower
- Dairy and eggs
- And meals that are very spicy, onion-y, or garlic-y.
Basically, anything that makes you gassy could be making your baby gassy as well!
Im Breastfeeding Will Changing My Diet Help My Babys Gas Pains
Some parents report increased days of gassiness after a breastfeeding mom has eaten foods such as dairy, eggs, spicy foods or certain veggies. Although there is little evidence to support the relationship between maternal diet and infant abdominal pain, many mothers try elimination diets to explore a possible relationship.
Small studies have supported dairy elimination as a helpful way to reduce a babys GI discomfortIacovou M, Ralston RA, Muir J, Walker KZ, Truby H. Dietary Management of Infantile Colic: A Systematic Review. Matern Child Health J. 2021 16:1319-1331. . But even after years of pediatric practice, Im still not sure which babies improve after their mom stops eating dairy and which babies simply improve over time.
If you want to try an elimination diet to help with gas pain, avoid dairy for two weeks. As a general rule of thumb, if a diet change has not made a difference for a baby within that time, their mom can add the restricted food back into her diet.
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Solutions For Your Baby’s Gas And Tummy Discomfort
The following methods aim to provide temporary relief from tummy troubles related to gas. Unless the underlying cause of excessive gas is discovered and corrected, it’s likely you will be faced with the same problem again and again. If gas is not the real reason for a baby’s distress these method may not provide much help at all!
1. Burping your baby
- See Burping your baby for more information.
Babies often seek to feed for comfort and not necessarily because of hunger. Offering a small amount of water can often help to satisfy your baby’s unsettled tummy, when you feel he’s not really hungry.
3. A warm bath
This may help your baby to relax. Also the warmth may help the gas in his bowel to expand and be expelled.
4. A warm compress on baby’s tummy
Warm a cloth diaper or towel in the microwave, then place it over your knee and lie your baby face down across the towel.
5. Tummy massage
A tummy massage may help to relieve discomfort due to abdominal gas. Put some oil on your hands and gently massage your baby’s abdomen in a clockwise direction using long stroking actions, alternate this with lifting his knees and using a ‘bicycle’ movement.
- Choose either a bath or a massage not both, as it can be over-stimulating. For babies younger than 5 months of age, massage and bath time need to be separated by a nap or night time sleep.
- Do not massage your baby’s abdomen if he has hiccups or has just been fed.
6. Soothing methods
When To Speak With A Doctor
While most baby gas cases are fairly harmless, there are times when you should seek professional help.
If your baby exhibits excessive crying, has long crying bouts three or more times per day, or just recently began crying after reaching their first month, contact your pediatrician.
Also call the doctor or seek medical help if your little one isnt eating, peeing, or having regular bowel movements.
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Remedies For A Gassy Baby
Here are several home remedies you can try to help relieve your babys excess gas!
Burp Them Twice
Since swallowing air while feeding is the most probable explanation for newborn gas, burping them twice is a great and simple thing to try. Even giving your baby some gentle back pats during feeding can go a long way. A lot of times, if your baby turns away from the breast or bottle in the middle of feeding, its not because theyre fullits because the gas is making them uncomfortable!
Keep Them Upright
Try to feed your baby in a very upright position. This will help minimize the amount of air theyre swallowing. If youre bottle feeding, you can try an anti-gas nipple to better control the flow of milk. Also be sure to avoid shaking the bottle too much, which can create extra bubbles.
Learn Their Hunger Cues
Crying, of course, can be very unpredictable. But, if you can, try to feed your baby before they start crying. Babies swallow a lot of air while crying try to learn their hunger cues as early on as possible, so you can get them fed before they cry.
Lay your baby on their back, and gently cycle their legs toward their tummy. This motion will help manually push all the trapped air out of their tummy. You can also try gently pushing their knees to their chest, holding the position for 10 seconds, releasing, and repeating.
Burp Baby After Feeding
Its best to try to keep your baby upright for 20 to 30 minutes after a feeding. If theyre still gassy, burping can help release any gas pockets from your baby swallowing too much air. Gently pat your baby, starting at the lower back and working your way up. There are a few different ways to help make your baby burp, so try one of these burping positions:
- Hold your baby against your chest . Ensure their head is on your shoulder. Then pat and rub their back.
- Have your baby sit on your lap. Support their chest and head with one hand while patting their back with the other. Make sure youre holding your babys chin and not their throat.
- Lay your baby flat against your lap with the belly face down. Support your little ones head and make sure its higher than their chest. Gently rub or pat their back.
If you cant produce a burp in your baby with one position, then try another. Youll probably find that one position works best for your little one.
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