How To Get Rid Of Baby Gas
A newborn or baby having gas isnt something to worry about in itself. Gas is simply part of life, from day one. But a baby whos showing discomfort because of gas is asking for some help from their caretakers.
Some babies will be able to pass their gas without much intervention, if any at all. Others need a little help, Dr. Sniderman says.
She suggests a few ways to relieve gas in babies.
Got A Gassy Baby 6 Tips To Relieve Infant Gas
No one likes a grumpy newborn: not mom, not dad, and certainly not the baby! One of the most common sources of infant discomfort is trapped gas. While its certainly frustrating, there are several steps you can take to reduce gassiness and get your little one back to feeling good.
Here are six tips and tricks we recommend for relieving and reducing infant gas:
Is Your Baby Really In Gas Pain
First, its important to figure out why your baby is crying. Infants cry because they have no other means of communication. So you have to make sure that your baby is not just hungry, thirsty or tired. If the child really experiences gas pain, the cry will be sharper, more intense and frantic. He will mostly likely to show other signs of discomfort, such as squirming around, pulling up his legs and clenching his fists. In case of gas pain, you may also observe flatulence and burping of your baby.
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How Often Should A Newborn Poop
Early on, breastfed babies usually have on average at least one poopy diaper for every day of life. In other words, on day one of her life, she’ll poop once, and on day two she’ll poop twice.
Fortunately, this pattern doesn’t usually continue past five days old or so. After day five, the average breastfed newborn will have about five dirty diapers a day, though anywhere around several per day is usually normal.
Or not. Some babies will continue to poop several times a day or more throughout the first year. Others will go several days between dirty diapers.
It’s not necessary to continue keeping count after six weeks as long as your baby is happy and gaining weight. The number may vary from day to day, and that’s perfectly normal too.
Formula-fed babies typically poop three to four times a day, but some go as long as three or four days without a bowel movement. As long as your baby’s poops are soft and passed without a struggle, you don’t have to be concerned. But call your pediatrician if your little one doesn’t poop for more than five days.
Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding
When you’re breastfeeding, there’s a lot more thats on the menu than off with a few caveats. Here are the drinks and foods to avoid while you’re breastfeeding:
Excessive caffeine. One or two cups of coffee or tea a day, amounting to 300 milligrams or less, are safe while you’re breastfeeding . More than that, however, may lead to you and your baby feeling jittery, irritable and sleepless. Other sources of caffeine include tea, soda and chocolate.
High-mercury fish. The same EPA guidelines on fish safety that apply to pregnant women also apply to breastfeeding women: Avoid high-mercury fish including shark, orange roughy, swordfish, marlin, big eye tuna, tilefish and King mackerel. Limit tuna to 8 to 12 ounces a week of canned light tuna or no more than 4 ounces a week of white albacore tuna.
Some herbal supplements. Few studies have been done on the safety of herbal supplements, so little is known about how they affect a nursing baby. Plus, the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t evaluate them for safety or efficacy. To stay safe, ask your doctor before taking any herbal remedy, and think twice before drinking herbal tea or breastfeeding brews. For now, stick to reliable brands in varieties that are considered safe during lactation . Read labels carefully to check for the exclusion of other herbs.
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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!
How To Help Your Baby Feel Better
Try these steps to prevent and ease the pain of gas:
Check feeding position. “When you’re nursing or bottle-feeding, try to keep the baby’s head higher than her stomach,” Shu says. “That way, the milk sinks to the bottom of the stomach and air goes to the top, and it’s easier to burp out.” Tip the bottle up slightly so there are no air bubbles in the nipple, and use a nursing pillow for support.
Burp your baby. One of the easiest ways to ease gas pains is to burp them during and after they nurse. If they don’t belch right away, lay them down on their back for a few minutes and then try again.
Change equipment. “If you’re bottle-feeding, switch to a slower-flow nipple,” says Joel Lavine, MD, PhD, professor of pediatrics at Columbia University.
Work it out. Gently massage your baby, pump their legs back and forth while they are on their back, or give their tummy time . A warm bath can also help them get rid of extra gas.
Take a closer look at foods. Talk with your baby’s doctor about foods that may give them extra gas. “Some parents give infants fruit juice, which contains sorbitols that the baby can’t absorb,” Lavine says. The doctor will also make sure you don’t cut out nutrients your baby needs.
If you breastfeed, your baby could have trouble digesting some of the foods that you eat, which can come through your breast milk, like dairy products and caffeine. If you give their formula, talk to your doctor about switching brands. Some claim to be helpful for gassy babies.
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When Should You See A Doctor About Your Babys Gas
In eight out of 10 cases, your baby will get better with time. Gas is common among newborns and usually gets better over time as their digestive tract grows. However, if you see the following signs, you may want to call your pediatrician:
- You notice that your baby isnt gaining weight.
- Your baby cries uncontrollably every day.
- Your baby hasnt passed stools or has regular episodes of constipation.
- Your baby refuses to feed.
How To Prepare For Your Pediatrician Appointment
Some degree of infant gas is to be expectedin fact, a happy, gassy baby is perfectly normal. But if youve implemented the tips above and are worried, or if you think your little one is in pain, call your pediatrician for an appointment.
Follow these tips below before you meet with the pediatrician. Also, when you book the appointment, ask your pediatrician if there is anything additional or specific you should do in preparation for the visit.
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Feed Your Baby Before Theyre Hungry
Its important to feed your nugget before they begin fussing for food. Feeding your baby when theyre super hungry may result in them gulping down your breast milk, which can lead to gas bubbles or hiccups. If your child eats before hunger strikes, theyll drink more calmly. If you do find your baby is chugging down your milk, unlatch and relatch so you can control their milk intake.
Why Massages Help Babies With Gas
The above massages were designed for infant gas relief because they aim to get trapped air moving through the body. They can also be deeply relaxing, which makes them worthwhile even if they are not successful with preventing or resolving gas. Whatâs more, parents find that massages make them enjoy childrearing more, regardless of whether their babies are currently suffering gas, colic, or other problematic conditions.
Some studies suggest that infant massage may help to increase insulin levels or activity of the vagus nerve. This, in turn, can reduce gastric mobility and promote efficient nutrient absorption. Conflicting research exists for these effects, but experts believe that the duration of massage as a gas remedy may impact its efficacy in both studies and the general public.
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When Should I Call The Doctor For My Gassy Baby
Oftentimes, a gassy baby can be fixed with a little burping or tweak to their diet. However, if your babys gassiness is causing any of the following problems, go ahead and call your doctor.
- Your baby isnt gaining weight
- Your baby doesnt want to eat
- Your baby has a hard time pooping or seems constipated
How Many Calories Do You Need When You’re Breastfeeding
Your body generally burns around 300 to 500 extra calories a day while you’re breastfeeding depending on whether you’re nursing exclusively or not. If you are, it’s typically up to 450 to 500.
So while you don’t need to be hyper-vigilant about counting calories and consuming more, definitely keep your extra nutritional needs while nursing in mind. If you stayed within your doctor’s recommended weight gain during pregnancy, you shouldn’t have to take in any more or less than that, but check with your practitioner if you’re not sure.
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Signs Of A Gassy Baby
If you suspect that your fussy baby is genuinely uncomfortable, and they keep squirming and pulling up their legs, they might have some gas that refuses to pass. The best way to confirm your suspicions is to try some gas-relieving techniques such as burping them and moving their body into different positions.
“If your baby seems much better after passing gas, then that’s a telltale sign that the problem was gas,” says Jennifer Shu, M.D., an Atlanta-based pediatrician and co-author of Food Fights: Winning The Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood Armed with Insight, Humor, and A Bottle of Ketchup. This applies to gassy breastfed babies and gassy bottle-fed babies.
For some babies, even normal amounts of gas can cause abnormal discomfort. These babies may have an increased sensitivity to distension , says John Rosen, M.D., a pediatric gastroenterologist at Children’s Mercy, in Kansas City, Missouri. Kids experience sensations from intestinal pain fibers in different ways and have individual pain thresholds.
Swap Bottles For Gassy Babies
Some bottles are specifically designed to reduce the amount of air that is swallowed during feedings. If your baby is having problems with gas, try a vented, angled, or collapsible style. Make sure to hold babys head elevated at a 45-degree angle and tip the bottle downward into their mouth with the nipple full of milk, not air.
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What Can I Do To Help Alleviate Gas In My Breastfed Baby
Apply gentle pressure to your babyâs belly
Tummy Time: This position can put gentle pressure on your babyâs belly, helping to provide gas relief. Wait at least 30 minutes after a feeding to allow your little oneâs belly to settle before starting tummy time.7
Or try a more advanced move â use both hands and a lot of guided support to lay your baby tummy down on a large beach or exercise ball and gently roll her on the ball in a circular motion.
Forearm Hold: Also called the football hold, magic hold, and the colic carry. Try carrying your baby face down with her body resting on your forearm, the front of her diaper area in your hand and her chin cradled in your elbow.9 Make sure to tilt babyâs head to the side to avoid blocking their nose or mouth. Carrying your little one in this face-down position will place the same gentle pressure on their belly that is achieved during tummy time.
Burp your baby during and after a feeding
Take a break between sides or even during a feed to get a burp or two out.8
You may choose to burp your baby while they are in a seated position, with their head supported by the cradle of your hand.17You can also burp your baby in the typical position: upright and over your shoulder.8
Try infant massage on your babyâs tummy for gas relief
Read more: Baby massage benefits and techniques
Bicycle your babyâs legs
Do gas drops like simethicone work?
Wait it out!
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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When Should You Worry
Most of the time, infant gas is normal and treatable. But in rare cases, it can be the first sign of a more serious digestive problem, says Jenna Faircloth, PharmD, of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio. Contact the doctor right away if your baby:
- Does not poop, has bloody stools, or vomits.
- Is very fussy. If you can’t get them to calm down, a doctor needs to check for a problem.
- Has a fever. If they have a rectal temperature of 100.4 F or higher, a doctor needs to rule out infection. If they are under 3 months of age, take them to the doctor right away.
American Academy of Pediatrics: âHow to calm a fussy or colicky baby,â âYou and your pediatrician.â
Jenna Faircloth, PharmD, clinical specialist, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH.
John Hopkins Medicine: âColic.â
Joel Lavine, MD, PhD, professor of pediatrics, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons chief, division of pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition, Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, New York.
Mayo Clinic.org: âWhat’s the importance of tummy time for a baby?â
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: âGas in the Digestive Tract.â
Jennifer Shu, MD, author, Food Fights: Winning the Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood Armed With Insight, Humor, and a Bottle of Ketchup.
Supplements To Help Baby Gas Pain
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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.