What You Can Do To Facilitate Sleep
Because theyre not producing sleep hormones yet, theyll often have their days and nights confused.
Theyll want to sleep all day, and party all night.
Which isnt much of a party for parents who DONT have day/night confusion. This is where parents sometimes struggle the most but the good news is that we can help them through this!
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. “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 coauthor 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.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- When will my baby get over colic?
- What is the best way to feed my baby to avoid colic?
- Should I hold my baby upright for a certain amount of time after they eat?
- Is there a good position to hold my baby in to make them feel better?
- Can I give my baby any medicines to make them feel better?
- What can I do to help myself from getting angry or frustrated when my baby cries?
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Newborn Sleep Tips: Getting Through The First Few Months
Newborn sleep is like the wild west! And for good reason they dont have an established circadian rhythm yet. Theyve spent 9 months in total darkness and when theyre born, they have an underdeveloped pineal gland. That means theyre not producing hormones that tell them when its time to be awake or asleep!
The good news is that parents do have some influence over their newborns’ sleep so all is not lost.
Setting appropriate and realistic expectations can help you not only cope through those first few months, but also thrive!
We arent talking about sleep training newborns, putting them on strict sleep or feeding schedules, or giving up all the snuggle naps no way!
This blogs purpose is to give you some insight into newborn sleep and why they sleep the way they do, some common sleep troubles newborns have, and what actionable steps you can take to support them as they continue to develop their sleep patterns.
In this blog, we will cover:
- What you can do to facilitate sleep
- Troubleshoot common newborn sleep troubles
- Manage cluster feeding and nursing struggles with sleep
- Safe sleep practices while keeping your little one close
- General sleep tips and helpful information to remember
How To Burp Your Baby
When burping your baby, repeated gentle patting on your baby’s back should do the trick. Cup your hand while patting this is gentler on the baby than a flat palm.
To prevent messy cleanups when your baby spits up or has a “wet burp,” you might want to place a towel or bib under your baby’s chin or on your shoulder.
Try different positions for burping that are comfortable for you and your baby. Many parents use one of these three methods:
If your baby seems fussy while feeding, stop the session, burp your baby, and then begin feeding again. Try burping your baby every 2 to 3 ounces if you bottle-feed and each time you switch breasts if you breastfeed.
- tends to be gassy
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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.
What Should I Know About Gas In Breastfed Babies
- Know that most babies have gas
- Understand the many causes and symptoms of gas in breastfed babies
- Learn tips and tricks to help prevent and relieve gas in your baby
One of the most common concerns parents have is their babys gas. While gas is usually not harmful, the pressure that gas bubbles create may cause pain when it becomes trapped in your babys stomach or intestines.1
Gas is particularly common during the first 3 months of life when your little ones digestive tract is still maturing.2 You may even notice its worse at night.3 Most of the time, gas is from swallowing too much air, but there may be other reasons your little one is gassy.
Read on to learn how to help your baby with gas.
Common causes of gas discomfort in breastfed babies:
- An incorrect latch while nursing leads your baby to swallow too much air3
- Excessive crying fills your babys belly with air1
- Strong let-down or oversupply, causing baby to gulp quickly and swallow air3
- Immature digestive tract is still learning to process breastmilk, gas, and stool effectively2
- Sensitivity or allergy to a food in moms diet1, 3, 4
- Introduction to a bottle or to formula. Baby may swallow air while drinking from a bottle or may need to get used to formulas ingredients.3, 7
Common symptoms of gas in breastfed babies:
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Feed Her Before Shes Too Hungry
If you are tracking your babys feeding times, try to stick to a schedule and feed her before you start hearing her hungry cries. That way she will be more likely to eat at a leisurely pace and not gulp down her breast milk or formula too quickly. If youre breastfeeding and your milk lets down quickly, you may need to unlatch baby for a moment and then re-latch her so she can manage your milk flow.
Tummy woes can make for a fussy baby. Find out what you can do about hiccups, gas bubbles and colic to ease the symptoms here.
Your Babys First Poop
Most babies have their first bowel movement within two days of life. , these stools tend to be thick, sticky, and tar-like. They consist of skin cells your baby shed and swallowed while in the womb. After the meconium has passed, stool consistency will vary depending on whether your newborn is breastfed or formula-fed.
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What’s The Difference Between Milk Allergies Vs Lactose Intolerance
With a milk allergy in infants, a babys immune system reacts negatively to the proteins in cows milk. Breastfed babies are reacting to the dairy his mother has eaten , while formula-fed babies are reacting to the cows milk proteins in the formula. In either case, a baby’s immune system sees the cows milk proteins as foreign substances.
Milk intolerance, on the other hand, has nothing to do with cows milk proteins or the immune system, and instead has to do with the digestive system. Your child might have loose stools or blood in stool hours or days later.
Congenital lactose intolerance is an extremely rare metabolic condition that also impacts the digestive system. Lactose intolerance more commonly develops in older kids and adults. The few babies with lactose intolerance will usually fare much better on a formula with little or no lactose.
- Irritability, crying or other colic symptoms
- Failure to thrive and gain weight
Why Is My Baby More Gassy At Night
Gas accumulation is a function of gut motility and positioning. As our body rests, our digestion slows. Gut slowing results in more gas buildupOrr WC. Gastrointestinal Functioning During Sleep: A New Horizon in Sleep Medicine . Sleep Med Rev. 2001 5:91-101. . During the night, you and I have the luxury of moving our bodies when we feel this discomfort. Our body movement releases any trapped gas bubbles, allowing us to burp or fart to relieve the painful pressure.
Babies cant freely move while they sleep. At night, we tightly swaddle our babies and lie them on their backs to sleep. This technique is important for infant soothing and decreasing the risk of SIDS, but limits the movement of tummy bubblesTASK FORCE ON SUDDEN INFANT DEATH, S. Y. N. D. R. O. M. E. SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment. Pediatrics. 2016 138. . Tummy gas builds during quiet rest until the pain wakes your baby up.
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Breastfeeding And Gas Pain
As with a formula-fed infant, breastfeeding moms should usually only consider gas a true issue if it is excessive or accompanied by other symptoms. Before restricting your diet too much when your breastfed baby has gas, consider eliminating all milk and dairy products from your diet for a week or so.
If this helps your baby’s symptoms, then they may have a milk protein intolerance , and the milk proteins from your diet that are passing into your breast milk could be causing a problem. However, that isn’t necessarily a reason to stop breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding mothers can also try avoiding a few other foods known to cause gas. Or they can try avoiding foods that seem to cause their babies to have a lot of gas.
If you have a foremilk-hindmilk imbalance , in which you time your feedings and don’t let your baby nurse until they are finished on one side, then they may have gas because they are getting too much sugary foremilk.
Your baby may have less gas if they breastfeed until they are finished on each side and receive more hindmilk, which has more fat and less sugar.
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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How Do You Comfort A Gassy Baby
Your baby is fussy, and youve pegged gas as the culprit. Now what?
Although many moms may reach for the best baby gas drops, thats not the only option. There are many ways to naturally comfort a gassy baby. Some of these methods bring quick relief while others are intended to bring long-lasting relief by tackling the cause of gas.
You can provide comfort by:
Debunking Old Wives’ Tales: Do Babies Need To Burp After Feeding
New parents may worry that their newborn will have stomach problems if she doesn’t burp after feeding. But pediatrician Dr. Cindy Gellner says not to worry: the air in your baby will find a way out. She explains symptoms associated with colic and spitting up symptoms and why new parents shouldn’t worry.
One question I get a lot from new parents, is that they can’t get their baby to burp. Is this a big deal or not? Is it just an old wives tale that not burping your baby will cause stomach problems? That’s today’s topic on The Scope. Im Dr. Cindy Gellner.
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How To Soothe And Treat A Colicky Baby
Many parents feel helpless and confused about what to do to help soothe their colicky baby. Here are some remedies you could try to help limit or prevent colic in your baby, sometimes even before a bout of crying starts:
Unfortunately, there is no cure for colic. Remember that sometimes no matter what you do your baby will cry. So donât beat yourself up about it. Try any number of these different approaches. If one method doesnât work within a week, go with something else on the list.
You may find that by the time youâve tried most of these steps, your baby will have outgrown this colicky phase.