What A Good Breastfeeding Latch Looks Like
You’ll know you’ve got a proper latch if your baby’s chin and tip of her nose are touching your breast. You’ll also notice her lips flanged out instead of being tucked in. Let the feeding begin. Once you’ve got the proper latch, your baby will fall right into the rhythmic suck-swallow-breath pattern of suckling.
How To Tell If Baby Has Gas
Gas and related issues can start from when baby is a few weeks old all the way up through the toddler stage. But baby gas tends to be the worst when baby is 4 to 12 weeks old, with a peak around 8 weeks old, OConnor says. They tend to have a lot of trouble with digestion. But once they hit the three-month mark, most babies are able to get through it and find other problems to distract themselves with.
Of course, it can be hard to know if baby gas is the cause of your childs discomfort, especially when they cant tell you whats going on. But there are a few common signs of a gassy baby you can look out for:
Pulling legs up toward the tummy
The way to know for sure that baby gas is to blame is when baby actually burps or farts. If you get a few burps out of baby or do something else to move things along, most babies are relieved of the symptoms and will stop crying, OConnor says.
Sometimes, however, these gassy baby symptoms can indicate another problem. OConnor says, When baby keeps crying despite passing gas, you know that theres something else going on, like reflux, constipation or colic, which is sometimes confused for extended gassiness in baby.
If your child isnt gaining weight and seems to have the telltale signs of a gassy baby, contact your doctor so they can perform a complete medical evaluation to rule out other possible issues, such as a dairy intolerance.
How Many Calories Do You Need When You’re Breastfeeding
Just because you can make milk on a less-than-adequate diet doesnt mean you should. The goal when youre nursing should never be to deplete your bodys store of nutrients. Thats too risky for your short- and long-term health, and it will short-change you on much-needed energy as well as potentially interfere with your milk supply.
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 .
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. As long as you stayed within your doctor’s recommended weight gain during pregnancy and your postpartum weight is within normal ranges, you shouldn’t have to take in any more or less than that, but check with your pracitioner if you’re not sure.
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See If Foods You’re Eating Could Be Making Baby Gassy
If youre nursing, certain foods youre eating may also make baby gassy, because they create gassy breastmilk
Beans, onions broccoli, brussel sprouts and cabbage are common culprits, as are other green vegetables. But fruits and fiber-rich foods can also be culprits.
If you suspect that breastmilk is making baby gassy, keep track of the foods you eat. . Then, ask a doctor or lactation consultant if certain foods youre eating may be causing your babys gas.
Only cut out foods from your diet, though, if your doctor or lactation consultant
Best Formula For Gas Pain
When faced with gas, parents of formula-fed infants may first try changing to a different formula at the first sign that their baby is having any gas pain. Though many formulas are designed and marketed for babies with gas, it is not always necessary to make the switch. These types of sensitive, gentle, and/or comfort baby formula include:
- Enfamil Gentlease
- Similac Sensitive
- Similac Soy Isomil
- Similac Total Comfort
While changing from a milk-based, iron-fortified formula is sometimes recommended, it is necessary much less often than most parents realize. For example, congenital lactase deficiency, in which babies can’t digest the milk sugar lactose when they are born, is extremely rare.
Older children don’t usually develop symptoms of lactose intolerance until they are between 2 and 5 years old. So changing your baby to a lactose-free formula is often unnecessary. However, your baby might temporarily need a lactose-free formula if they recently had a viral infection that caused severe diarrhea, such as rotavirus.
Unlike lactose intolerance, newborns and infants can have true milk protein allergies. In this case, changing to a soy formula would likely seem to be a good idea. But since many of these babies can also have a soy allergy, a hypoallergenic formula such as Nutramigen or Alimentum is usually a better choice.
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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.
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
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How To Burp A Newborn
When gas bubbles get stuck in your baby’s stomach, they can cause a feeling of fullness and discomfort. Burping helps release these gas bubbles up the esophagus and out of the mouth. “Gas is air that gets trapped in the gastrointestinal system and needs to be released,” explains Shalini Forbis, M.D., a pediatrician and a Dr. Mom Squad blogger for Dayton Children’s Hospital in Ohio.
Looking for the best way to get the job done? Check out our expert-approved guide to learn how to properly burp a newborn.
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 and developed goose bumps during pregnancy. Remember, 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.
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Pay Attention To Your Diet
When you’re nursing, your baby is getting what you eatand dairy is a common culprit for a baby upset stomach. “Fruits, green veggies, especially broccoli and Brussels sprouts, and garlic can also make a baby uncomfortable,” Dr. Alt says. But don’t eliminate healthy foods unless you’re sure they’re a problem.
How Do You Comfort A Baby With Gas In Other Ways
Many of us with kids can attest to the power of distraction, especially if your little one is feeling a bit cranky. By using the same techniques experts recommend for calming a fussy baby, you can also help calm a gassy baby.I Here are five of our favorites.
1. Embrace a quiet space: If your babys emotions are already running high due to a gassy belly, refocusing or moving them from a busy or loud environment to a quieter space may help. Calm begets calm, after all.
2. Herald in playtime: To both distract and entertain your baby at the same time, try engaging them in play. Be sure to make eye contact when you talk to them, then reach for a favorite rattle or toy. Bright colors, things with black-and-white contrasts, or even showing them their own reflection can all be good distractions from gassiness, too.
3. Repeat, repeat, repeat: Babies are creatures of habit, making a routine a welcomed comfort. Find one that works for your infant, like playing, sleeping, eating, and repeating. In the same vein, repetitive motions can be hypnotically soothing to your baby: rocking or bouncing them gently as you speak or sing softly can be a lullaby in and of itself.
4. Pacify their innate urges: Sucking is one of the first natural instincts infants haveand its especially soothing to themso a pacifier or teething ring may help do the trick.
Next: Learn more about infant massage in our article How To Give Your Baby a Belly Massage.
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Popular Treatments For Gas In Babies
For most babies, the number one most effective treatment for gas is TIME. Babies are born with an immature digestive system, and it needs time to mature. Until this happens, baby is likely to be gassy no matter what you do. Some babies wake up around 3-4 weeks to all the new GI sensations they are feeling and get really unhappy about it. If you cannot find an apparent cause for your babys gassiness, he probably just needs a little more time to mature.
Gripe water, fennel tea or other herbal remedies
Herbal remedies have been used for gassy babies for a countless number of years. I prefer to avoid using herbal remedies for gas in young babies. Here are my reasons:
- In a healthy baby, anything other than breastmilk is more likely to cause problems rather than solve them.
- Giving baby substances other than breastmilk can alter the intestinal flora and reduce the protective qualities of exclusive breastfeeding, thus making baby more susceptable to illness and allergies. See Why Delay Solids? for more on this.
- Many of these products contain mixtures of herbs or other substances, thus putting baby more at risk for adverse reactions. Some contain alcohol, so read labels very carefully.
- Most of these products have not been tested in infants for safety or effectiveness.
- It is more effective to look at treating the causes, rather than simply trying to treat the symptoms.
Infant Gas Relief: How To Treat And Prevent A Bloated Baby Belly
On average, babies pass gas about 13 to 21 times every day. A bloated baby belly due to gas is therefore quite common and usually doesnt require any special treatments.
Gas is particularly common in infants between one and four months, as their digestive systems are still developing. Read on to learn more about infant gas relief and effective ways to relieve gas.
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Gas Prevention Methods For Babies
Bring on the Burps. Feeding time can come with a lot of crying, gulping, guzzling, and sucklingin other words, a lot of air, which eventually manifests itself in the form of a burp or gas. “And while relief from a burp might be more immediate, air that turns into gas has a longer journey through the intestinal tract first,” Dr. Shu says. Try being a little extra vigilant about burping your baby during and after a feeding to see if you can keep some of the gas at bay.
Settle Down. Bottle-fed babies can ingest a lot of bubbles. To combat this, tilt the bottle at an angle that fills the entire nipple with milk. “Otherwise your baby will suck in air,” Dr. Shu says. “More swallowed air means potentially more gas.” If you use powdered formula, let the bottle settle first before giving it to your baby. There’s lots of shaking going on and the bottle is often piled high with bubbles on top of the actual formula. Also consider using ready-made formula for gassy babies, as well as specially vented bottles that may reduce the amount of bubbles.
Adjust the Angle. “When feeding your baby, make sure her head is higher than her stomach,” Dr. Shu advises. You want to hold your baby in a position that allows the liquid to slowly sink to the bottom while the bubbles rise to the top. If you keep the bubbles closer to the surface, the naturaland easiestmeans of exit is a burp. Trapped bubbles will likely pass in the form of gas.
What Infant Gas Drops Are Safe And Effective
Infant gas drops contain simethicone, which breaks up gas bubbles and is also the main ingredient in common anti-gas medications for adults. Research as to how effective they are is mixed. Still, simethicone gas drops for babies are very safe, and some parents find theyre very effective.
Want to try infant gas drops to help your gassy baby? First, talk to your pediatrician about what kind to look for and how often to give them. And follow the dosing instructions on the bottle. Most will say you can give your baby drops up to 12 times per day, or at each feeding. Some parents find its helpful to give babies gas drops right before each feed to pre-empt gas problems, but check with your doctor to be sure.
Read the label and be sure to avoid drops with sodium benzoate or benzoic acid, which can be harmful to babies in large quantities.
And if a friend or relative brings a gas treatment from another country or one that isn’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration , don’t give it to your baby unless you get approval from your pediatrician. It could contain alcohol, sugar or other potentially harmful ingredients that aren’t clearly listed on the packaging.
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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. “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.