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.
Burp Your Baby During And After Feeding
Burping is very important during and after each feeding to release gas from the babys stomach. My grandma used to say, burp baby three times at each feeding- one time when you switch your breast, two times after feeding.
I had a hard time getting one burp out of my baby, and three-times, burping was mission impossible for me until I tried hard. Trust me, burping three times made a huge difference.
There are 3 ways you can burp your baby.
- Seated Position: Support your babys head with the cradle of your hand and gently tap babys back until they burp.
- Upright Position: Just hold your baby upright until they burp
- Over your shoulder: Hold your baby on your shoulder in a way that your shoulder gently presses their stomach. This technique worked best for me.
Dont be impatient if the baby doesnt burp right away. It may take few minutes for gas bubbles to rise to the surface in your babys tummy.
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.
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What Should I Know About Colic
- What are symptoms of colic
- Learn the difference between fussy and colicky
- Know how to help your colicky baby
Colic is often discussed but seldom understood. A colic baby has seemingly never-ending episodes of inconsolable crying, no matter what you try to do to calm them. The term colic comes from the Greek word kolikos meaning suffering in the colon. Doctors and scientists assume that colicky crying is the result of pain in the gut, but often no clear answer exists as to why a colicky baby is so hard to soothe and the crying is so intense.
Interestingly, new studies coming out may indicate that some causes of colic may be infantile migraines, or intense headaches.1
What is Colic?
While the causes of colic are challenging to pinpoint, newborn colic is assumed if an otherwise healthy and well-fed baby meets the Rule of Threes:2
- Crying lasting at least three hours a day
- Occurring at least three days a week
- Has been happening for more than three weeks
Any baby can suffer from colic, as the condition does not discriminate between gender, birth order, or feeding method. Worldwide, the prevalence of colic occurs between an estimated 5 19% of infants.3
How long does colic last?
Episodes of intense crying seem to appear more often during growth spurts or at the end of the day and seem to peak at about 6 weeks of age. The good news is that the condition resolves itself in up to 90% of infants by the age of 4 months .4
Is my baby fussy, colicky, or something else?
Gassy Baby Remedies And Treatments
If you have a gassy baby, there are several things you can do. Start by placing your baby on a flat surface, belly down. Lift them up slightly on their stomach, and gently massage their belly. Or place your baby on their back and “try moving their legs and hips around as if they were riding a bike,” Dr. Brown says. Often these kinds of motions break up bubbles and give gas an extra push to work its way out. “You can also try a nice, warm bath to relieve the discomfort,” Dr. Brown adds.
If you’re still faced with an unhappy infant, you might want to consult with your pediatrician about trying some gas drops. “Some babies are said to respond well to over-the-counter anti-gas drops containing simethicone,” Dr. Shu says. Another option is to consider what might be causing the excess gas and see if you can reduce the bubble intake from the get-go.
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Try To Reduce Babys Crying
When your baby cries, they may gulp in air. Unfortunately, if the crying leads to gas in their system, theyre probably going to want to cry more.
This can be a vicious cycle, so we encourage you to do work on soothing the tears. Some soothing options include using a pacifier, swaddling, rocking, and swinging.
Common Latching Problems And Solutions
Having trouble breastfeeding? Here’s how to fix a couple of the most common latching problems:
- Poor positioning. Don’t hunch over your baby and push your breast into his mouth. Instead, try bringing baby’s little suction cup to you.
- Baby’s body is out of line. Make sure babys head and body are facing you, so he can focus squarely on the task at hand.
- Baby’s body is too far away. Mealtime is impossible if your nipple is out of reach.
- An empty breast. Your baby may not latch because little or nothing comes out when he sucks.
- Flat or inverted nipples. It can be more difficult, but not impossible, for baby to latch on.
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Burp Your Baby Correctly
We cant stress enough that your babys digestive system is still developing so dont skip the burping stage! In some cases, you might want to burp them twice.
This means that midway through a feeding session, let them take a break and burp them. Then you can continue feeding them, and burp again once youre done. Be sure to follow different positions for burping and always work the gas from the bottom up.
If youre breastfeeding or chestfeeding, you may not need to burp your baby as frequently, since nursing babies usually swallow less air which results in less gas. Babies with lots of gas may need to burp more often.
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.
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Improper feeding techniquesBreastfeeding your baby directly or using baby bottles can either increase or reduce gas in a baby. Finding the right method to feed your baby will prevent them from swallowing gas. When breastfeeding, hold your baby in a position where their head goes above your breast to keep them from taking in the air. If your child swallows air, their digestive system struggles to break down lactose leading to an increase in intestinal gas. Now you know why your baby farts excessively.
A bottle to feed also affects the flow of milk inside their throat. Ensure that you are doing it correctly to prevent them from swallowing gas. After your babys meal, put them at the right angle for them to burp so that you can eliminate gas trapped inside their system.
Allergy to milk proteinDo not assume that your baby may not react to artificial milk proteins. Unlike breast milk, some children are sensitive to formula food. Your child may negatively react to the whey or casein found in baby food which increases the rate of farting. Milk protein may cause inflammation in your babys digestive system which leads to flatulence.
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!
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How Long Does Colic Typically Last
Colic episodes can last for about 3 hours a day until your baby is about 6 weeks old then, these episodes may get shorter and last about 1 or 2 hours a day until your little one is about 3 or 4 months old.
In general, colicky crying tends to stop when you child is about 4 months old, but it can sometimes last until around 6 months of age.
When To Visit The Pediatrician
When fussiness, squirming, and other gassy behaviors persist beyond your baby’s first few months, it’s reasonable to wonder if they have a food allergy or intolerance. The biggest clue: They’re dealing with other significant health problems too. “A baby or child with a food allergy will also probably have skin rashes, vomiting, diarrhea or blood in her stool, and she may not be gaining enough weight,” says Jean Molleston, M.D., a pediatric gastroenterologist with Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, in Indianapolis. Visit the doctor if you suspect this.
Gas pain is also a symptom of celiac disease, a serious intolerance to gluten. Children aren’t born with this autoimmune disorder it can develop at any point when something in their environment “turns on” the genes that cause it. Ask your doctor to test your child for celiac disease if they’re also experiencing growth issues, abdominal discomfort, vomiting, chronic diarrhea, or constipation, or if celiac or any other autoimmune diseases run in your family.
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What Are The Foods That Cause Gas In Babies
Every baby is unique. So is their reaction to different foods. However, there are certain foods that are common culprits for causing gas in babies. These belong to different food groups that are included in your babys diet.
Lets have a look at 11 must know gas-causing foods to be aware of. The foods include a variety of items. There are green vegetables, beans, and even certain fruits. These foods take time to digest. This is because they are slow to break down.
Can Mothers Diet Cause Baby Gas
According to most Healthcare organizations, Breast milk is the only food that babies need until they are 6 months old. So, there is no need to stop breastfeeding because your baby has gas. Gas in babies is inevitable in the first 1 to 4 months of their life.
Many breastfeeding mothers worry about their diet causing gas in babies. However, study published in 2017 found that mothers often needlessly restrict their diet . There is no need to restrict any specific food.
But if you really think that something in your diet is causing gas in the baby, try keeping a food log, which may help identify whether particular foods trigger gas in a baby. You may want to try eliminating dairy and caffeine first before restricting gassy food Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, beans from your diet.
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Crying Babies: Is Gas The Culprit
Do you think you have a winner at home if they ever had a competition on crying newborn babies? You are not alone. Every other parent feels this way, specially when there actually is something bothering their little one – and it is often than not stomach gas .
There are signs that can help indicate if your baby is having gas problems. Usually, the first sign is a discomfort of some sort. If you have a newborn baby crying and clenching her tiny fists in pain, it could be a sign of an abdominal cramp due to the presence of gas. Your infant can become gassy for different reasons including a change in diet, digestive problems, medications and others reasons.
Lets take a deeper look into why newborn babies cry, and some of the potential causes of gas in a newborn baby:
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.
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