Giving Your Diet A Makeover
Sometimes, all it takes is a little tweak to your breastfeeding diet to help your baby get relief. Some foods can be problematic. Dairy is a huge culprit. Try eliminating for 2 weeks and see if it makes a difference. Other foods like cruciferous veggies and legumes are known to cause gassiness in breastfed babies. If you suspect that your diet is affecting your baby, eliminate problem foods and see if your baby feels better. Learn more about the best breastfeeding diet here.
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When Should I Worry About Baby Gas
Talk to a pediatrician, especially if the gas happens a lot or is severe. Babies bodies are learning how to digest food, so they tend to get more gas than adults. Sometimes a virus causes stomach problems, such as gas, vomiting, and diarrhea. In older infants who eat solids, new foods may cause gas.
There Are Many Reasons Why Babies Get Gassy
They could be feeding in an awkward position, eating too fast, eating too much, ingesting too much lactose , swallowing air from a baby bottle, or they could have a slight intolerance to proteins found in breast milk. Remember, your babys digestive system is still developing too. Her intestines are still forming the micro flora she needs to effectively digest foods, even after shes born.
Other things that can cause gas include normal baby stuff like crying, sucking on a pacifier or simply getting the hiccups. Anything that causes baby to swallow excess air can trigger gas.
When you know what to look for, its not hard to tell if shes in discomfort due to gas. Babies will do involuntary things like grunt or strain. Sometimes they cry out or clench up their bodies. If your baby is happy one minute and crying the next for no apparent reason it could be gas pain.
Other tricks mamas use to figure out if baby has gas is listening to her tummy you can actually hear her stomach gurgling! Or feel her tummy to see if its bloated, distended and hard.
If your detective skills lead your to believe your baby is having a bout with painful gas, here are 5 tricks that should help her feel better:
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How To Deal With A Gassy Baby
Once you have an awareness of what could be causing gassiness in your baby, the next sensible question is how to manage it for them.
While being more gassy than usual is uncomfortable for anyone, its especially irritating for babies. Naturally, parents want to make them feel better.
One of the biggest contributors to gassy babies is feeding. Fortunately, there are some things you can do with feeding to help reduce your babys gassiness.
First, consider the preparation of your babys formula. If its a powdered formula, be sure to allow it to settle after mixing before feeding it to your baby. Blending or voraciously mixing the formula into liquid can create air bubbles, which can promote gas when your baby consumes them.
You can also gently tap the bottle, right-side up, on a table to help eliminate bubbles. Additionally, use slightly warm water to mix powdered formula, as cold water isnt as effective at dissolving it.
Once your baby is done eating, dont forget to burp them. To do this, hold them with their head on one of your shoulders, careful not to block their airway, and gently pat their back with one hand.
This helps break up any air bubbles that have been trapped in their abdomen and allows them to be released. Youll hear an audible burp, and possibly multiple burps. You can also burp your baby by sitting them up on your lap, supporting their chest, and gently patting their back.
Can Breastfeeding Make Baby Gassy
Some research has found that the foods in a mom’s diet might make breastfed babies gassy, but the evidence is far from conclusive. Before you completely revamp what you’re eating, see if there are other subtle ways you can help your baby swallow less air at mealtimes, including working on your latch, burping baby twice at each feeding and trying different nipples or bottles if you pump.
If your breastfed baby is still gassy, and you notice that every time you eat a certain food he seems gassier or fussier than usual, theres no harm in cutting that food from your diet to see if it helps. Work with your doctor to nail down foods that might make breastfed babies gassy, including:
- Cruciferous veggies like cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower
- Dairy and eggs
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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:
Older Children With Gas
Although it can also be normal, older children with gas can have an underlying medical condition causing their gas, including lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, malabsorption, or celiac disease.
Fortunately, they are often better at describing associated symptoms, such as bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, etc. Older children also often recognize the association between their symptoms and specific foods, including milk, fruits, or vegetables.
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Why Is Your Baby Gassy In The First Place
Babies usually experience gas troubles almost right away, even after only a few weeks of life. Most infants grow out of it by around four to six months of agebut sometimes, it can last longer.
Most infant gas is simply caused by swallowing air while feeding. Other times, though, it can be caused by sensitivities that could be affected by a breastfeeding moms diet or a certain type of formula. Heres how to tell if your baby is gassy:
You notice that your baby is fussy for about an hour or so per day. Again, baby gas is normal! But if you notice it every single day with no sign of improvement, its time to call your doctor.
Your baby seems unhappy most of the time. This is a good indicator that your babys gas is above a normal newborn gas level.
Your baby isnt eating or sleeping well. This can have a lot of different causes, but gas is definitely a common one.
When your baby cries, you notice that they get red in the face, or they seem like theyre in pain.
Your baby is squirming a lot. If your baby seems uncomfortable, is squirming around, or pulling their legs up to their chest, it could be a sign of gas.
Spending Time Doing Tummy Time
While youre on the floor doing bicycle kicks, its the perfect time for tummy time! You probably already know that tummy time helps your baby strengthen his neck and core muscles, but the pressure of the floor on your babys tummy can also help alleviate gas.
Tip: Wait at least 20 minutes after feeding before engaging in tummy time to reduce the chance of baby spitting up.
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When To Call A Doctor
More often than not, a gassy baby is not a major cause for concern. Though fussiness and irritability are to be expected, it will rarely lead to severe pain.
As long as youre able to alleviate the symptoms of gassiness through burping, massaging, or new feeding positions, theres no reason to worry. In some cases, gassiness might indicate a milk allergy or lactose intolerance.
However, if your infants crying and discomfort seem prolonged, make an appointment to see your doctor. Theyll likely perform a complete physical exam to rule out any serious abdominal issues. If your gassy baby is suffering from severe symptoms like vomiting or bloody stools, seek medical attention immediately.
A Lot Of Newborn Discomfort Is Caused By Swallowing Air During Feedings
What helps a gassy baby. In addition to burping. In addition to helping your baby relax a gentle belly rub might help dispel gas or at least help her tummy feel better. Wallis duffy recommends doing several strokes with each diaper change.
Overfeeding your baby can make it harder for her to break down the lactose in the milk resulting in gas. Massage your baby s belly. This helps move gas along physically but also helps soothe and calm nerves in the intestines.
Start by placing your baby on a flat surface belly down. Tip the bottle up slightly so there are no air bubbles in the nipple and use a nursing pillow. For the massage to make a difference for your gassy baby you have to do it often.
Babies who are bottle fed are often more prone to gas because of air in the bottle. How do you comfort a gassy baby. Feed effectively with a bottle.
Allowing a baby to crawl on their stomach may help relieve gas. If your baby s tummy troubles seem to be a problem here s what to do for a gassy baby. How to help your baby feel better check feeding position.
Gripe water is a go to for mothers of colicky babies but it can also help a gassy. If your gassy baby is in severe discomfort try the baby bike ride lay baby on their back and move their legs in an up and down pedaling motion. Burping your baby during each meal.
Burping regularly is essential for a happy tummy. If you have a gassy baby there are several things you can do. Change baby s bottle.
Gassy Baby Signs Causes And Relief
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Not Enough Gas Being Released
Gas has two directions it can go to be eliminated: up or down. Babies are notoriously bad at coordinating their abdominal muscles in order to pass gas or poop, and they need help with burping as well because they are so often in a supine position.
Burp well: To be fair, there have been a few studies that seem to indicate that burping does not decrease colic/crying, but while gas and colic overlap, theyre not completely the same. Not every baby needs to be burped, but for those with gas and reflux, they do seem to clinically feel better. Research aside, diligent attention to burping is worth a try in your baby to see if it helps. Keep in mind, though, that if they cry a lot WHILE burping then youre kind of defeating the purpose.
Tummy time: Being on your back rather than upright or on your front makes releasing gas harder. Obviously your baby still needs to sleep on their back to decrease their risk for SIDS, but when they are alert and awake, it is important to give them some tummy time to promote release of the gas.
Massage: Stay tuned for a separate post on this, but briefly: infant massage has been shown in more than one study to decrease duration of colic and crying. Admittedly the studies done on this are not of the highest quality, but this is a harmless intervention with the potential to help. Worth a try! There are specific techniques which are recommended for gastrointestinal issues, and I will post more on this soon.
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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When To Be Concerned About Baby Gas
So youve tried tummy massages and bicycle kicks, but you just cant comfort your baby. Now what? Its a good idea to speak with your pediatrician especially if:
- Your baby isnt gaining weight
- Your baby isnt interested in eating
- Your baby is struggling with constipation
Your pediatrician can help determine the cause of your babys discomfort so he can get the relief he deserves.
What Causes Baby Gas
As babies get older, its easier to understand whats bothering them. My toddler used to say: Mommy, I no feel much better, and point to the area that was hurting.
For newborns and infants, however, finding out whats wrong is more of a guessing game. If your baby has gas, there are a few physical signs you can look for. Babies tummies are so tiny, even the smallest bout of gas can be obvious from the outside.
- Bloating: If gas stays too long in their system, your baby can become bloated.
- Hard tummy: Gas can cause your babys belly to become harder and slightly swollen.
- Burps and farts: If your baby is burping or passing wind, it could be a sign theres more gas waiting to come out.
Sometimes, however, you wont be able to tell if its gas just by looking at your child. In that case, its helpful to be familiar with the causes.
Understanding how gas forms, and why, may help you respond better to a child suffering from its effects.
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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 Childrens 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 cant 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.
Incorporating Infant Probiotics In Your Babys Routine
The gut is home to trillions of live cultures. These good bacteria create the microbiome in your babys tummy. However, if the bad bacteria outnumber the good bacteria, your baby is more likely to struggle with gas or bloating. You can support your babys gut health with infant probiotics. Studies show that probiotics can reduce gas and bloating.
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