How To Prevent Gas In Babies
If you want to avoid baby gas pain, your best bet is to stop gas from building in the first place. Make sure youre properly positioning baby during feedings so theyre swallowing as little air as possible. Hold baby in your arms and elevate their head while their drinking, OConnor says.
When mixing formula, make sure to let the formula settle before feeding it to baby, Grossman says. Mixing and shaking the formula while preparing it can lead to more air bubbles that baby might swallow, which may cause gas. As youre giving baby the bottle, tilt it to let as little air into the nipple as possible. You can also try using a vented bottle specifically designed to reduce how much air baby swallows as they feed. Tip: If you decide to switch bottles, dont buy a bunch of them at once. Try one at a time and see if the gassiness improves, OConnor says. Also consider switching to a nipple with a smaller hole. Large holes let milk flow through quickly, and baby may swallow a lot of air in an attempt to keep up.
When breastfeeding, its a bit harder to prevent baby from swallowing air. But you can stop at regular intervals and burp baby, OConnor says. And like trying different bottles, you can try different breastfeeding positions to see if one leads to less baby gas.
Meredith Grossman, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician and assistant professor of pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.
Plus, more from The Bump:
Why Is My Baby Gassy
Some parents report that their newborn will not allow them to put them down. They will only sleep on them or in a carrier. These babies are NOT flexible about where they sleep. Is this personality? Possibly, but it could be that this baby is uncomfortable and being upright and close to a parent is soothing. Having reflux, being gassy or having a sensitive tummy are common reasons I see for refusing to be put down. Babies who are gassy are often uncomfortable all the time, not just at night. Parents often report that she will ONLY sleep on someone.
Signs of gas include a lot of wriggling, arching bag and grunting. Some babies may visibly be trying to âpush.â
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:
Don’t Miss: How Many Oz Should A Newborn Eat Per Feeding
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 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 cant digest the milk sugar lactose when they are born, is extremely rare.
Older children dont 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.
Foods That Make Breastfed Babies Gassy
- Fiber. Foods like bran, beans, and whole grains.
- Fruit. Citrus fruits, prunes, plums, peaches, or apricots.
- Vegetables. Broccoli, cabbage, and Brussel sprouts.
- Garlic. Garlic-seasoned foods like pasta dishes or garlic bread.
- Dairy. Yogurt, ice cream, or milk products.
- Carbonated beverages. If they make you burp, they could make your baby gassy too.
Its not necessary to give up all your favorite foods when pregnant and/or breastfeeding. Health experts recommend only making dietary changes if you see a direct connection between something youve eaten and your baby’s gassiness.
Additionally, if youre still breastfeeding after your little one begins solids or finger foods, its easier to detect what food might be the culprit and then eliminate it.
Recommended Reading: How To Clear Up Newborn Acne
Is Your Baby Passing A Lot Of Gas
Yes, a gassy baby is normal, but of course you may still want to know how to help your baby with gas. Chances are, the problem is just temporary as your newborn develops a strong digestive system and gets used to a new diet of breast milk or formula. Use the information above to understand how to relieve baby gas.
Also Check: How Much Does A Newborn Drink
Consider A Specialized Formula
While most babies can do well on a standard formula, some may need a formula that is specialized. The two options used most frequently for gastrointestinal symptoms are hydrolyzed and hypoallergenic formulas:
As a reminder, please always check with your pediatrician before introducing or switching to a specialized formula!
Read Also: What Do I Need For A Newborn
Position Your Baby For Gas Relief
There are a few positions that can help your baby with gas by supporting the stomach and digestive system.
Left side. Gently roll your baby onto the left side while holding them in your arms. You may want to rub their back to help keep them calm.
On the back. Place your baby on the back while moving their legs as if they were cycling. On the back is also the best sleeping position for a gassy baby .
On the tummy.Tummy time has lots of benefits, among them being that it may help aid digestion. A little pressure on the abdomen may keep things moving and help break up those gas bubbles. Watch the video below to pick up some tips on tummy time sessions and remember to supervise your baby during tummy time.
Is My Baby’s Poop Normal
What’s normal for baby poop depends on whether you’re breastfeeding or formula-feeding. If your baby is breastfed, her bowel movements will often be mustard-like in color and consistency, sometimes loose, even watery, and sometimes seedy, mushy or curdy.
If she’s formula-fed, the stool will usually be soft but better formed than a breastfed baby’s, and anywhere from pale yellow to yellowish brown, light brown or brownish green.
Don’t Miss: How Much Are Newborn Pictures
Lose The Dummy And Check Your Latch
Babies that use pacifiers often take in some extra air while sucking on the pacifier. You might think that you are calming your baby by giving them a pacifier, but the additional air intake could cause increased gas pain and even sleep disturbance. A poor latch can cause a gassy tummy. In bottle-fed babies, the gas is due to artificial nipples that are too fast or slow flowing.
Trying Gripe Water For A Gassy Baby
Gripe water is a go-to for mothers of colicky babies, but it can also help a gassy baby, too. Gripe water contains many tummy-friendly herbs such as fennel. Studies show that fennel can reduce gastrointestinal spasms, increase the efficiency of the small intestine, and reduce discomfort associated with gas. If youre breastfeeding, you can drink fennel tea by adding 2 tablespoons of fennel seed into hot water and seep for 20 minutes. Strain and drink.
Also Check: How To Help Newborn Poop
Other Reasons Your Baby Could Be Crying
For very young babies, crying is the only means of communication they have.
So, while gas or colic might be the reason for their tears, there can be other reasons that your little one is having a bad day. These include:
- Early teething. The general age for a baby getting their first tooth is around 6 months of age. But in some cases, babies can cut their first tooth as early as 4 months. Along with fussiness, teething is associated with extra drooling, swelling of the gums, increased biting or gumming of items, and sometimes even ear-rubbing.
- Pain or illness. Especially in newborns, incessant crying can sometimes be a sign that your baby is in pain due to illness or injury. Check your baby over for bruises or other injuries including a stray hair that could be wrapped tightly around a finger, toe, or penis. Schedule a visit with your babys pediatrician to have them assessed, just in case.
- Discomfort. Just like older kids and adults, those little humans might not always love every outfit you put on them or every place you stow them thats not in your arms. Sometimes, theyre just bored and want to have a change in scenery. Before you assume its gas, see whether picking them up, changing their clothes, or going outside helps.
- Tiredness. Babies can very easily get overtired and ironically, resist going to sleep even more. Try to create some kind of consistent sleep routine such as creating a dark and comfortable environment or reading the same book for naps and night time.
How To Treat And Prevent Baby Gas
Other treatment and prevention tips are the following:
Position and bottles:
- When breastfeeding, get a great attachment, and for bottle feeding, make sure the formula covers the teat completely. Doing these things will help the baby to avoid gulping to get more food and taking in the excess air into their stomach. Always ensure your babys head is higher than their tummy. It will make swallowing and natural digestion easier.
- Gulping down breast milk too quickly can trap air, so introduce some short breaks into the feeding. Break your latch, pause for 10-15 seconds, and then resume. Take a 30-second break while shifting breasts.
- Some bottles are specially made to minimize air bubbles and some bottles have a special vent system to eliminate negative pressure and air bubbles. Pay attention to the milk flow from the nipple. Most bottle systems have levels or numbers on the nipples to indicate the suggested age you should use each nipple.
- Although choosing the right bottle nipple and giving your baby’s infant probiotics are good for preventing gas, some good old-fashioned bicycle kicks can help your baby during a gassy flare-up. This is also a great opportunity to bond with your baby. To perform this move, follow these simple steps:
- Lay your baby on a soft blanket on the floor
- Sit in front of your baby and move your babys legs as if he were on a bicycle
Also Check: How Is Hemophilia Treated In A Newborn
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.
Is Your Baby Screaming In Pain From Gas Or Something Else
When an adult has gas, it can be an uncomfortable experience. But most of us dont holler at the top of our lungs because of it.
Babies, on the other hand, cant explain their feelings, so crying and screaming are the only tools they have to tell us that something is wrong.
Babies cry for a variety of reasons, so its important to be sure that your child has gas before you attempt to source a remedy.
However, babies have new and somewhat immature digestive systems. This means that from time to time, things might not move as smoothly as they should. The result can be a bit of uncomfortable gas.
Gas can happen at any stage, but its incredibly common in the first 3 months of life . Gassiness usually subsides with time.
Some babies may also be born being extra sensitive to gas, which could make it more uncomfortable for them. This can occur in both formula-fed and breastfed or chestfed babies.
Your baby may get gas as a result of something in your diet if youre nursing.
While crying can be a telltale sign, there may be other signs that your baby is experiencing gas.
For example, they may:
- become red in the face or seem like theyre in pain when crying
- be very squirmy and pull their legs up to their chest
Read Also: How Many Times Should Newborn Eat