The Gassy Breastfed Baby
Having a gassy breastfed baby is THE. WORST.
The problem is that your baby doesnt know how to pass it. Your baby doesnt even know what gas pains are! He just knows that its uncomfortable, and maybe even painful!
My first baby had horrible gas problems. Because of her gas, I was stressed out and sleep deprived .
Im sure you might be feeling the same, as well as feeling extremely helpless because theres nothing worse than your baby screaming in pain from gas.
There are so many causes of gas in babies .
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For my first baby, it was four things:
- A milk allergy/MSPI
I was breastfeeding her, and her body was unable to breakdown the milk and soy proteins that were passing through her tiny body. This equalled horrible, painful gas and a whole bunch of other symptoms including blood in stool.
- An overabundant milk supply
My poor baby was constantly fighting to keep with with my fast flow.
- The introduction of solids
Even though i waited until she was 6 months old to introduce solids because I knew she already had some digestive issues, it was still a horrible experience.
So as you can see, Ive dealt with gas from many different avenues, and for a large part of my childs babyhood.
So lets try to figure out the cause of your babys gas.
Q: Does Swaddling Make Gas Worse
Swaddling can help soothe some fussy babies who would otherwise be ingesting air from crying. However, for other babies, the reverse may be true and they may fight the swaddle. Take your baby’s lead on whether the swaddle brings them comfort and theyd be less likely to ingest air through crying.
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.
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Why Does Infant Gas Cause Pain And Discomfort
Normally, gas is not a problem and causes no pain or discomfort because it is quickly and easily pushed through the digestive system. However, babies are born with a very immature gut. Most experts agree that for the first thirteen weeks of life outside the womb, the newborn digestive system is literally just learning to function. Muscles that support digestion have not developed the proper rhythm for moving food efficiently thought the digestive tract. Furthermore, newborns lack the benevolent bacterial flora that develop over time to aid digestion and complement the work performed by enzymes secreted in the digestive tract.
Gas has buoyancy and gas pockets can become trapped in the upper and lower intestines. The gas acts like a cork, impeding or halting the flow of gastric juices, and built-up pressure causes painful bloating and swelling of the abdomen. Babys immature digestive system is unable to cope effectively. When gas pockets form in the stomach, it can cause the stomach to distend, and it is also the main cause of hiccups.
Some medical researchers assert that infant gas and colic are unrelated but we don’t agree with this theory. In our experience of helping hundreds of thousands with infant colic, gas and reflux, these are usually manifestations of one simple thing. A baby’s immature digestive system, and persistently reoccurring trapped gas can most definitely be a source of colic.
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.
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Burp Baby After Feeding
Its best to try to keep your baby upright for 20 to 30 minutes after a feeding. If theyre still gassy, burping can help release any gas pockets from your baby swallowing too much air. Gently pat your baby, starting at the lower back and working your way up. There are a few different ways to help make your baby burp, so try one of these burping positions:
- Hold your baby against your chest . Ensure their head is on your shoulder. Then pat and rub their back.
- Have your baby sit on your lap. Support their chest and head with one hand while patting their back with the other. Make sure youre holding your babys chin and not their throat.
- Lay your baby flat against your lap with the belly face down. Support your little ones head and make sure its higher than their chest. Gently rub or pat their back.
If you cant produce a burp in your baby with one position, then try another. Youll probably find that one position works best for your little one.
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.
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Watch For Allergies And Reactions To Something You Ate
In certain cases, if your little one is allergic or reacting to something you ate, removing that item from your diet may be the only way to solve this problem if you want to continue breastfeeding.
Indicators of allergies in babies can vary in intensity and are personal, but theyll go beyond just gassiness. Typically food allergies will appear within a few hours of consuming the allergen. The most common symptoms are:
What About Gripe Water
Gripe water is a liquid herbal remedy for infant gas. As a natural remedy, the FDA doesnt regulate it. Dr. Sniderman also cautions that its safety and effectiveness have not been well researched.
There are a lot of families who use it, and I havent personally seen any problems with gripe water, but I generally dont recommend it, she says. Without solid research to back it up, I cant confidently say, Yes, thats fine.
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Effective Positions To Relieve Gas
One of the ways to relieve infant gas is to try holding your baby in different positions. Burping babies helps remove some of the air that babies swallow when eating. Try to use different positions while burping that feel comfortable for both of you. Try one of these three positions to relieve gas:
- Sit upright and hold your infant against your chest. In this position, your babys chin will be on your shoulder while you support them with your hand. Gently pat your baby on the back.
- Hold your infant sitting up across your knee or in your lap. In this position, you will be gently supporting your babys head and chest by holding their chin. With the heel of your hand on your babys chest, be careful to hold your babys chin and not their throat. With your other hand, pat your babys back gently.
- Lay your baby face down on your lap. In this position, support your babys head and ensure that its higher than their chest. Pat their back gently.
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When To Worry About Babys Gas
The good news is that most gas issues resolve themselves over time. However, if your babyâs irritability is severe and chronic, you should suspect something other than gas as the culprit. And if your child is not growing well, the gas may be an indication of a significant digestive problem. See your babyâs doctor to discuss any concerns you may have.
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Get Those Legs Pumping
For babies who need to let out some gas from down below, get their legs moving to bring some relief. Dr. Sniderman suggests lying your baby on their back and moving their legs in gentle circular motions, as if they were riding a bicycle. Alternatively, place your baby on their back and hold their feet in your hands. Bend their legs at their knees, and gently bring their knees to their bellies.
These methods may also help to bring on a poo.
Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding
When youâre breastfeeding, thereâs a lot more thats on the menu than off with a few caveats. Here are the drinks and foods to avoid while youâre breastfeeding:
- Excessive caffeine: One or two cups of coffee or tea a day, amounting to 300 milligrams or less, are safe while youâre breastfeeding . More than that, however, may lead to you and your baby feeling jittery, irritable and sleepless. Other sources of caffeine include tea, soda and chocolate.
- High-mercury fish: The same EPA guidelines on fish safety that apply to pregnant women also apply to breastfeeding women: Avoid high-mercury fish including shark, orange roughy, swordfish, marlin, big eye tuna, tilefish and King mackerel. Limit tuna to 8 to 12 ounces a week of canned light tuna or no more than 4 ounces a week of white albacore tuna.
- Some herbal supplements. Few studies have been done on the safety of herbal supplements, so little is known about how they affect a nursing baby plus these supplements arent regulated by the Food and Drug Administration . To stay safe, ask your doctor before taking any herbal remedy, and think twice before drinking herbal tea or breastfeeding brews. For now, stick to reliable brands in varieties that are considered safe during lactation . Read labels carefully to make sure other herbs havenât been added.
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How To Cure A Super Gassy Baby
Now, I dont mean to brag but one thing Ive proven to be really good at is making supergassy babies. Okay, so, hold the phone . I know, we all what to be the best at something and you might be sitting there feeling just a little envious that I managed to find something to excel at while you still figure yours out. BUT this may not be the skill you want to excel in. No. Id say, be happy to leave this one to me.
Anyways, youve probably started reading this because you have a supergassy baby. I mean, it makes sense. If you were somehow blessed with a baby that isnt gassy , theres really not much reason why a post about newborn gas would appeal to you. So, I guess, its safe to assume that Im talking to someone in the midst of walking a similar path to the one Ive already walked three – count em three – times before. Before I get into the gassy goods, I just want to say: Mama , I get it. I understand your struggle here. I understand how it hurts your heart to see your sweet little baby wrenched up and screaming in pain. I know that youre here because you just want to try something to help relieve them of their discomfort. And to relieve yourself of the discomfort that comes along with caring for a super gassy baby. Also – even if you wouldnt describe your baby as a supergassy baby, I dont discriminate. You are still very welcome to use these tricks to alleviate general infant gas! Here we go.
How to Know its Gas
Anti-Gas or Anti-Colic Drops
Q: Is Babys Gas Caused By Food
The breakdown of food by our digestive system causes gas and this is normal! Some foods, like beans and lentils, may cause more gas. However, if youve got a suspicion that your babys gas pains are not due to air intake or normal digestion and certain foods are making gas worse, then please speak to your pediatrician about potential sensitivities or allergies. Only try eliminating certain food groups with advice and support from your pediatrician.
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Gassy Baby Here’s What You Need To Know
There is nothing more humbling than a match of parent vs. fussy baby when it comes to gas. The unrelenting cries of a newborn who is gassy, and the subsequent sleep deprivation that ensues can feel like an all-out battle.
For some babies, this is a rite of passage, yet others grow into babyhood untouched by gas pains. Regardless, all babies have some amount of gasthe difference is how your baby responds to it. In most cases, infant gas is nothing to worry about.
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.
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How To Relieve Gas In Newborns And Babies
If you have a gassy baby, there are several things you can do to help relieve their discomfort. 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 your pediatrician about trying some gas drops or to see if a formula change or diet-modification for a breastfeeding parent is needed. “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 gasâsuch as taking in too much air while feeding or eating gas-producing foodsâand see if you can reduce the bubble intake from the get-go.
When Should We Contact Our Primary Care Provider
Before assuming your child has colic, you should look for other signs of illness. These may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Not sucking or drinking a bottle well
- Drinking less milk than usual
- Gastrointestinal issues like vomiting or diarrhea
- Becoming more irritable when held or touched
- Strange sounding cry
- Change in breathing rate or effort
- Being more sleepy or sluggish than usual
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Surefire Ways To Soothe A Gassy Baby
As a new mom, one of the things that surprised me about my babies was how gassy they were. My sweet, little cherubs would toot and grunt and pass gas a lot. At times, it was hard not to laugh. How can such a little baby make such a big noise! The truth is babies pass gas 13-21 times a day, so its totally normal.
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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