Top Tips for Relieving Baby's Gas and How to Prevent It
Whether you are a parent of two or three or four or a new parent, every baby you ever had or have is always different from the other. From whether they are fussy or just very happy, baby mood swings are just really difficult to follow. One of the reasons that make parenting very difficult especially when dealing with newborn babies is simply the inconsolable crying.
The only way for babies to communicate is by crying and-- even though we love our little tots so much--it can get on our nerves especially when they just won't stop. We know how frustrating it feels especially if you've given them milk, you tried putting them to sleep, you tried to see if they're hurt in any way. And when everything just doesn't work, you get really worried and frustrated at the same time, it can really be such a major stress. Well, it's not like they're probably suffering from something major, it can just be a case of bad gas pain.
What is a gas pain?
Gas is that horrible feeling you get in the pit of your tummy. When gas circulates around your gut, it causes a mild pain that won't seem to go away. Gas pain is simply trapped gas inside your intestines and that expelling it is the only solution to relieving the pain.
For adults, we know how to deal with a newborn with gas pain. Although it may be embarrassing, it isn't something serious. However, for babies, gas pain is unbearable and all your baby can do is cry.
How can you tell if your baby has gas pain?
There are plenty of telltale signs that point to your baby having gas pain. Your baby has a gas pain if your baby:
- keeps burping
- farts a lot
- has a bloated tummy
- gets really fussy
- and cries a lot
If your baby or newborn has gas, these are sure signs to check for. But if there are other symptoms like inconsolable crying even after passing gas a couple of times, then it could be colic or something else. But don't worry, just because your baby cries often times, it doesn't really mean that they are in serious pain.
What causes gas pain in newborns?
You may not know it but there are too many reasons why your baby ends up getting really gassy.
1. Wrong feeding position
When breastfeeding your baby, you need to make sure that your baby is properly positioned. A wrong breastfeeding position won't allow your baby to feed well, instead of sucking in milk, your little one will end up swallowing air causing gas pain in babies. It goes the same with drinking from a bottle.
2. Lactose overdose
This is more common than we think. Some mommies have a foremilk hindmilk imbalance. It means that you are either producing too much foremilk or too much hindmilk. Foremilk is lower in fat and calories. This is the milk that your baby gets at the start of breastfeeding while hindmilk is the one your baby feeds on as the breast drains. The hindmilk is richer in fat and calories.
When your baby drinks more foremilk because you happen to have an oversupply of milk, your baby will end up drinking milk with too much lactose with little fat to slow down the process. This causes a lot of gas.
Newborn gas pain can be a result of a very young digestive system. Newborns may not be able to process food properly that excess gas is produced.
4. Sensitivity to food
Babies have the tendency to be very sensitive to food. Babies gas pains can be a result of intolerance to certain kinds of food. This happens especially when you start feeding your baby early.
This is the most common reason why babies get gas pain. When your babies' tummy gets really overloaded, they have the tendency to be bloated. When this happens, the gas that is already inside the colon get together and churn your baby's gut. Besides, when your baby feeds, he/she feeds on both milk and air. And overfeeding also means that your baby also took quite a big amount of air too.
6. Acid reflux
When your baby gets acidic, air bubbles also form. Think of it like soda. There are so many bubbles in soda because it is acidic and same goes with your baby. When you baby gets acidic, air bubbles causes baby gas pains.
A colicky baby has the tendency to swallow more air. When your baby is colicky, muscle spasms and excessive crying are great causes for gas to collect inside the stomach.
How to soothe a gassy baby?
There are many ways to relieve gas in infants. There have been many proven ways on how to relieve baby gas pains. However, these top tips for helping you relieve your baby gas pains are not professional medical treatment, nonetheless, they are proven effective by most mommies and definitely by us here at ParentsNeed HQ.
1. Achieve a Good Latch in Proper Feeding
There are two ways of feeding you baby: breastfeeding and bottle feeding.
Standard Breast Feeding. When you breastfeed your baby, make sure that you carry your baby not hold your baby. There is a huge difference. Cradle your baby. Position your baby's head on the crook of your arm and position the other under your baby. Make sure that your baby is facing your chest and not the ceiling-- of course, you also have to check not to smother your baby with all that love, that milky love. This allows less air to enter and more milk to feed on.
This also helps your nipples' health. Your nipples have bigger chances of getting wounded in improperly positioning your baby in breastfeeding. We know it's tiring to hold your baby like that for a long time but you can simply put pillows under your arm and sit on a chair with comfy armrests. Lean back and straighten out your legs on a stool so that you won't end up leaning in on your baby.
Side-Lying while Breastfeeding. If you are side lying while breastfeeding, start by positioning pillows on your head and on your back. These will help support you in case you get tired quickly. After that, position your baby facing you, along with your nipple to your baby's nose and let your little one latch on. If your nipples hurt, try adjusting until you feel a good latch.
Bottlefeeding. In bottle feeding, relieving newborn gas is all about choosing the right nipple for your baby. Choosing the right nipple for your baby refers to the size, the softness and the size of the nipple hole. You have to choose a nipple that fits perfectly in your baby's mouth. Adjust as your baby grows because a nipple to small would make your baby suck in more air and a nipple too big will make your baby overfeed and gasp for lumps of air. Position the bottle right by making sure that your baby is sucking on the bottle nipple completely. And when the bottle is empty, don't let your baby suck in the air. Even if you have to make your baby cry by pulling out the bottle, it is better than giving your baby gas pain.
We just can't help it when your baby ends up chugging up air along while feeding. It's absolutely normal but you need to release the air while the gas is still in the stomach rather than letting your little one suffer later. You need to relieve gas in infants right after they feed. Now to the question, how to relieve gas in babies through burping?
Start by putting your baby in an upright position and put your baby over your shoulder. Just pat your baby's back gently and wait for the burp. Burps can be messy because of the spit-ups. After feeding, don't immediately put your baby on your shoulder, sudden movements can trigger a spit-up. It's like an unopened can of soda. When it's cold and there is too much movement, the soda pops when you remove the pin. If your baby won't burp, lie him/ her down for a while and try again. This is a quick and easy way to prevent babies' gas pains.
3. Change the food and formula
Babies are new to everything, even food and drinks and introducing new food earlier may cause gassiness in your babies. So, it's better to consult your pediatrician and even an allergist with regard to foods you should introduce to your children and when. Some introduce fruit juices to babies and it contains chemicals that babies can't digest. Even dairy products can cause an extra gassy newborn if they're introduced too early.
There's some formula milk that may not suit your baby well. Not all babies work with the same kind of formula, so some milk brands can work for your friend's little one but it doesn't mean it will work well for yours. Try one brand for a month at a time until you will find the best one for your baby.
There are some foods that cause gas in babies while breastfeeding. Actually, if you're breastfeeding, you should also be careful with the food you're are eating. Those foods can be passed on to your baby through your milk and dairy products, caffeine, alcohol, and others can cause gas in babies too.
4. Roll your baby over
Now, how to help a gassy baby if your baby is already bloated. One of the best things you can do is to give your baby some tummy time! Let your little one lie on his/her tummy. This actually helps your baby pass gas much quicker. Lay your baby down, you may opt to put a pillow on his/her head and let your baby stay that way as long as he/she is comfy.
When your baby is crying too much, put down a pillow, let your baby lie on his/her tummy and gently rub or pat your baby's back. This eases your baby and prevents your little one to swallow gulps of air. On the plus side, this is very helpful too for your baby's motor skills.
5. I Love You! Treatment
Massaging your baby's tummy is very helpful for relieving gas in newborns and babies. You can either lie your baby on his/ her back and run your baby's tummy in circles. Rub gently in a clockwise circular motion. Therapists, nurses and medical practitioners practice the 'I Love You' Treatment.
Some experts say to use your two or three fingers in doing this massage while other say use your palm, but either way, it works well. Just write the letters 'I', 'L', and 'U' on your baby's abdomen. Do this for about 5 minutes. This can help your baby pass gas, stay relaxed and feel so much better.
6. Baby Exercise
Keep your baby active. Even if your baby is still an infant, let your baby do some bicycling movements. It can do your infant a lot of good. It not only helps in relieving newborn gas, it also helps your baby develop motor skills. This is a good way of both preventing and treating your little one's baby gas. The movements increase your baby's intestines to move and pass gas much more efficiently.
7. Baby probiotics
There is never anything wrong about giving your baby probiotics. Since our babies have very young colon and little flora in their tummies, it would do them great to have good bacteria introduced to help develop their digestive systems.
8. Homeopathic treatment
Gripe water for gas is an over the counter, FDA approved treatment for colic and other tummy problems for our babies gas. It's made of water and herbs that aid in your little one's digestive tract. This helps relieve pains, gassiness, colic, diarrhea and other problems your baby might suffer from regarding their belly.
9. Gas Drops
Gassy baby remedies also involve gas medicine for babies. Baby gas medicine often refers to Simethicone, it is relatively considered safe because it isn't absorbed into the bloodstream and it helps quickly relieve your baby's gas pains.
Providing relief for your baby gas pains is one of the best ways to keeping a relaxed and happy baby. Gas pains in babies are very common but it's not something we should let our babies get used to. So no matter what home remedies for infant gas or medical treatment for gas pains in babies, you do what you have to do for the sake of your little one.