We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
What are the signs your baby has gas pains?
If your baby is fussy for no obvious reason, it may well be gas pains.
Babies with gas pain also tend to pull up their legs and then stretch out, arching their back. (Note, these symptoms could also be signs of colic or reflux.) Your baby might also clench her fists and become squirmy after feedings.
What could be causing my baby's gas?
Several factors could cause your child to have a gassy tummy:
- Immature intestines. Gas pain is common in babies in the first three months of life, while their intestines are developing. It's also common between ages 6 and 12 months, when they're trying lots of different foods for the first time.
- Bubbles in her formula. Mixing and shaking formula often introduces bubbles, which means your baby will swallow more air during feedings. Air in the bottle nipple can also contribute to bubbles.
- If you're breastfeeding, a poor latch: If your baby doesn't have a good latch, she may swallow too much air while nursing.
- Getting very upset. If your baby cries for a long time, she can swallow quite a bit of air as she gasps between cries.
- Eating certain vegetables. Like adults, babies can be extra gassy after eating certain vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower. If your child eats these healthy foods, that's a good thing; just make sure you don't overload her with too many gas-inducing veggies at consecutive meals.
- Drinking juice. Babies should not drink anything other than breast milk or formula (and water once they're 6 months old). They're likely to have a difficult time digesting the fructose and sucrose in juice, and as a result, it can bring on gas, or even diarrhea.
- Ingesting a particular protein in formula or breast milk. Gas pain in a breastfed baby may be caused by intolerance to a protein in the mother's diet. (Dairy products are a common culprit.) Gas pain in formula-fed babies may involve an intolerance to the protein in their formula.
How can I relieve my baby's gas pain?
Burp often. Frequent burping helps get air bubbles out of your baby's tummy. Don't wait until he's finished a feeding to burp him. Prop him up for a burping when you change sides while nursing or every few minutes when bottle-feeding.
If you can't seem to get a good burp, lay your baby down on his back for a minute or two, then pick him up and burp him again. The time on his back may help the air escape from under the formula or breast milk.
Keep upright for feedings. You might try holding your baby more upright during feedings to help the formula or breast milk travel more smoothly to his tummy – air will rise and he can burp it out. If he's curled up or hunched over, air is more likely to get trapped in there with his food.
Do the baby bicycle. Put your baby on his back, hold his feet, and gently move his legs in a bicycling motion several times a day. (Diaper changes are a good time to try this.) For some babies, this motion relieves gas and other tummy discomforts.
Avoid frantic feedings. Feed your baby before he's starving. If he's crying from hunger, he's more likely to gulp air along with his meal. Try to feed him in a calm environment: Turn down the lights, put on some soft music, and ask siblings to play quietly (one can always hope).
Get the latch or bottle angle right. If you give your baby a bottle, tilt it so that the entire nipple is filled with milk. Otherwise your baby will ingest the air in the nipple along with the formula.
If you're breastfeeding, make sure he has a good latch. Check with a lactation consultant if you need help making sure the latch is correct.
Check the bottle. If your baby's bottle-fed, it's important to find a bottle that won't make him gulp. The more air he swallows during feedings, the more likely he is to have tummy trouble.
The hole in the nipple shouldn't be too small or too large. A too-small hole will tend to frustrate him and make him gulp for more breast milk or formula, while a too-large hole causes the liquid to flow too quickly.
Some bottles are specially designed to reduce air intake and will say so on the packaging. Some are curved, while others have internal vents or liners to prevent air bubbles from forming in the liquid and keep the nipple from collapsing.
Switch from powdered to ready-to-feed formula. Try concentrated or ready-to-feed formula instead of powdered (which needs to be shaken up or vigorously stirred). If you do use powdered, let the formula settle after mixing before you give it to your baby.
Feed her smaller amounts more often. Your baby might be better at handling smaller feedings more often rather than large quantities of breast milk or formula all at once. 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. In addition to helping your baby relax, a gentle belly-rub might help dispel gas, or at least help her tummy feel better. You could also try placing your baby across your knees, tummy down, and rubbing her back. This sometimes helps release excess pressure.
Add some extra tummy time. Spending time on her tummy puts a little extra pressure on your baby's belly, which might help her pass some of that gas.
Soothe her when she fusses. Do what you can to soothe your baby when she's upset so that she doesn't cry for long periods. Try swaddling, rocking, and bouncing her – whatever she finds calming. For some babies, a warm bath eases discomfort.
Some babies are calmed by pacifiers, but for others the pacifier makes matters worse (when they suck hard and swallow air). Watch your baby to see if she's gulping air when she sucks on her binky.
Anti-gas drops. The best thing you can do is try to eliminate or manage the offending habit or food that's triggering your child's gas. When your child does have uncomfortable gas pain, you can give her infant gas relief drops to help upper and lower gastrointestinal discomfort.
Eliminate the offending protein. If you think your breastfed baby may have an intolerance to a protein in your diet (cow's milk protein is the most frequent offender), talk with your provider about trying to identify and eliminate the offending food.
If your baby is formula fed and you think she may have an intolerance to the protein in her formula, her doctor can recommend a hypoallergenic option.
When should I call the doctor?
If you find yourself treating your child several times a day for more than three consecutive days, or if his gas coincides with such other symptoms as spitting up, vomiting, blood in his stool, diarrhea, constipation, or fever, call your doctor right away. Your child might have a more serious condition, like a food allergy, stomach flu, or GERD.