All babies have gas, but some get it worse than others. Either way, being gassy can make your baby uncomfortable and cranky and can lead to frequent spit-ups. It is important to learn why your baby gets gas, how to treat it and how to avoid it altogether.
Why so gassy?
There are several reasons a baby can become gassy:
- Digestive problems with baby formula
- The diet and foods eaten by a breastfeeding mom
- Taking in too much air while eating, crying, or sucking on a pacifier or an empty bottle
What to do
If your baby is fussing a lot and has long periods of sharp crying, she may be suffering from gas pains. To help relieve your baby of this pain, there are several tricks you can try.
- Give your baby a light tummy massage. Massaging the tummy can help to break up gas bubbles.
- Make sure your baby is being burped properly and often throughout feeding and afterwards.
- Do the bicycle! Lay your baby on her back, hold her feet and gently move her legs like she is riding a bike. This should help to release built-up gas.
- Keeping a close eye on her, place your baby on her tummy for a little while. This position may help to work the gas through her body.
- Consult your doctor about using Simethicone, a non-prescription drug that helps to release excess gas (found in medications such as Ovol Drops).
How to avoid gassiness
Avoid the actions that make your baby gassy. Learn what to do to keep your baby feeling comfortable and happy instead of bloated and miserable.
- When breastfeeding, make sure your baby has latched on properly. If she has not, she may take in more air that she should.
- When bottle feeding, hold the bottle at a 40° angle so that air rises to the bottom of the bottle instead of being ingested by your baby. Or, try using a bottle with a curved neck.
- Breastfeeding moms can create gassy babies if babies do not respond well to the foods Mom is eating. If you think this might be the case, try eliminating foods from your diet, one at a time, to see if it helps. Dairy foods tend to produce gas, along with cabbage, broccoli, onions and even chocolate.
- If none of these seem to help your baby’s gassiness, speak to your doctor about a potential milk allergy in your baby.