Bebcare Academy Knowledge Series - Baby Gas Pains
A blog post by Brian Murphy
If your baby is gassy, you’ll notice that he passes a lot of gas and seems to feel better afterward. Gas troubles often start right away or when babies are just a couple of weeks old.
Fortunately, most infants outgrow them by the time they’re 4 to 6 months old, though for some, baby gas can last longer.
Infants are usually gassy because they have immature digestive systems and swallow air during feedings. Some babies may have sensitivities that could be affected by a breastfeeding mom’s diet or a certain type of formula.
Signs and symptoms for Gassy Babies
All babies, of course, pass a little gas. But look for these signs and symptoms of baby gas that's more than just the usual:
- Your baby cries and is fussy for an hour or so a day.
- Your baby seems unhappy most of the time.
- Your baby isn't eating or sleeping well.
- Your baby gets red in the face when he cries and seems like he might be in pain.
- Your baby squirms as though he's uncomfortable and pulls his legs up to his chest.
What to Do
Check feeding position. "When you’re nursing or bottle-feeding, try to keep the baby’s head higher than her stomach," Shu says. "That way, the milk sinks to the bottom of the stomach and air goes to the top, and it’s easier to burp out." Tip the bottle up slightly so there are no air bubbles in the nipple, and use a nursing pillow for support.
Burp your baby. One of the easiest ways to ease gas pains is to burp them during and after they nurse. If they don’t belch right away, lay them down on their back for a few minutes and then try again.
Change equipment. "If you’re bottle-feeding, switch to a slower-flow nipple," says Joel Lavine, MD, PhD, professor of pediatrics at Columbia University.
Work it out. Gently massage your baby, pump their legs back and forth (like riding a bike) while they are on their back, or give their tummy time (watch tjem while they lie on their stomach). A warm bath can also help them get rid of extra gas.
- Brian Murphy