WHAT IS BABY GAS?
Baby gas is trapped air in your baby’s little body. It’s generally caused when he swallows air, feeds, sucks a pacifier, and/or cries. It will come out either through burping or “tooting.” Infant gas is very common — and it’s actually very normal for your baby to pass gas 15-20 times each day! But for some babies, gas can become very painful — just like it can be for some adults. When extra air gets trapped in your baby’s tummy, you will be able to tell it’s gas (and not something else) by looking for specific signs. And you will definitely want to try and help him get some relief when he’s suffering with gas pain.
BABY GAS SIGNS:
-Your baby’s body is rigid.
-Your baby rolls his eyes.
-Your baby curls his tongue up and sticks it in and out quickly, like a snake.
-Your baby’s arms are shaky.
-Your baby is extra squirmy.
-Your baby brings his legs up to his chest (or tries to).
-Your baby scrunches up his face.
-Your baby’s cries have a high pitch, shrill-sound.
-Your baby looks like he’s “panting.”
10 WAYS TO TREAT YOUR BABY’S GAS:
1. Keep to the schedule! When your baby’s metabolism is regulated because of a consistent feed-play-nap schedule, he will not only be less likely to get gas, but he’ll get better relief when it occurs. Learn why we believe scheduling is best for your baby and how to get started: Why Use PPB Schedules? and How to Become a Practical Parent
2. Let the bottle settle down. Bottle-fed babies can ingest lots of air bubbles. To combat this, tilt the bottle at an angle that fills the entire nipple with milk. If you feed your baby powdered formula, after you’ve shaken the bottle, it is often piled-high with bubbles on top of the actual formula. So try to let the bottle settle a little first before giving it to your baby. Ready-made formula and specially vented bottles may also help reduce the amount of bubbles in the bottle.
3. Lift the bottle angle. When you’re feeding your baby, make sure his head is higher than his stomach. You want to hold your baby in a position that allows the liquid to slowly sink to the bottom while the bubbles rise to the top. If you keep the bubbles closer to the surface, the most natural and easiest means of an exit is a burp. Bubbles that are trapped are more likely to pass in the form of tooting.
4. Burp him, big time! Burp him before his naps, in the middle of a feeding, and after a feeding. Then burp him again if he is still showing signs of gas. Learn the 3-key burping positions and try them all! You never know which one may work best for your baby at any given time.
5. “Bicycle” his legs. Laying him on his back and moving his legs in a “bicycling” fashion is a very effective way of forcing the trapped gas out of your baby’s body — one way or the other! Try it for a couple of minutes to see if it helps your baby get some relief.
6. Pat his little tush. Hold him against you and gently pat his bottom. You never know…it may just do the trick!
7. Apply tummy pressure. Lay him on your forearm, face down, and put gentle pressure on his tummy with your palm on his lower back.
8. Use gas drops. Simethicone Drops drops can help tremendously, but they work best when used over time so give them a chance to work (at least 4 days) before giving up on them. We particularly like Mylicon Drops.
9. Try gripe water. Gripe water is a homeopathic remedy for alleviating pain and it provides more immediate relief than gas drops. Some contain alcohol so if you want to avoid giving it to your baby, be sure to read the ingredients before purchasing. We especially like Baby Bliss Gripe Water. It works really well, has no alcohol in it, and you don’t even have to give him the full dose for it to work.
10. Look at your baby’s diet. Certain kinds of foods are known to cause excess gas in babies, and the introduction of solid foods can be a definite game-changer in the world of baby gas. So if your baby starts suffering from gas once you’ve introduced solid foods to him, it might be worth taking a look at his diet. Learn the foods that cause your baby to get gassier, here.
Related Posts: Burping Basics, Starting Solids Successfully, Formula Feeding, Combination-Method Feeding, Breastfeeding, The Feeding Dilemma, Why Use PPB Schedules?, All Our Schedules, Troubleshooting Naps, Napping No-No’s, Overstimulated Babies, Overtired Babies, Baby Growth Spurts, Starting Late, First 3 Weeks: Are You Ready?, Baby Blueprint: First Year, Baby Nightcap