Swallowing air and passing gas is a normal part of growing up. But excessive intestinal gas can make a young baby miserable. A mother of one of my gassy little patients describes these bloated episodes: “When my daughter is trying to pass gas, it is like a mother going through a difficult labor.” Try these ways of getting the air out.
Letting Less Air InGetting More Air Out
- If breastfeeding, be sure baby’s lips form a good seal far back on the areola.
- If bottlefeeding, be sure baby’s lips are positioned on the wide base of the nipple, not just on the tip.
- Tilt the bottle at a thirty-to-forty-degree angle while feeding so that air rises to the bottom of the bottle; or try collapsible formula bags.
- Eliminate fuss foods from your diet if breastfeeding see elimination diet.
- Feed baby smaller volumes more frequently
- Keep baby upright (at about a forty-five-degree angle) during and for a half-hour after a feeding.
- Avoid prolonged sucking on pacifiers or empty bottle nipples.
- Respond promptly to a baby’s cries. First and foremost, be sure to burp baby during and after feedings. You can also try the following techniques and remedies (see Comforting Colic, for more about these):
- abdominal massage
- baby bends
- simethicone drops
- glycerin suppositories
- tummy rollsSee also Coping with Colic.