Comfort Your Gassy Baby
Swallowing air and passing gas is common in infancy. 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.
How to Relieve the Gassy Baby
- If breastfeeding, be sure baby’s lips form a good seal far back on the areola.
- If bottle feeding, 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. Lie baby on his/her back, bend knees and legs toward abdomen applying gentle pressure on tummy.
- Simethicone drops
- Tummy rolls (see coping with colic)
- Warm baths
- Infant probiotics may be helpful with gassy and/or colicky infants.