How to get rid of Baby Gas Fast
How to get rid of baby gas fast
As parents to a newborn, we’re prepared to deal with an unending cycle of feeding, napping and diaper changing. But for all those times, when your little one starts kicking his legs, crying at the top of his lungs that tiny red face staring at you, you often find yourself helpless. You don’t know what’s wrong and worse still, you don’t know how to soothe your baby.
The Culprit is Usually Stomach Gas!
A baby’s digestive system is in the development stage post-delivery. The gut is still working on producing the micro-flora it needs to breakdown complex foods. Having a gassy baby is normal.
Paediatricians claim that is among the most commonly reported health concerns in babies, one to four months of age. You will be surprised to know that the number of times a baby passes gas could be anywhere between 10-12 times a day, higher than that in an adult.
Gas can cause a lot of discomforts. That’s probably the reason why your baby starts grimacing and grunting. This article gives you all the information you need on gas in babies whether it’s spotting a gassy baby or quick and effective remedies to let it pass.
Gassy Babies – What are the signs?
A wailing baby could mean many things. Here are some signs to determine if its gas.
- Too many burps and hiccups.
- Babies with gas also tend to spit up during and after feeds.
- Gas causes discomfort and pain in the tummy which your baby is unable to express. This makes them cranky and fussy.
- Your little one cries bitterly.
- The tummy feels bloated and distended.
- Farts, that could be foul smelling.
- They might also pull their legs towards the chest and tummy, lie curled on the side, clench their fists or arch their back.
How to Relieve Baby Gas
Letting the gas pass reduces the discomfort to a great extent. Hence, knowing to get rid of baby gas fast is the key to a happy baby. Listed are multiple ways to do it.
Burp the Baby
Unbeknownst to most new mothers, babies swallow a lot of air during feeds. A good burp is what could help expel the trapped gas bubbles. As a rule of thumb, you should try burping the baby twice every feeding session. This includes during a feed and after a feed. Doing so will prevent the gas from travelling all the way to the intestines, where it acts more stubborn.
The correct way to burp an infant is by holding him in an upright position, while gently patting the back. An alternate way is to seat him upright on your lap. Hold your hand below his chin, supporting the head, and lean him slightly forward.
Rub your hand on his back gently till he burps. It may take some time for the baby to burp. If he doesn’t, you can get back to feeding.
Try as much as possible not to interrupt the feed mid-way. This will only make the infant irritable and the feed more difficult. The best time to burp mid-feed, if breastfeeding, is when you switch between breasts. For bottle feeds, you can take a break every 2-3 ounces.
Sometimes, babies automatically pause during feeds, refusing to latch back on to the breast or the bottle. This might be your cue to stop feeding and instead, burp the baby. Burping after a feed is imperative.
The Baby Bicycle
This method will not only help your baby feel better but will also be something they’ll enjoy. Place your baby on his back. Lift both the legs and move them slowly in a circular motion, as though riding a bicycle.
The exercise will manually push out all the trapped air that’s making your little one uncomfortable. There is yet another way to do this. Fold your baby’s legs and push them up towards his tummy and chest, pressing down lightly. Hold for a few seconds and release the legs.
The Tummy Rub
Many mothers swear by the tummy rub for stomach gas. Lay your baby down on his back. Taking two or three fingers gently massage the tummy in a circular motion applying light pressure. Repeat for a few times before rubbing in a downward motion. The massage will help break air bubbles trapped in the intestine and enable its release.
Mothers can also make a baby body massage a regular practise for benefits other than gas relief. It improves bowel movements (which is very beneficial, given your baby’s immature digestive system) and builds muscle strength.
Experts do not usually recommend placing babies on their stomach because of the danger of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). However, you can lie your baby on his stomach for a little while, when he is awake and with you supervising.
The pressure on the stomach will release gas and ease any discomfort. You should avoid doing it immediately after a feed as babies tend to throw up.
Gripe water has been, for ages, the most trusted and effective remedy for infant gas. Gripe water is a mixture of sodium bicarbonate and herbs (ginger, dill, fennel, camomile and others). Gripe water is available over-the-counter.
They are a safe and quick remedy for baby gas and stomach pain. Always make it a point to ask your paediatrician for a good gripe water formula that you can keep close at hand.
Run a Warm Bath
A gassy stomach can be very uncomfortable; you don’t need a crying baby to tell you that. Letting your baby soak in a warm tub will put him at ease. The warm water relaxes the gut and soothes the stomach cramps. So, the next time you have a gassy baby on hand, consider a warm bath.
Not all bacteria are bad; there are some that are gut friendly and the probiotics are one of them. They support gut health in adults and babies alike. Yoghurt is a natural source. You can consider the use of formulas or supplements fortified with probiotics in consultation with a paediatrician,
Preventing Infant Gas
If you’ve noticed that your baby suffers from gas too often, you might want to review the cause. Knowing the triggers will help you reduce the gassy episodes.
Correct Feeding Technique
An incorrect feeding angle can cause your baby to suck in more air than milk, which will only aggravate the problem of gas. When nursing, your little one’s head should be elevated, higher than the stomach.
This way, should your baby swallow any air, it stays at the stop (while the liquid settles to the bottom of the stomach) and can be released in the form of a burp. Also, when breastfeeding, make sure he latches on to the breast correctly.
If you bottle-feed, hold the bottle at an angle that fills the complete nipple with milk. The type and size of the nipple could also help minimize gas as they regulate the flow. Mothers that use powdered formula feed are aware of the bubble generated due to vigorous shaking. Let the contents of the bottle settle before you use it.
Watch your Diet
In breastfed babies, the mother’s diet could be a reason for infant gas. This is because what you eat ends up in the milk. Thus, you may want to review your diet to prevent a gassy baby.
Foods such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, beans, dairy, eggs, caffeine, onions, garlic are known to cause gas. Monitor your baby to identify which foods cause him trouble. Limit their intake.
Calm the Baby Before Feeds
Babies ingest the largest quantities of air crying. They usually cry in pain or because they’re hungry. Many parents find themselves dealing with a meltdown before a feed. This will only perpetuate the cycle.
Do not wait to feed your baby until too hungry. Not only do they get cranky, but also rush through the feed. You can create a feeding schedule or take note of your baby’s hunger cues. As much as possible, feed your baby when calm.
Choose a Non-Gassy Formula
A baby’s digestive system is underdeveloped. Specific foods or formulas are heavy to digest and could upset the gut. Many mothers report episodes of gas after changing a formula. If you notice the same, you can switch to a hypo-allergenic formula after consulting your doctor. It will help reduce gassiness.
In addition to this, you should avoid overfeeding. The baby’s stomach might not be capable of digesting it.
When to Visit a Paediatrician
While gas is normal in bottle-fed and breastfed babies, too much gas warrants a trip to the doctor. Gas coupled with the following symptoms should ring a warning bell for you.
- If your baby keeps crying or is fussy despite all efforts to calm him down.
- If your baby has a fever.
- If your baby is having trouble with bowel movements; they could be constipated or suffering from diarrhoea. Also, if you notice blood in stools.
- If your baby is vomiting.
- If your baby doesn’t feed well and is not gaining weight.
In case you notice any of the above, you should contact your doctor immediately.
Infant gas is typical to almost all babies and will pass as they grow older. Just follow a few steps to ensure they stay healthy and happy.