Most people know that babies get gas, but you might be surprised just how much gas those tiny tummies can produce. Gas is a normal part of the digestive process, and it's very common in infants due to their immature digestive systems.
Babies tend to get fussy when they have gas, which can be disruptive, especially in the middle of the night. There are a few things you can do a few things to help your baby pass gas so you can both relax.
To understand how to help a baby get rid of gas, it helps to understand what causes it. Everyone gets gas, but it can cause significant discomfort in babies because their immature digestive systems produce a lot of it.
Babies also take in lots of air from crying and feeding, which creates even more gas. When gas does not pass easily, it collects in the GI tract and causes discomfort.
If your baby is fussy, squirming, and pulling up their legs, they might have gas. Sometimes, even small amounts of gas can cause significant discomfort.
Every baby has a different threshold for pain and discomfort. If your baby passes gas and the fussing stops, it is a good sign that gas was the problem, which makes it easier for you to identify next time.
There are many things you can do to help your baby get rid of gas. Some of them have to do with eating, but there's even more to add to your arsenal.
Remember, though, no matter what you do, you may not be able to relieve the gas completely. Breaking up gas is difficult; sometimes, you have to wait for it to pass naturally.
If you are breastfeeding, something you are eating may be causing gas in your baby. Some foods are more likely to cause this than others.
Foods rich in fiber and starch are common culprits, as are dairy foods and some green veggies, like broccoli, brussels sprouts, and asparagus. Food is not the only cause for gas in infants, but if you notice that your baby develops a lot of it every time you eat a certain thing, you may want to consider eliminating that food from your diet until you're done breastfeeding.
If you use formula to feed your baby, consider switching to a pre-mixed variety. It can be difficult to mix powdered formulas without adding air bubbles, and using pre-mixed formula eliminates this.
Another option is to let the powdered formula rest before feeding your baby to allow the bubbles to settle.
When bottle feeding, both the nipple and the bottle can introduce excess gas. Try a nipple with a smaller hole to slow the flow. You can also try a bottle that is angled or vented to prevent your baby from swallowing excess air when feeding.
Every baby is different, so the best approach is trial and error. Try different nipple and bottle combinations until you find one that works.
Babies tend to gulp, suck, and guzzle a lot when feeding, and eliminating this excess air before it moves through the digestive system can prevent gas from accumulating. Burping your baby frequently during feedings can keep some gas at bay.
If you usually burp your baby after feeding but they still end up with gas problems, try an extra burp in the middle of the feeding to get out as much excess air as possible.
If your baby is breastfeeding, check their latch. If they are not latching properly, they will not have good suction, which leads to them ingesting more air as they struggle to take in enough breast milk.
Sometimes, even a slight adjustment in technique can make a world of difference.
Gas pain can cause discomfort for babies, but it is usually short-lived. If burping or passing gas does not help your baby calm down, your baby might have colic.
Colicky babies are not the same as gassy babies. Colic is when a healthy baby cries for more than three hours a day for more than three days a week for more than three weeks for no apparent reason. Gas pain can contribute to colic, but it will not be the sole cause of the issue.
Gas is normal in infants, but if your child seems to be in a lot of pain and you are having difficulty relieving it, something else might be happening. Other factors can cause excess gas in babies, like food allergies or Celiac disease.
If you are breastfeeding, you may be experiencing an overabundant milk supply, which leads to a strong letdown that may cause your baby to take in extra air. Lactose overload can also be a gas-causing issue when breastfeeding if there is an imbalance between foremilk and hindmilk.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.