For a brand new baby whose stomach is still getting used to “life on the outside,” a bit of tummy trouble is inevitable. If your baby is fussing, flexing, and/or grunting like they’re uncomfortable, they could be dealing with digestive issues. Whether it’s gas, constipation, or diarrhea, here are some steps you can take to help your little one’s belly.
The Baby Bicycle
My son used to get very gassy when he was a baby, and the baby bicycle was my number one go-to for helping him. We were breastfeeding and supplementing with formula, and it seemed like no matter what we fed him, he always had pent-up gas making him uncomfortable and fussy. Lying him down on his back and bicycling his little legs so that each thigh pressed into his belly usually did the trick to release his gas.
Try A Formula Inspired By Breast Milk
Of course, what goes into your baby’s tummy can have an effect on their digestive system. Prebiotics, dietary fiber naturally found in breast milk, have been clinically shown to support gut and immune health by promoting growth of friendly bacteria in the gut. So if your little one is running into occasional tummy troubles, you may want to try Enfamil Enspire, Enfamil’s closest ever formula to breast milk. Enspire’s unique blend of prebiotics has been clinically shown to promote soft stools similar to breastfed infants. It also has lactoferrin, a protein found in breast milk that may help support gut health.*
If You’re Breastfeeding, Keep A Food Journal
If your baby is breastfed, their tummy troubles might be due to something you ate. Try jotting down the foods you eat and the time you ate them, and see if your baby seems to have digestive issues in response to a particular food. Dairy, leafy green vegetables, garlic, and spicy foods often pop up as problem foods, but studies show that these usual suspects don’t consistently affect all babies. Individualize your troubleshooting with a food journal before you cut out otherwise nutritious foods out of an abundance of caution.
Try Responsive Feeding To Avoid Over- Or Underfeeding
Letting a baby’s hunger and fullness cues guide their feeding schedule is called responsive feeding, also known as feeding on demand. Responsive feeding helps babies learn to self-regulate their eating habits, ensures their needs are met, and helps maintain a healthy digestive system. If your baby is rooting, sticking their tongue out, licking their lips, or sucking their fingers, it’s probably time for a feeding. During feeding, if your baby is easily distracted, falling asleep, fidgeting, or turning away from the bottle or nipple, they’ve likely either had their fill or, if they’re tense, are in need of a good burp.
Try A Change Of Position
The precise cause is a mystery, but some medical professionals believe abdominal gas may contribute to colic in babies. If nothing else, it can certainly worsen crying. One way you can help your baby find relief is to try switching up positions. After feeding, keep your baby upright for 15-30 minutes to help those uncomfortable air bubbles to rise up and out. Try tummy time too (always supervised, of course), as this acts as a natural abdominal massage for your baby and can help work out stubborn gas.
Use A Formula With Hydrolyzed Milk Proteins
A hydrolyzed milk protein is one that’s been partially broken down by a chemical reaction with water. That’s a science-y explanation, but the important thing to know is that these proteins are easy for developing tummies systems to digest. Enfamil Enspire Gentlease uses partially hydrolyzed proteins, which means it’s designed to help common causes of digestive discomfort and overall fussiness.
Use A Gas-Reducing Bottle And Nipple
A bottle nipple with a hole that’s too big can cause babies to take in too much, too fast, while a bottle with a hole that’s too small can cause babies to suck too hard and potentially swallow air. Bottle shape can contribute to gasiness, too. To help relieve your baby’s digestive issues, look into using a bottle that’s specifically designed to reduce gas, and use nipples with holes sized to drip formula at a rate of one drop per second.
Of course, there are times when the best thing to do is call your pediatrician. If your baby isn’t putting on weight or is blocked up with constipation (which can cause gas to be trapped behind a hard poop) or if your baby is having an (extremely rare) allergic reaction like hives, rash, or trouble breathing, it’s time to call your doctor.
Enfamil Enspire offers 5 amazing nutrient benefits in one formula to support baby development, including gut health. It’s also the only baby formula in the US that has lactoferrin, a protein found in breast milk that can help solve your little one’s tummy problems. You can learn more about Enspire, Enfamil’s closest formula to breast milk, here.
*None of the statements contained in this article have been reviewed by a Physician. This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only.