The toots, trapped air, a bit of thunder from down under — everyone seems to be telling you baby gas is the reason for your infant‘s latest fuss. But how do you know if your baby is indeed gassy, or just… something else? After all, worrying (often irrationally) over every little thing is a rite of passage when it comes to motherhood. And, yep, that even includes freaking out over your kid’s flatulence.RELATED: Feeding Eggs To Your Baby Doesn’t Have To Be Scary — Here’s WhyBelieve it or not, tummy problems are not unheard of in babies. They’re usually completely manageable, but we get it if you’re a bit frustrated. Most digestive issues usually go away on their own, but like any good mama, of course, you want to help alleviate any discomfort your little one may have. But don’t worry; we’ve got all the info you need to figure out what’s up, along with helpful remedies to relieve your baby’s gas.
What are the symptoms of baby gas?
Ok, so first of all, we’ve got a fun fact for you. Ready? Gas isn’t really a medical condition, meaning it doesn’t exactly have textbook symptoms. However, there are a few tried-and-true ways to tell if your baby may be gassy. They may include:
- Lifting their legs up and arching their backs
- Fussily crying and acting miserable, before or after eating
- Passing a lot of gas
- Having a swollen/bloated stomach
What could be causing my baby’s gas?
Before we talk about how to relieve a gassy baby, let’s talk about what could be causing your baby to be gassy.
- Swallowing Air: Excessive crying, a bad latch or feeding position, and even lots of babbling could be causing your baby to swallow air.
- Digestive Problems: From constipation to a gastro virus, digestive problems can definitely cause gas.
- Immature Digestive Tract: Your baby’s digestive tract is just not as developed as yours and, therefore, not as well-practiced in passing gas!
If you’re a nursing, keep in mind that anything you eat can also cause your baby’s tooting. So, if you want to reduce gas in your baby’s tummy, stay away from fruits for a bit. You should especially avoid apricots, prunes, peaches, pears, plums, and anything with citrus. Keep your distance from green veggies like brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, artichokes, asparagus, cauliflower, onions, garlic, potatoes, corn, and pasta. If you’re lactose intolerant, dairy’s a no-no and don’t eat casein, whey, wheat, corn, fish, eggs, or peanuts. And sadly, sometimes chocolate makes the list too (sorry!).
What can I do to help relieve baby gas?
If your baby is gassy, there are a few things you can do to help. With any luck, you’ll audibly hear the proof that one of these tactics is helping to relieve your baby’s gas.
Avoid air bubbles
If your baby is bottle-fed, avoid air bubbles. Make sure you don’t shake your bottle too much and that you let the formula rest before giving it to your baby. You might even try using a pre-mixed formula to help avoid these air bubbles. When breastfeeding, having a good latch helps your baby avoid taking in too much air.
Try a different feeding position
Improve your baby’s feeding position so that they don’t swallow gas. This may be a trial and error thing. If you have access to a lactation consultant or to a breastfeeding support group, they may be able to help you with that.
Give baby a tummy massage
You can use baby massages for gas. A tummy massage can help relieve your baby’s gas. Rub your cute baby’s belly gently in a circular motion.
Do the “bicycle legs”
This method can be so much fun because you can audibly hear them passing gas sometimes while doing it. Gently bicycle your baby’s legs, maybe as you’re changing their diaper or getting ready for bed. You can even sing “The Bicycle Song” while you’re doing it!
Practice tummy time
Tummy time is great for your baby, both for developmental reasons and because it helps relieve gas. It’s a win-win.
Truly, you can’t burp your baby often enough. Plus, let’s be real: Those loud belches are oddly satisfying, especially if you see your baby is instantly relieved.
Be mindful of how much milk you’re giving your baby and avoid feeding them too quickly.
Keep a food journal
Based on your diet, keep track of your baby’s gassiness. Journal what you eat and after a few weeks review it to see if there’s any food you should stop eating.
Feed your baby before they’re hungry
It’s important to feed your nugget before they begin fussing for food. Feeding your baby when they’re super hungry may result in them gulping down your breast milk, which can lead to gas bubbles or hiccups. If your child eats before hunger strikes, they’ll drink more calmly. If you do find your baby is chugging down your milk, unlatch and relatch so you can control their milk intake.
Should I try gripe water and/or infant gas drops?
Infant gas drops can help with infant gas and are generally considered safe for use. Simethicone, the key ingredient in gas drops, is considered safe for daily use by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Meanwhile, Mayo Clinic recommends checking the ingredients and avoiding anything with “sodium benzoate or benzoic acid.”
As for the ever-popular “gripe water,” a herbal mix that can contain different ingredients based on the brand, you can use it, but it does carry risk. The AAP advises that “parents who choose to use this product should avoid versions made with sugar or alcohol and look for products that were manufactured in the United States.”
Should I change baby’s sleeping position if they’re gassy?
Even if your baby is gassy, you are going to want to keep up with safe sleep guidelines — especially in the first year. You can put them down for tummy time while awake, however.
When do babies outgrow gas pains?
Who knew you’d be so stoked about the idea of your baby tooting?! But rest assured, Mama; your baby will likely outgrow these gas pains. By around three to six months old, your little one should be passing wind with no problem.
When should I call the doctor for my gassy baby?
Oftentimes, a gassy baby can be fixed with a little burping or tweak to their diet. However, if your baby’s gassiness is causing any of the following problems, go ahead and call your doctor.
- Your baby isn’t gaining weight
- Your baby doesn’t want to eat
- Your baby has a hard time pooping or seems constipated
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