Newborns often experience gassiness, which is normal, especially in the first few months. That is because their digestive system is not yet fully matured. A gassy tummy is simply described as air in the stomach or intestines that goes away on its own. There are times that it can be painful for our little ones so we as parents should know ways how to relieve their gas pains.
Why does my baby have gas?
The main reason for having a gassy baby is that their digestive system is not fully developed yet. Before they are born, babies feed through their umbilical cord connected to the mother's placenta, making it easier to get their needed food and nutrients. There is a vast difference between feeding in the womb and feeding outside independently. They need to practice how to feed, suck, and latch. A big adjustment for newborns whose digestive system is still developing, and most times, they get gassy through feeding.
Babies can also swallow air through excessive crying and minor digestive problems like food allergies, introduction to a new food, lactose intolerance, or overeating. Talk to your pediatrician about the best options concerning digestive issues.
How to know if your baby have gas
Your baby cries. Having a gassy tummy can be uncomfortable and can make your baby fussy. Sometimes they can get red when crying and looks irritable.
Spit ups. Babies spit up when they swallow air during feedings. When the stomach is full and the baby's position suddenly changes, the stomach contents can flood back up on the esophagus.
Pulling up their legs. If you notice your baby pulls up their legs toward their belly, it signifies that your baby has tummy aches, and they are trying to relieve the pain by doing this movement.
Decreased appetite. If your baby may not eat or feed as they used to, they might be bloated from gas or feel tummy cramps.
How to help relieve your baby's gas?
Burping. It is standard practice after feeding. If your baby suffers from gas, you can burp them during feedings. One way to tell if they are gassy is when your baby turns away from the bottle or the breast fussily after a few minutes of feeding. This indicates your little one is not yet full; instead may be gassy. You can try to burp them mid-feeds by sitting them upright and giving them a gentle pat on the back. You can try to mid burp every after 2 to 3 ounces or if you are breastfeeding, try every 5 to 10 minutes, that is, if your baby is fussy.
Try to control feeding. An upright position during feeding may prevent more air from being swallowed. Avoid fast feeding. You can change the nipple into a slow flow for bottle feeders and ensure it is always full before feeding it to your little one. Ensure your baby is latched correctly to prevent air swallowing during breastfeeding. If you have oversupply, consult a health care provider or a lactating consultant.
Learn hunger cues. Crying can cause air to be swallowed, so why wait for your baby to go hungry when you can feed them before they get cranky? Creating a routine may help. Also, watch out for signs like sucking motion, rooting for the breast, or putting fingers in the mouth. Best to respond to hunger cues more quickly to lessen their cries and lessen the chance of getting gassy.
Tummy time. Lay your baby on her tummy across your lap, support the head and gently massage her back. The pressure can help relieve your baby's gas. Do not place your baby into this position after feeding as they may spit-up. Wait at least 20-30 minutes before putting them in their tummy. Always supervise your baby and do not leave them asleep in this position as it may increase the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Massage. Gentle massages can help your baby calm and relax. Use a baby massage oil and rub it on their tummy. Then into the other body parts like the back, shoulders, arms, and legs. This can help your baby relax and pass gas.
Bicycle legs. A little exercise will help. Place your little one on their back, then make a bicycle motion with their legs. You may also hold their knees up towards their tummy to help push them out.
For breastfeeding moms, check your diet. There may be foods that are sensitive for your little one. There are foods that cause gas like dairy products, caffeine, cabbage, onions, garlic, and spicy foods. Cut out on those foods then observe if it will improve your baby's tummy issues.
For formula-fed babies, the kind of milk they feed maybe be adding up to their gassy issues. Do not just switch to another formula as your little one might be lactose intolerant or allergic to their current milk. Kindly talk to your pediatric on what is the best milk for your baby.
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