Toots. Poofs. Farts.
Whatever you call them, everybody passes gas. While gas is a normal part of digesting food, letting it out can get a little tricky- especially for babies. When we’re not able to pass gas, it collects in our digestive system and causes discomfort. Babies, who have immature digestive systems, are especially prone to issues.
So how can you help? How do you get rid of your baby’s gas? Read on for some simple solutions.
- Bicycle Kicks: While baby is laying on his back, take his legs and move them as if he is riding a bicycle. This will move the gas around and make it easier for him to pass. You can also hold his legs and gently press both knees up towards his stomach.
- Gentle Massage: Give your little one a gentle tummy massage by using your fingertips to massage her abdomen in a circular, clockwise motion.
- Tummy Time: Lay baby down on his tummy (make sure to wait at least 15 minutes after a feeding) and let the gentle pressure move the gas.
- Warm Bath: Often times, a relaxing bath is enough to relieve gas pains.
- Gas Relief Drops: These drops contain simethicone, an anti-foaming agent that claims to gather all the tiny bubbles in your little one’s tummy and form them into one giant bubble that your baby can then pass all at once. The drops are sweet-tasting and some experts say that it’s this component that calms fussy babies more than it brings any actual relief from gas.
- Probiotic Drops: Probiotics are the good bacteria that help aid in digestion, so it makes sense that giving these drops to infants would help to relieve gas issues. While there have been studies done that show that these drops are effective, they do not bring the immediate relief that other methods offer. Rather, your baby will likely experience less gas over time.
- Gripe Water: The main ingredient in gripe water is sodium bicarbonate (commonly referred to as baking soda) and also contains stomach-calming herbs. It is important to not overload your baby with gripe water, as too much sodium bicarbonate can be harmful. As with gas relief drops, gripe water is very sweet, which may distract your baby from his fussiness long enough to allow the gas to pass naturally.
- Windi the Gaspasser by Fridababy: This genius device is a small plastic tube that is inserted like a rectal thermometer to relieve gas and abdominal discomfort.
Gas Prevention Techniques
- Switch Bottles: There are several bottles on the market that claim to reduce the amount of gas bubbles that form inside the bottle (and transfer to baby during feeds). These bottles have internal vent systems that help to prevent the ingestion of gas-causing air bubbles. Some brands to check out are Dr. Brown’s and Comotomo.
- Burp During and After Feeds: It’s important to burp your baby both during and after they finish a feed. If you are nursing, try to get a burp out each time you switch sides. If bottle feeding, stop halfway through the bottle and see if baby needs to burp. Then give a final attempt once the bottle is finished.
- Adjust Bottle Angle: In order to keep air bubbles inside the bottle (and out of baby’s mouth), try holding the baby so that his head is higher than his stomach. When holding the bottle, tip it up just a little so that the air bubbles stay away from the nipple.
- Adjust Diet (of Nursing Mother or Baby): Sometimes, certain foods that a mother eats can cause her baby to develop excess gas. There is no “master list” of foods that nursing mothers should avoid, but if you notice that your baby gets particularly fussy or gassy after you eat certain things, try to eliminate these foods for a while to see if it helps.
A Quick Note About Colic:
Colic is a condition where a baby cries for 3 or more hours per day. Gas does not cause colic, but your baby may develop gas from crying.
So there you have it! Some simple and low-cost remedies to relieve baby’s gas that even the most inexperienced caregiver can try. While gas is typically nothing to worry about, it can sometimes be the first sign of a more serious issue. If your baby has gas and also isn’t producing bowel movements, or is producing bloody stool or vomiting, you should see your pediatrician. See a doctor right away if your baby is extremely fussy and you cannot calm her down, or if he has a fever of over 100.4.