What to do when babies have gas

What is gas and why does my baby get it?

 

 

What is gas?

 

Gas is simply the air in your baby’s tummy. Your baby can swallow a lot of air along with her milk when she feeds. She may also gulp air down when she cries and even as she is breathing. It can make her feel full before she has drunk enough milk and can also make her feel very uncomfortable.



How do I know if my baby has gas?

 

Some babies have a lot of gas and need burping after every feed. Others hardly ever have gas. During a feed, your baby may stop sucking on her bottle or cry, or resist going on the other breast. She may squirm and grimace, particularly if you try to lay her down after a feed.

Do breastfed babies get gas?

 

 

Breastfed babies tend to have less gas than bottle fed babies. Breastfed babies can control the flow of milk at the breast. So they suck at a slower pace, swallowing less air with the milk. They are also more likely to have smaller and more frequent feeds and may be fed in an upright position. All this can reduce gas. Yet, even breastfed babies will need to be burped after every feed, especially if they are fast feeders and if your milk flows particularly quickly.



How can I help my bottle-fed baby avoid gas?

The flow of milk from a bottle can make babies take in gulps of air between closely-spaced swallows. You can help reduce gas by giving your baby her bottle while keeping her as upright as possible. Also make sure that the bottle is tilted enough for the milk to completely cover the teat hole.

How do I burp my baby when she has gas?

 

 

If your baby is sucking happily, don’t stop her feeding to burp her. She will probably cry and swallow more air as a result. Make the most of any natural breaks in a feed to burp your baby. You can do so when your baby lets go of the teat of the bottle feed or has a breast change-over. Burp her again when she is done. Patting or rubbing your baby’s back is the most effective way to get her to bring up wind. Remember, she may bring up some of her feed with it so always have a cloth handy to protect your clothes.

There are three positions most commonly used for burping a baby. Try all of them as one might work better than the others.



Over-the-shoulder: place the baby over your shoulder with her bottom supported by your arm on that side. With your other hand, pat or rub her back. As your baby is stretched out and upright, this is often the easiest position to get her to burp.

Sitting up: Sit your baby on your lap with her back to your tummy. Reaching under one of her arms, support her as you gently lean her forward, holding her chin in your open hand. Pat or rub her back with your free hand.

Face-down on your lap: Place your baby face-down on your lap. Hold her firmly with one hand and pat or rub her back gently with the other.

Why does my baby have more trouble burping than others?

 

 

If your baby has not burped after a couple of minutes it probably means she doesn’t need to. But if she seems obviously uncomfortable, keep trying. Some babies do seem to have real trouble burping. It may be that your baby’s immature digestive system is allowing air to travel further into the gut, making it harder to get out. You may have to try some good back patting and changing positions before she will give a resounding burp. For some babies, hiccupping seems to be the only way to get rid of gas.



Can gripe water and other medications help my baby’s gas?

 

If your baby seems to have a severe case of gas, your doctor may suggest medication. It might be the same as the medicine prescribed to treat colic. This medicine makes the gas collect so that it can be released in larger bubbles. This helps to stop lots of smaller bubbles getting trapped in the stomach.



Gripe water is an old-fashioned remedy containing herbs and sodium bicarbonate. The herbs are said to warm the baby’s tummy and break down air bubbles while sodium bicarbonate neutralises acid. Gripe water used to contain alcohol. Some experts believed that it was the sedative effect of the alcohol that made gripe water work. Alcohol is no longer an ingredient. Yet many parents still swear by it and other herbal preparations like janam ghutti. Do talk to your doctor before you give your baby gripe water or any other ayurvedic preparation.

Most babies outgrow the need to be burped as they become more mobile and are able to find a comfortable position for themselves. Thanks: babycenter.in

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