GAS & TUMMY TROUBLES: THE STRUGGLE IS REAL

If your baby is suffering from gas & tummy troubles, you know just how hard it can be to see your little one uncomfortable or in pain.

Here are a few common complaints & tips to get your baby back on track.

Spitting Up

Spit up is a normal aspect of infancy. And while every baby is different, it often occurs because the ring of muscles that closes the opening between the esophagus and stomach isn’t fully matured, so stomach contents flow backward and into the mouth. As long as a baby is healthy, happy, and consistently gaining weight, there’s nothing to worry about. There are however a few tricks that might help reduce instances of spit up:

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  • Feed baby smaller & more frequent meals
  • Pause to burp multiple times throughout the feed
  • Practice paced bottle feeding
  • Avoid laying your baby flat during feeding, keeping his or her head above the stomach
  • If breastfeeding, try eliminating dairy, eggs, beef or other potential allergens
  • Try using a different brand of formula. Your pediatrician will be able to offer some suggestions
  • If bottle feeding, try to determine if baby is either receiving formula or milk too quickly, or too slowly. Then based on your findings, change to a slower or faster bottle nipple size
  • Keep baby upright for 20-30 minutes after feeding
Bloating & Stomach Pain

If your baby is suffering from gas related discomfort, you aren’t alone! Gas impacts both breastfed and bottle-fed babies and the majority of parents report issues at some point during those first few months. Many of the normal functions of a baby can create gas, including an immature digestive system, excessive crying, and eating too quickly or too slowly. During the newborn stage, your baby still has a lot of developmental changes to go through. At this point, the enteric nervous system, which controls digestion, isn’t fully developed in newborns and it takes time before these systems have learned to efficiently process food and pass both gas & stools. Often, this means gas becomes trapped in the belly, causing bloating & discomfort. To help baby gently pass gas, we recommend Gas Relief Drops. Made with simethicone, Gas Relief Drops safely decrease the surface tension of gas bubbles, causing them to combine into larger bubbles in the stomach that can be passed more easily, providing baby with nearly instant relief from that full, bloated feeling.

Excessive Crying

Crying is a normal aspect of infancy, typically peaks during the newborn phase, and can often be associated with tummy troubles. Not sure if tummy troubles are causing your baby’s fussiness or crying? Look for these signs:

  • Pulls legs toward tummy
  • Cries when feeding
  • Has a bloated, hard belly
  • Clenches fists
  • Has a red face
  • Spits up

If your baby cries for 3 or more hours per day, at least 3 days a week, for at least 3 weeks, he may have colic.

While the best defense is to try to prevent gas pains with burping, proper feeding techniques, & gas drops, when the discomfort has already set in there are a few tricks that can help calm your baby:

  • Gentle tummy massage: Softly stroke baby’s belly in a clockwise direction, this follows the path of digestion and can help get the air moving in his tummy
  • A warm, calm bath: Giving baby a bath can take his attention away from the discomfort while the warm water will help him relax
  • Swaddle: A safe, tight swaddle can comfort your baby and help calm him
  • Wear your baby: A carrier is a great option for combining soothing motion with skin-to-skin contact
  • White noise: Turning on a fan, running the vacuum, or using a white noise machine to mimic the sounds of the womb can help create a calming environment
  • Go for a walk: Sometimes a change in surroundings, fresh air, and different sounds can be just what baby needs to calm down and reset

Dealing with tummy troubles can be incredibly frustrating and if you ever find yourself struggling to remain calm, don’t be afraid to put your baby in a safe place and walk away. It’s perfectly okay for you to take a little break! Try to remember that this is just a phase and it will pass. If you ever have any questions or concerns about your child’s health, be sure to contact your pediatrician.

 

For more information and tips visit our Gas & Colic page