Gassy tummy is a very common problem for infants or babies. Several factors are responsible for this problem. Normally infants have natural defense mechanism such as burping. But frequent gas problems could be a serious issue for your precious newborn baby because it can make them real cranky and fussy.
It is important to take care of the gassy tummy of your baby since it is a good indicator of your baby’s digestive requirements. That’s why its necessary to choose top quality baby formula. Also, you have to be extra careful about any signs and symptoms of gas. In this article, I am going to share the reasons, signs of gas in babies and what you can do at home to provide relief to your little angel.
What Causes Gas In Infants?
Your baby can develop a gassy tummy for mainly two reasons. They are, gulping down air into stomach or gas production in the gastrointestinal tract through bacterial movement caused by diet. The causes of gas in newborns are described below:
1. Drinking Baby Formula Too Fast
Babies who are used to breastfeeding drink at a constant and controlled pace. But babies who are used to formula feeding are more keen to gulp down a mouthful, having the bottle held vertically. Thus, the air gets ingested by the infants which ultimately results in bloating.
2. Loose Latch to The Nipple
Sometimes infants do not latch the breast nipple or bottle nipple properly due to bad positioning of the baby or the bottle. This might leave a considerable hole between the nipples and mouth by which air can get into the stomach along with the milk. This is one of the common causes of gas in babies.
3. Not Burping Between Feeding
You need to burp your babies regularly between the feeding time since babies can’t do it themselves. Burping helps them to release the excess gas produced in the gastrointestinal tract.
4. Crying Too Much
Very often newborns cry too much because they are suffering from some sort of pain or disorder. Crying too much can make your baby exhausted and inhale more air into the stomach, which can cause babies gas pain.
5. Mother’s Diet
Mother’s diet is crucial for the quality of the breast milk the baby is getting. Certain foods may contain compounds that can get into the breastmilk and cause newborns gas pains.
6. Poor Gut’s Health from Premature Birth or Other Reasons
Our gut’s health is very important in determining our overall health. It contains numerous microbes, making it a sophisticated ecology. Any kind of disturbance or problem in your baby’s gut health can cause baby stomach gas pain or even constipation. Such types of problem will have many other symptoms as well. You can follow this guide to relieve your baby from constipation problem.
Symptoms of A Gassy Baby
There will be various symptoms if your newborn has gas problems. The signs of gas in newborn babies are as follows:
1. Cranky and Fussy
Your baby will behave cranky and fussy if it has a gassy tummy. This behavior will intensify right after feeding. However, if your baby is cranky and fussy all the time, there may be other problems besides gas problems to your gassy newborn.
Your baby’s belly will be tight if there is any gas problem. Normally it should feel soft and cushy. Bloating can also occur as a reaction of trapped gas in the stomach in your baby.
3. Throwing off Legs & Hands
Gas problems will make your baby uncomfortable and it will be revealed by his/her behaviors. Other than being cranky and fussy, he/ she will throw off legs and arms in the air as a reaction to the uncomfortable feelings in his/her stomach.
4. Stomach Noise
Gas developed in the gastrointestinal tract often creates gurgle sound in the stomach. You can hear it from your newborn if the surroundings are quiet.
5. Squirming & Crying
Infants might cry or squirm out of their suffering if the gas problem in their belly is intense.
When to Seek Medical Advice from Professionals?
Although it might be painful to watch your little angel suffer, gassy tummy is a common issue for infants. There are many home remedies for infants gas problems. However, you should seek medical advice from a pediatrician if your baby shows any of these following conditions:
- Your baby has a chronic colic problem. He or she will cry continuously for hours throughout the week if he/she is suffering from chronic colic issues
- The baby is suffering from diarrhea or severe constipation
- If your baby doesn’t eat and drink properly and has very little appetite for it
- Has a fever for an extended period of time
These symptoms can indicate some serious medical problems, such as gastroesophageal reflux or infection and food allergy. You should check your baby by a pediatrician if any of these problems arise.
What Can You Do for Your Baby?
It is very usual for parents to become impatient in order to provide some relief to their babies from sufferings. In regards to infant gas problems, there is no specific baby gas medicine which is appropriate for all situations. Try not to use over-the-counter drugs, since they are not intended for babies. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you can give simethicone gas drops to your baby which will solve this gas issue.
Your baby has a chronic colic problem, you can try some formulas specialized for treating colic babies.
However, this treatment doesn’t work all the time and has a mediocre effect in treating the problem. Thus, we do not recommend taking this action without consulting a pediatrician. There are many safe and effective home remedies which will certainly help your little one to provide some relief. Newborn baby gas problem home remedy treatments are discussed below in details.
Home Remedies for Gas in Babies
1. Closed Nipple Latch
When breastfeeding your little one, make sure that your baby is latching the breast properly, that is without leaving any gap. That way, air wouldn’t enter into the belly of your baby. It is one of the most effective gassy baby remedies if the problem didn’t arise from the mother’s diet.
2. Right Size of Bottle Nipple
If your baby is used to formulas, you may want to choose the correct size of bottle nipple for your baby. But there is no specific way to determine the correct size of the bottle nipple. You have to find it out with the trial-and-error method.
3. Knee Pushing Exercise
Knee pushing exercise is very helpful in relieving gas problems in your baby. The pressure felt on the tummy is very helpful for food digestion as well. It is one of the most well-known newborn gas remedies, which has many other benefits as well.
4. Oil Massage
Oil massage is very effective in soothing your baby. It aids the food digestion process along with many other skin benefits. Olive oil or coconut oil is the best option for your baby. Dip your hands with oil and then gently rub your baby with your oily hands. After massaging the whole body, massage the tummy by rubbing your hand clockwise.
Burping is a very essential practice for infant gas relief. You should regularly burp your baby in between the feeding times. It helps your angel to release the gas stuck in the stomach.
6. Basil Leave
Basil leave is very effective in soothing your digestion process and providing baby gas relief. It has sedative and antispasmodic properties. You can use basil leaves to ease your baby’s digestion process.
You can boil two or three basil leaves with water and give your baby few teaspoons of that water to drink after cooling it down. Or you can apply basil leave paste around the navel of your baby.
7. Mother’s Diet
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Mother’s diet can be the cause of the baby’s gas problems since some food compounds can make their way to breast and baby. The effects of different foods vary from mother to mother and regional food habits. Usually, vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and beans can create such problems. Citrus fruits and the dairy product should also be avoided by the mother if her baby is having gas problems or chronic colic issue.
Note: These foods contain some necessary nutrients. Rather than completely cutting down these foods from the mother’s diet, try to limit down as much as possible.