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How To Help A Newborn Baby With Gas

Is your newborn baby crying in pain from gas? Wondering how you can help relieve the pressure? We’ve all been there. When my first baby was born, I had no idea that the foods I ate would cause such a problem for my sweet baby. 

My mother-in-law made cauliflower and broccoli for me, and a few hours later, I thought my baby was going to explode. You’re not alone. And thankfully, there are things you can do to help relieve the pressure. 

We’ll explain how to help when your newborn baby has gas. We’ll also list signs, symptoms, and things you can do to relieve your baby’s tummy pressure. By following our tips, hopefully, your baby’s gas will subside. You got this.

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Why Your Baby Is Gassy: Signs And Symptoms

As your newborn baby learns to eat and their digestive system develops, your baby may be gassy—a lot of gassy. And you may wonder how so many toots can fit into such as tiny body? Gas issues can happen quickly after birth and last for several months. Usually, around four to six months, your baby’s digestion normalizes and the gas subsides.  

Common causes for gas in newborn babies include:

  • Swallowing air when they eat or cry.
  • Digesting too quickly, so the food doesn’t have time to break down.
  • Having hypersensitivities to formula or food in the mom’s diet.

But if you have a newborn baby, here are some signs to watch for to know if your baby has gas. Your baby:

  • Cries and is fussy about an hour after eating, and the fussiness lasts for more than an hour.
  • Seems unhappy more often than not. 
  • Struggles to eat or sleep well.
  • Gets red-faced when crying, possibly from pain.
  • Squirms uncomfortably and pulls legs to their chest.

RELATED: Why Does My Baby Cry So Much?

  tummy time helps with baby gas

Remedies For Baby Gas Relief

If you suspect your baby has gas, here are a few things you can do to help relieve the pressure:

    • Burp your baby twice when you feed them. Halfway through feeding, you should gently pat your baby’s back to expel any air they swallowed while feeding. Then burp them again after eating.
  • Hold your baby in a more upright position while feeding to reduce how much air they might swallow.
      • Feed your baby before your baby’s crying turns into a meltdown. Newborns inhale more air during meltdowns, which compounds the gas.
      • Utilize the colic carry to relieve tummy pressure. Lay your newborn baby belly-down across your knees. Then massage their back. 
  • Give your baby infant gas drops.
      • Give your baby tummy time. Tummy time strengthens their muscles and neck and applies gentle pressure to their tummy, which relieves gas.
  • Massage your baby to help them relax.
      • Monitor your diet. If you are breastfeeding, these foods can make your baby extra gassy:
        • Dairy
        • Caffeine
        • Onions
        • Cabbage
        • Cauliflower
        • Broccoli
        • Brussel Sprouts
      • Switch formulas. If you are bottle-feeding, try another formula that specifically reduces gas. 
  • Give your baby gripe water.
  •  

    RELATED: How to Get a Baby to Sleep Through the Night

    Are Gas Drops Safe?

    Yes. Infant gas drops are specially formulated for babies. Baby gas drops contain simethicone, which is proven to reduce the painful pressure caused by gas. Depending on the drops, you may be able to administer up to twelve drops a day, ensuring your baby doesn’t become uncomfortable. 

    Call your doctor before giving your baby gas drops. The pediatrician will recommend which drops will be best for your baby and what dosage you should start with. You also want to read your label before purchasing the infant gas drops. Some drops may contain sodium benzoate or benzoic acid, which may be harmful in large quantities. 

    Is It Gas Or Colic?

    Gas can cause colic in babies. But how do you know if it is gas or colic? A baby that has colic follows these three rules:

    1. Cries for over 3 hours a day.
    2. Cries more than 3 days a week.
    3. Cries like this for more than 3 weeks.

    If we just described your baby, they may have colic, and you’ll want to talk to your pediatrician. Many things can cause colic:

    • Immature nervous system
    • Sensitivity to stimulation or temperament
    • Sensitivity to a mother’s diet during breastfeeding
    • Intolerance of formula proteins
    • Being overfed or eating too quickly
    • Smoking mothers
    • Intestinal gas which compounds from swallowing air during crying fits
    • Not burping after eating
    • Low birth rate
    • Hunger
    • Acid reflux

    Colic peaks at about 6-8 weeks after birth and subsides by 3-9 months.

    RELATED: Calming Songs to Sing to Your Baby

    sleeping baby

    When Should I Worry About My Baby’s Gas?

    When your baby is crying in pain from stubborn gas bubbles, it’s challenging to know when to call your doctor, especially for first-time parents. First, follow your gut. A mother’s intuition is generally right. But here are a few signs to watch for when to call the doctor:

    • Your baby isn’t gaining weight.
    • Your baby struggles to feed or doesn’t want to eat.
    • Your baby is constipated or has difficulty with bowel movements.
    • Your baby experiences an allergic reaction, such as hives, vomiting, rash, trouble breathing, or swollen face. 

     

    If your baby is struggling and shows one or more of these signs, it could be a more serious digestive issue. Call your doctor to determine the next steps. If your baby is gaining weight and has no problem with bowel movements, then it is probably some nasty gas that just needs to work its way out.

    Final Thoughts

    Gas can be very uncomfortable for your newborn baby, but it will eventually pass. You can do several things to help relieve the pressure building in their intestines. If you are breastfeeding, watch your diet. Lots of things can set your baby off. Keeping a diet journal might be a good idea if your baby is getting really gassy. 

    If you are still worried, call your pediatrician. They understand and will set your mind at ease or will have your baby come in to see if it could be something more complicated. Being a new parent is a stressful time, but you got this. 

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