How to Help a Gassy Baby

If you’re the parent of a gassy baby, help may be on the way! For many babies, their gastrointestinal tract matures more slowly than other systems in their body, which can cause your baby to experience excessive gas. And if this isn’t already bad enough, the discomfort and bloating caused by excessive gas can cause your baby to become fussy and irritable as well. Thankfully, there are several ways you can help reduce your baby’s gas symptoms and make him or her feel more comfortable during those difficult first months of life.


Change their diet

Babies often get gassy because they are eating too many dairy products. A few solid foods and drinks that can cause gas include cow’s milk, soy milk, beans, peas, and legumes. Some fruits and vegetables can also cause gassiness, including broccoli, cabbage, onion family vegetables (such as onions and garlic), apples, apricots, and peaches. If your baby is suffering from gas due to food allergies or sensitivities it will be important to figure out what is causing it so you can avoid it going forward. One way of doing that is by keeping a food diary for several days before consulting with your pediatrician for help deciphering what may be causing their tummy troubles.


Swaddle your baby

Not only can babies not control their limbs when they’re firstborn. But being held close in a blanket or by someone familiar makes them feel safe and secure. Studies have also shown that swaddling can help reduce colic symptoms such as crying, fussiness, and sleeplessness. Even if your baby doesn’t suffer from colic, there are several reasons why you should consider swaddling him or her. Swaddling helps babies sleep longer stretches at night (without getting tangled up in blankets) and is believed to improve sleep for parents. It also lowers babies’ risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), which is thought to be caused by rolling over onto their stomachs while sleeping.


Common causes

Newborns go through phases where they are more likely to be gassy. These are especially common when babies are cutting teeth or adjusting their diet from breastfeeding to formula or from formula back to breastfeeding. But it’s important for parents to remember that colic isn’t necessarily about gas, but rather about crying and fussiness for extended periods of time (more than three hours per day). In those cases, babies may benefit from over-the-counter infant simethicone drops that help relieve some of their discomforts. Breastfeeding can also help reduce tummy troubles—and so can changing diaper brands.


Rock them

While it can be scary watching your baby get so worked up that they’re screaming at full volume, gently rocking them may help. By re-enacting what they were doing just before they got upset (sleeping, feeding), you can often calm them down enough for gas to pass and make things less uncomfortable. It’s hard work being a newborn, especially with all that trapped gas! So give your little one some TLC and rock them back into their happy place! If gentle rocking doesn’t do it for you or for your baby, try swaddling. Babies in swaddles tend to feel safe and secure, leading them to fall asleep quickly.


Give them natural gas relief

It might even seem like there’s nothing you can do when your baby is crying and fussy, especially if he or she has colic. But there are some things you can do before taking your baby out of his or her crib and then some ways to help calm a gassy baby once you have him or her in your arms. Try these natural gas relief methods to keep both of you happy and comfortable. A sugary drink often triggers discomfort and extra bubbles for a gassy baby who doesn’t want milk (but whose tummy does).

The first gas relief solution is water—either still or as bubbly as you can make it. If your infant is relaxed enough to take breast milk, burp that up after feeding. Another option? Lactation cookies – but don’t make them too sweet, which could aggravate fussiness!  Remove unnecessary clothing layers that could exacerbate tightness in an overheated baby’s tummy:

  • Take off heavy blankets and snowsuits;
  • Avoid holding them close;
  • Loosen stroller straps.



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