We occasionally receive calls from parents who are concerned about their babies having excess gas. Symptoms such as fussiness, crying, squirming, burping, hiccups, and abdominal bloating can all be signs of an uncomfortably gassy baby. Parents often aren’t sure what to do to help make their little one feel better. Fortunately they are a few easy home remedies to try!
First of all, it’s natural for babies (and adults) to have a certain amount of gas produced during digestion, however while an infant’s digestive system is developing they are more prone to excess gas. However, the way an infant is fed can affect the amount of air entering the digestive system, resulting in even more gas that needs to work its way through the body.
To help prevent excess air from entering the digestive system make sure the nipple of the bottle is the right size for your little one; if it’s too big your baby can end up gulping formula, which can result in too much air entering the stomach. Also, keeping your baby at a 45 degree angle during feeding can help limit the amount of air they swallow. Burping your baby after feeding can also help; if you notice your baby is fussy in the middle of a feeding, try a burping break to see if that makes them more comfortable.
Once the digestion process starts, gas will naturally be produced and should not be uncomfortable unless it becomes trapped in the digestive tract. Here are some ways to help trapped gas pass through the body more easily:
- Bicycles:Gently move your baby’s legs as if they were riding a bicycle. This motion can help your baby pass trapped gas.
- Warm Bath:Relax your baby in a warm bath. The warm water can help relax digestive muscles, thereby helping gas move through the digestive tract.
- Warm Compress:Soak a washcloth in warm water (no warmer than you would use in your baby’s bath) and place on your baby’s abdomen. Similar to a warm bath, the warm towel can help relax muscles in the digestive tract.
- Tummy Massage:Gently massage the abdomen in a clockwise motion to help expel gas.
- Herbal Teas:Teas of fennel or chamomile can help relax gastrointestinal muscles so gas can move more easily through the digestive system. Peppermint is also used for digestive issues, however keep in mind that if your baby has issues with reflux peppermint can sometimes aggravate this condition. Always consult with your doctor or dietitian before using herbal remedies with your little one.
Do you have other home remedies that work for your little one? We would love to hear about them!
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