5 Ways to Prevent or Treat Gas in Infants
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5 Ways to Prevent or Treat Gas in Infants

Gas is a common problem that causes distress, crying and fussiness in infants. These six tips offer ways to prevent and treat gas in babies.

When a baby is gassy, everyone usually knows it. Gas in an infant’s tummy often produces discomfort and even pain, which causes crying and overall irritability. You may have heard of this problem referred to as “colic.” Whether your baby experiences an occasional tummy ache from gas or extended periods of colic for weeks on end, you both need relief. Try these five simple tips for preventing and treating gassiness in infants.

Tip #1: Upright Feedings 

You might enjoy cradling your baby when you give her a bottle, but lying down can trigger gas to build up in her tummy. Prop your baby up during feedings so that extra air can escape more easily. Keep your baby in this upright position for 20 to 30 minutes following the feeding as well. 

Tip #2: Frequent Burping 

If you wait until baby is through with his bottle to burp him, you may have allowed a substantial amount of gas to accumulate. Don’t race through feedings. Stop every 1 to 3 minutes to burp your baby if he’s been having trouble with gas. Lean your baby forward against your palm and forearm and pat his back gently with the other hand to assist with the gas-releasing process. 

Tip #3: Tummy Massage 

Your gentle touch on your baby’s tummy can help to prevent and treat gas. If your baby is being fussy, gently rub her tummy in a circular motion, using two or three fingers. Another way to provide a tummy rub is to sit down lay your little one across your thighs. Rock her back and forth across your legs to add gentle pressure to her belly. 

Tip #4: Changing Mom’s Diet 

If you are breast feeding, your baby may be sensitive to certain types of foods that you eat. This sensitivity triggers gas and accompanying discomfort.  Eliminate or reduce your consumption of products such as spicy foods, caffeine and dairy foods. Don’t despair, however. Just because you need to give up a food or beverage you enjoy doesn’t mean that you’ll have to abstain the whole time you are nursing. As your baby’s digestive system develops, he may be able to tolerate those same foods or beverages at a later date. 

Tip #5: Simethicone Drops 

While some studies indicate that these drops are not effective in treating colic in babies, some parents still swear by this solution. Simethicone drops are available at most drug stores and do not require a prescription. Carefully read and follow the directions posted on the medication.

Seeing your baby crying and uncomfortable is heart wrenching for any parent. If your baby’s fussiness is accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever, see your pediatrician. Some babies have acid reflux problems that require prescription medication. Often times, infants outgrow their gassy woes eventually. These simple remedies can be the key to helping your baby get through this colicky period. 

References:

Mayo Clinic; http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/colic/DS00058/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies

NYU Medical Center; http://www.med.nyu.edu/healthwise/article.html?hwid=ug1067

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