Newborn Gas Relief
by Heather Slee
Sometimes it’s tough to tell what your newborn is trying to communicate to you. If your baby is fussy or crying, and you’ve done your checklist (hungry, diaper, sleepy, comfort, ill), then it may be gas.
Gas is uncomfortable at best, and downright painful at its worst. It’s hard to determine with certainty if your baby has gas, but here are a couple symptoms you might notice (besides being cranky): curling up legs to the chest and then straightening them out, not eating, trouble sleeping, or a firm belly.
Prevention is, of course, the best strategy. To avoid gas– or at least attempt to avoid it– make sure your baby is in a sitting position while eating instead of lying down or reclined. Also, if you’re bottle feeding, make sure the baby isn’t sucking down any air. Hold their bottle for them, and be sure the nipple is always full. Burp them thoroughly in the middle of eating and after eating. Another idea you can try is to keep distractions at a minimum. Sometimes lots of stimuli, like noises and lights, can increase gas pains.
When your baby is feeling uncomfortable and you suspect it’s gas pain, there are a couple things you can try to alleviate the pain. Gripe water (like Mylicon or ColicCalm), baby massage, tummy rubs, bicycle kicks, and the football hold (tummy down, head in hand).
If these methods don’t help, it may be time to talk to your pediatrician. Your baby may be having an allergic reaction to milk or something else entirely. Trust your instincts– if your baby is upset or colicky, you think gas could be a problem but nothing is working, talk to the doctor. Don’t let it go too long– babies need their sleep, and parents do too!
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