Every new parent can understand the agony of their baby falling sick, or experiencing discomfort. In the first year of life, your baby could fall prey to a number of ailments.
A bloated or gassy stomach is one such problem that many babies face. Most parents are terrified about their babies falling ill, and the first few months of parenting, can be a trying time.
Babies commonly suffer from digestive and intestinal issues. This is because their gastrointestinal systems are still developing, meaning they’re more prone to bloating and gas. Nearly any food is new and alien to a baby’s digestive system. So, bloating, or gas, is not uncommon.
Baby gas relief not only makes your baby more comfortable, but also reduces the stress on new parents. There are a lot of options that can be implemented, by the parents themselves, for giving their baby gas relief. However, always consult a pediatrician before you take it on yourself to give your baby gas relief.
Symptoms of Gas in Babies
Some common symptoms of babies suffering from gas, or bloating, are:
Burping is a natural response to excessive gas in the digestive system. It’s normal for babies to burp or belch after meals, but excessive burping may indicate that your baby is taking in too much air while feeding.
Most babies will spit up a little after meals. Spitting up is often accompanied by burping. There are many things apart from gas, that can cause spitting up. Some of these are particles in the breast milk, eating too much or too fast, or the type of formula the baby is being fed.
Bloating is commonly associated with gas build up in babies. The abdomen will appear swollen or distended. This is often uncomfortable or painful for the baby, and may be accompanied by stomach cramps.
Excessive flatulence is a sign that you baby is trying to expel excess gas from the stomach. The infant gut isn’t completely developed, and this can cause problems with digestion.
Crying is the only way for babies to signal distress. Long bouts of crying that last for three or more hours, more often than thrice a week could be a sign of gas.
Restlessness and insomnia
Gas can be accompanied by painful cramps and abdominal discomfort. This can make it harder for the baby to sleep at night. If your baby is more restless than usual, ensure you consult a doctor.
Causes for Gas in Babies
Gas is a normal result of the digestive process. The problem, however, is when a large amount of gas builds up in the stomach or intestines, causing discomfort.
The most common causes of gas building up are:
If the baby consumes too much during a meal, it can overload the digestive system. This can lead to gas accumulation.
Excessive crying can make the baby swallow air. This adds to the naturally produced gas in the gut, causing an excess of gas.
Immature digestive system
The digestive system is very complex, and continues to develop after birth. A delay in development also leads to gas because food isn’t properly digested.
Incorrect feeding technique
If the baby doesn’t latch onto the feeding bottle, or nipple, properly, it can make them swallow air, leading to gas.
Breast milk contains trace amounts of the food and nutrients consumed by the mother. This can sometimes lead to an allergic reaction in the baby. Milk formulae can also trigger an allergic reaction at times.
Treatments for Baby Gas Relief
The sight of a baby in distress would worry any parent. Treating the problem and providing your baby gas relief is not only beneficial to the child, but also gives peace of mind to the worried parents.
Treatment options for baby gas relief are:
Proper feeding positions
The proper feeding position will ensure that your baby latches on to your nipple properly, and doesn’t swallow too much air. Ensure that your baby is in an almost upright position with the head and neck supported, and above stomach-level. If the baby is reclining, this will trap air in the stomach, leading to gas.
Use the right bottle
If you’re feeding the baby with a bottle, make sure that the bottle has a soft nipple that fits comfortably in the baby’s mouth. The more the baby struggles to fit the nipple in its mouth, the more air is swallowed, and the more gas builds up.
Make your baby burp after every meal. This helps excess gas pass naturally.
Calm and controlled feeding
Don’t feed your baby in a frantic or rushed manner. Keep the feeding session calm and relaxed, so that your baby is comfortable. Also, don’t wait until your baby is very hungry, because this can make gas worse.
Gently massaging your baby’s stomach and abdomen can help reduce gas pockets and provide your baby gas relief. A massage can be immensely soothing as well, keeping the baby warm and happy.
Remember, gas can be uncomfortable for a baby, but it will pass. Most infants stop facing gas issues after a few months. If you take the right measures for baby gas relief, you have nothing to worry about.