Comforting a Gassy Newborn

Newborn-Baby-Crying-In-Parents-Bedroom-000017068131_LargeHas your newborn been extra fussy or inconsolable? If you’ve eliminated the obvious reasons for newborn fussiness (hunger, in need of fresh diaper, etc.), she may be having trouble passing gas. Other signs of gas are squirming and pulling in her legs, farting and/or burping, and her stomach may be hard to the touch. If you have already deciphered your baby’s various cries, you may also hear a distinction in her crying that signifies discomfort in a gassy newborn.

So, how can you help your little baby move that uncomfortable gas? The most efficient way to help is to lay him down on his back and bicycle his legs, pressing his knees gently into his belly as you do so. You can also try giving him extra tummy time or hold him in the colic hold (face down along the length of your arm so your forearm presses into his belly). All of these tricks do the same thing: gently press into baby’s belly to help move the gas along.

After your first bout of an uncomfortably gassy newborn, you may be wondering: “how can I keep this from happening again?” Here are some simple steps to help prevent gas in both bottle- and breastfed newborns:

  • Burp her after every feed. All babies need help burping for the first 4-6 months. If gas issues persists, give her a burp break mid-feed to reduce gas build up.
  • Reduce air intake. Bottle-fed babies are more prone to gassiness because of bubbles in the formula or breast milk. If you shake the bottle to mix formula, try to let it settle before feeding it to baby. Also make sure that the angle of the bottle is high enough so the nipple is full of milk as your baby drinks.
  • Change your feeding position. For both the bottle- and breastfed baby, his head should be elevated above his stomach during feeding. This allows the milk to slide down easier, allowing gas bubbles to rise, instead of getting trapped which is what causes the discomfort.
  • Take a look at your diet. If you’re breastfeeding, what you eat, the baby eats. While it is not common, if you are eating a lot of gas-inducing foods, this may be passed along to your little one through your breast milk. You can also try reducing your intake of dairy products, as some babies are more sensitive to lactose.

Want to know more about treating gas or have other newborn care questions? Visit today and check out our Mother Tested and Doctor Approved Pregnancy and Parenting Courses.  

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