Help! My Baby is Gassy!
For how tiny their bodies are, babies sure are gassy! And, to the frustration of their parents, some babies are even gassier than others.
Gas can cause major discomfort in your baby. Their poor little body isn’t used to experiencing pain yet, so they are often unable to quietly wait for their gas to pass like adults are. They also don’t have any strategies they can use to help their little bodies fart!
Here are some signs you can look for if you are not sure if gas is culprit for your baby’s discomfort.
- Squirming around
It can be challenging to see that your baby is gassy and uncomfortable. As a new parent, it can make your heart hurt to see your baby squirming around and grunting as that little baby tries to fart.
And, let’s be honest, when your baby is gassy it also affects your sleep. You’re up enough times throughout the night for feedings and diaper changes. Throwing in more middle-of-the-night wake ups for an uncomfortable baby with gas can be both exhausting and frustrating!
So, what can you do to help give your baby some relief and help you both get back to, well, sleeping like a baby?
There are many variables related to feeding that could be causing your baby to fart and be gassy. You’ll want to pay attention to the position your baby is in when they eat, burping your baby, they type of bottle and nipple you are using, and the type of formula or solids your baby is ingesting.
Especially when your baby is gassy or has reflux, the position they are in when they are eating is very important. Since gas is caused by excess air getting into your baby’s tummy, you want to minimize the amount of air that gets in when they are eating. To do this, hold your baby in a more upright position. You don’t want them flat or close to flat when they are eating as it will allow more air in. Additionally, the way in which you hold the bottle is also important. You want to make sure that you are holding the bottle in a way that allows the least amount of air possible into the nipple.
Believe it or not, some bottles are better than others for reducing gas in babies. The bottle you have might be part of the reason your baby is gassy. Look for bottles that have a vent system. These systems are designed to stop baby from ingesting more air.
Did you know not all nipples are the same either? There are different sizes or levels of nipples. The smaller sizes have a smaller hole, which allows less milk out at a time. These smaller nipples also allow less air to get into your baby. Especially if your baby is just a few weeks or even a few months old, you’ll want to stick with a level 1 nipple. Many bottle brands also offer a premie-sized nipple which has an even smaller hole. So, check the nipple size you are using as that may be partly to blame for your baby farting!
Burping can be related to your gassy baby as well. When you burp a baby, you help them release some of the air they ingested while drinking their bottle. If this air doesn’t get released with a burp, then it can get trapped in their belly as those uncomfortable gas bubbles. Those gas bubbles can lead to it being a challenge for your baby to fart, thus making them uncomfortable!
It is important to burp your baby at least twice per feeding to help them release those air bubbles. Some babies may need to be burped more frequently. So, if you’ve noticed that your baby is gassy, try increasing the number of times you’re burping them with each feeding to see if you notice any improvement.
Types of Food Baby is Eating
The types of food your baby is eating can also lead them to be more gassy. If your baby is formula-fed, some formulas can lead to it being difficult for your baby to fart. If you think the formula you are feeding your baby may be why your baby is gassy, speak with your pediatrician and see if they recommend switching to a more gentle formula.
If you are breastfeeding your baby, your diet may be partly to blame for their gassiness. Look at the foods you are eating. Your baby could be farting more if they have sensitivity to a food in your diet. You can try cutting certain foods from your diet to see if you notice any improvements. Just remember, it can take a few weeks for a food you cut from your diet to be completely out of your breastmilk, so it might take some patience to find the offender that is causing your baby to be farting so much!
If your baby has started eating solids, a food in their diet could also be to blame for their gassiness. If your baby is eating beans or leafy greens often, they could be contributing to their gas. If you think something your baby is gassy because of something they are eating, try reducing the amount of that food they get during their meals, or possibly cutting it out altogether for a few months.
Tummy time is something we should be doing with our new babies for many reasons. But, tummy time can sometimes help a baby with farting. The change of positions can sometimes offer relief when a baby is gassy. Try to give your baby a lot of tummy time during the day to help them pass some of their gas. If your baby is gassy at night, you can do some tummy time with them then too. But, remember, you don’t want to put your baby to sleep on their tummy; on the back is the safest way for a baby to sleep!
Belly Massages and Bicycle Kicks
If you notice a lot of grunting and squirming, it may mean that is difficult for your baby to fart. You can often help your baby with farting by giving them a belly massage. If you rub their belly in a clock-wise direction, if can help release those gas bubbles and give your baby some relief! Check out our article about how to massage a baby if you need some tips!
Likewise, moving your baby’s legs may also help. With your baby lying flat on a surface, you can help them do bicycle kicks. A bicycle kick is just when you move your baby’s legs as if they were pedaling a bike. This movement can also help loosen those gas bubbles and help your baby pass gas!
Gently bouncing your baby on your lap or holding them in your arms and rocking or bouncing may also help your baby with farting. Similar to the belly massages and bicycle kicks, these motions can help to release those gas bubbles that are causing your baby such discomfort!
Swaddling a baby mimics the feeling of being in the womb. This can help them to feel calm, relaxed, and safe. Swaddling can also help some babies who are gassy. They will be more comfortable and may be less likely to be bothered by the gas.
If you’re at your wits end in the middle of the night and nothing seems to be helping your baby with farting and releasing their gas, try giving them a warm bath. A warm bath can help when your baby is gassy because it can calm down your frustrated baby. It might help them to be able to pass some gas and get some relief.
Gas Drops or Gripe Water
If the natural remedies above don’t work for you, you can talk to your pediatrician about trying gas drops or gripe water. Gas drops contain simethicone. Simethicone is thought to help break up the gas bubbles in the baby’s stomach, making them smaller and easier for your baby to pass. Gripe water uses fennel and ginger, which are supposed to help your baby with digesting their food. Either of these might be options you’ll want to consider to help your baby with farting and getting comfortable!
Again, if you’ve tried the more natural options that don’t require you to make any purchases, there is one more option you can consider. Baby Frida makes a product call the Windi. The Windi is a special hollow tube that you insert into your baby’s bottom. It is designed to help your baby get farting!
A gassy baby can easily turn into a fussy baby. You want to do everything you can to help your little one find the comfort they need. If your baby is gassy and fussy at night, you’re probably looking for some much-needed relief for your sake as well! Hopefully one of our suggestions will help that your baby with farting so you both can move on and get some rest!
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