How to Relieve a Gassy Baby: Practical Tips for Happy Tummies

Introduction

As a parent, seeing your baby in discomfort can be heartbreaking. One common issue that many babies experience is gas, which can cause them to be fussy and irritable. Understanding the reasons behind a gassy baby and recognizing the symptoms is crucial in finding effective relief. In this blog post, we'll explore the common causes of a gassy baby, identify the symptoms, and share practical tips on how to bring comfort to your little one.

 

Common Causes of a Gassy Baby

Swallowing air from incorrect latch onto the breast: When breastfeeding, a baby may swallow excess air if they are not latched onto the breast correctly. This can lead to gas buildup in their tiny tummies.

Certain positions when drinking from the bottle: Similar to breastfeeding, when using a bottle, the baby's position can affect how much air they swallow during feeding. Poor bottle positioning may result in gassiness.

Drinking too fast or too slow: Babies who drink too quickly or too slowly may ingest more air during feeding, leading to gas discomfort.

Excessive crying: When babies cry excessively, they tend to swallow more air, exacerbating gas-related issues.

Constipation: Infrequent bowel movements can lead to gas build-up, making your baby uncomfortable.

New and certain foods: As babies start solid foods, some gas-producing foods like beans, lentils, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, and onions can introduce gassiness to their delicate digestive systems.

Immature digestive tract: Newborns and young babies have developing digestive systems, which may not function optimally, leading to gas problems.


Symptoms of a Gassy Baby

Recognizing the symptoms of gas in your baby can help you provide timely relief and comfort. Some common signs of a gassy baby include:

Red-faced: Your baby's face may appear flushed or red due to discomfort.

Crying: A gassy baby often cries inconsolably and exhibits signs of distress.

Squirming post-feeding: After feeding, the baby may appear restless and uncomfortable, moving their body to find relief.

Clenched fists: Tense fists are a typical sign of discomfort in a gassy baby.

Pulling legs up toward the tummy: Babies may instinctively pull their legs up toward their tummy to alleviate gas pains.

Passing gas: Audible passing of gas is an evident indicator of gassiness.

Arching the back: Your baby may arch their back as they attempt to find relief from gas pain.

A bloated or swollen-looking stomach: A distended belly can be a sign of trapped gas in the baby's digestive system.

Tips to Relieve a Gassy Baby

Burp baby after every feed: 

Burping is a simple yet effective way to release trapped air from your baby's stomach. Try different burping positions, such as holding the baby upright against your chest or gently patting their back while they are lying on their tummy. You may need to let baby burp twice if once isn't sufficient.

Image from Mamaschoice.sg

Do tummy time: 

Encourage tummy time when your baby is awake and supervised. This position can help relieve gas and improve digestion. If your baby doesn't like Tummy Time (which understandably many newborns don't), try these visually stimulating tummy time toys to catch their attention! The mirror will keep them entertained for awhile.



Change baby's bottle: 

Consider trying different anti-colic bottles like MAM or Dr. Brown's Anti-Colic, specifically designed to reduce the intake of air during feeding and see which one works best for your baby.




Adjust baby's diet: 

If you are breastfeeding, monitor your diet and observe how certain foods may be affecting your baby's gassiness. Foods like brocolli, cauliflower, onion, peas, beans, dairy may possibly be the cause, so you could try reducing intake of such foods while breastfeeding. If using formula, consult your pediatrician about trying different formulas that may be gentler on your baby's stomach.


Give baby massages: 

Gentle tummy massages like bicycle kicks and 'I Love U' rubs can aid digestion and alleviate gas discomfort. Use natural oils like "minyak telon" with eucalyptus, which can help soothe and warm your baby's stomach.

Image from Healthline.com

This Minyak Telon is similar to Ruyi oil but I prefer this it's not as stinging/warm, more soothing for babies.. and the eucalyptus scent is so calming. Best of all, it's also a natural mosquito repellent which lasts for ~8 hours. We rub this on baby's tummy while massaging after bath daily.

Use a gas-relief medication: 

As a last resort, you may consider using gas-relief drops like "Ridwind" as recommended by your pediatrician. Administer the drops according to the dosage instructions, either directly or mixed with your baby's milk. 

Our PD recommended Ridwind when our baby was newborn, which we only give when we confirm that she's gassy and refuse to drink milk. After taking it and waiting about half an hour, we can see that she feels more relieved and is able to finish drinking her milk. This really worked wonders for our baby!


Conclusion

A gassy baby can be a challenge, but with understanding and patience, you can provide relief and comfort for your little one. By identifying the causes, recognizing the symptoms, and implementing these practical tips, you can help alleviate gas discomfort and create a happy and contented environment for your baby. Remember to consult your pediatrician if you have concerns or if the gassiness persists, as they can provide personalized advice and support. Happy parenting!

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