Have you ever noticed that your baby tends to be gassy a lot during their first few weeks? This can be frustrating for all involved since it makes feeding and sometimes sleeping pretty difficult.
When your baby is born, they haven’t yet developed the ability to pass gas on their own. This process starts developing around 3-4 weeks of age and continues to improve until around 6 months. Until then, your baby will likely be quite gassy. But what is causing this, and how can you avoid it?
There are a few different reasons why your baby might be gassy.
1. Swallowing air during feedings
When your baby is breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, they may end up swallowing a lot of air. This can happen if they are gulping their milk too quickly, or if they have a poor latch. If you notice that your baby is gulping their milk, try to slow down their feeding by burping them more often.
2. Digestive issues
Another reason why your baby might be gassy is because of digestive issues. Your baby’s digestive system is still developing, and they may not yet be able to fully digest all of the milk they are drinking. This can lead to gas and other tummy troubles. Talk to your pediatrician if you think that this might be the case.
3. Food sensitivities or allergies
Some babies are sensitive or allergic to various types of food, including dairy and wheat. If you suspect that your baby may have food sensitivity, it is important to consult with your doctor about how to manage this. Avoiding trigger foods can help to reduce your baby’s gas and other symptoms.
4. Hormonal changes
As babies go through growth spurts, they may experience changes in their hormone levels which can lead to an increase in gas. This usually happens because the hormone levels can affect the motility, or movement, of the GI tract. This change in motility can cause gas and bloat. This will usually pass over time as your baby’s hormones stabilize.
What Are the Signs of a Gassy Baby?
There are a few different signs that you may notice if your baby is gassy. They may be fussy or irritable, especially after feedings. They may also have trouble sleeping or feeding. Additionally, you may notice that your baby is making a lot of grunting noises or passing a lot of gas. If you’re concerned about your baby’s gas, it is best to talk to your pediatrician for advice. They can help you determine the cause and offer suggestions on how to minimize discomfort for your baby.
There are a few different ways that you can help to reduce your baby’s gas.
1. Burp your baby often
Burping your baby during and after feedings can help to release any air that they have swallowed. This can be especially helpful if your baby is gulping their milk or has a poor latch. There are a few things you may do to help your baby burp.
-Lay your baby on your lap with his or her belly facing down. Make sure your child’s head is higher than their chest by holding it. Rub or pat their back gently.
-Hold your newborn against your chest. Make that their head is resting on your shoulder. Then give them a pat and a rub on the back.
2. Hold your baby upright
Holding your baby upright after feedings can also help to reduce gas. This position will allow the milk to fully digest before your baby lies down, which can help to prevent any discomfort. During these times, you can also gently rub your baby’s tummy to help ease any discomfort that might be present.
3. Avoid overfeeding
One of the top ways to reduce gas in babies is to avoid overfeeding. Babies can get annoyed by a full belly, which can lead to tummy troubles. Instead, make sure your baby is getting just enough milk without too much leftover. When you are feeding your baby, watch how they react and take breaks as needed so that they aren’t getting too much at one time.
4. Watch your diet
If you are eating foods that lead to gas in adults, then it is likely that those same foods will cause gas in your baby as well. When breastfeeding, pay attention to how your baby reacts after you eat certain foods so that you can narrow down any potential culprits. You might also want to avoid eating gassy foods yourself so that your baby isn’t exposed to them through your breastmilk. Common culprits include broccoli, cabbage, beans, and dairy. Keeping a food journal can help you to identify which foods might be causing trouble for your little one
5. Consider a probiotic supplement
Probiotics are thought to help reduce gas and other digestive issues in babies. They may also help strengthen the immune system. You can give your baby a probiotic supplement in liquid, powder, or pill form. Check with your doctor to see if a probiotic supplement is right for your baby.
6. Try different positions
Experimenting with different positions during feedings can also be helpful. For instance, some babies may find it easier to feed in a horizontal position. Other babies may be more comfortable when they are lying on their stomachs or being held upright. Finding the right feeding position for your baby can make all the difference.
Quick steps for a gassy baby’s pain relief
A warm (but not hot) cloth placed against your baby’s belly can be soothing. You might also try rocking or strolling with your baby, or putting them in a swing or vibrating sofa to calm them down.
There are many reasons why your baby may be gassy. It is important to pay attention to your baby’s cues and consult with your pediatrician if you have concerns. Gas can be caused by some things, including swallowing air, a sensitivity to certain foods, or an immature digestive system. Many babies outgrow gas as their digestive system develops. There are several things you can do to help your baby feel more comfortable, including burping often, holding your baby upright during feedings, and avoiding foods that seem to cause gas. If your baby is still having trouble, talk to your pediatrician about other options.