How to Relieve Gas in Babies
Gas pain is quite common and is the likely culprit if a baby is constantly crying and in distress. While it is a usual occurrence, there might be some days when your little one can cry inconsolably for hours. So how do you usually relieve gas in babies?
As a parent, let me share with you some insights to identify signs of gas pain and tips on how to sooth your baby when it happens.
Soothing a Baby’s Gas
It is natural for a baby to pass gas, they may even do it loudly. This is because babies’ gut is still in formative stage during the first months after birth. It is also the reason why they fart a lots. Here is some solutions:
1. Help Baby to Burp
Burping releases the excess pressure and air out of baby’s body.
The popular method is to hold baby upright. Have a wash cloth ready at you shoulder and position him facing you, with his mouth touching your shoulder. Gently massage baby’s back until you hear a burping sound.
You may also burp him through a seated position. Sit him on your lap and gently rub his abdomen and back.
You need to help him burp at the middle and after feeding. If baby has not burp right after feeding, lay him down for about 5 minutes and try burping him again.
2. Use the right feeding position and feeding bottle
Never allow baby to lie down flatly during feeding. Incline him through a pillow or a folded towel.
Check the feeding bottle to ensure that air has not accumulated at the nipple area. A few baby bottle brands has a build-in design to prevent air from mixing with the milk. Invest for a bottle or two that can do the trick, a little extra dollar is worth it.
3. Massage baby’s abdomen in a clockwise position
Gently massage baby’s tummy to help lodged gas and pressure to exit his abdomen. A good massage can immediately release baby’s gas, through a fart or two.
Experiment with various gentle massage techniques, you will later see what is most effective for your little one. You may use a little baby oil to warm baby’s tummy, especially if the weather is chilly.
4. Warm baby’s abdomen
A warm towel placed on baby’s lower tummy will ease cramps, similar to how we are relieved by a warm compress during our menstrual periods.
You may also do it by rolling a warm water bottle atop baby’s belly. A heat pack or warm rice sock will be just as effective. Try to immerse baby in a warm bath to ease his discomfort. Baby will welcome the warmth, it will also help him to sleep.
Tighter swaddling will also help to deliver more pressure to baby’s tummy while warming him in the process. Take care to do any of these suggestions gently and watch baby for any signs of discomfort.
5. A little tummy time might do
Babies experience more colic episodes when they are not spending enough time on their bellies. This happen if baby is seated or lying on his back the whole day.
To ease pain, some pressure brought about by lying or crawling (if he is ready) will help to push the extra air out. Stroke baby’s back while he is lying on his stomach to facilitate expel of gas.
This will also help him to relax. Remember to do tummy time at least 20 minutes after he is done with his milk, not before or immediately after feeding.
There is nothing wrong with allowing baby to lie on his tummy for hours at the crib. It might be the most comfortable position for baby so just let him be. Just be sure that there is no loose threads or large toys that can potentially suffocate or choke him.
6. Essential Oils
There are some oils available at the drug store specifically indicated for abdomen massage. They relieve gas and pain brought about by diarrhea, colic and indigestion.
If you are using them on your baby for the first time, as your doctor for a go signal. Some oils might look harmless but they can be too potent for your baby’s skin.
Child-rearing takes lots of practice and patience. It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of gas pain to be able to apply the correct soothing techniques.
The best way prevent gas pain is to put your baby to sleep in a quiet bedroom, with comfortable temperature and no distractions. The first months of baby’s life is the stage when he is most likely to be gassy or colicky.
Your baby needs your care and attention since the best that he can do to communicate is to cry. Give him all the rest and pampering that he need during this time. Be calm, this is just a phase.
So despite messy shirts and sleepless night, this is still a memorable time. Before your know it, your child has already grown right before your eyes.