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What to Do About a Gassy Baby

Written by Diana Schulz, M.D. on Aug 13, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Babies can get away with a lot of things adults can’t. Bodily noises, for instance. Belching, burping and passing gas are social taboos for grownups, but they’re all in a day’s work for baby. 

Although babies are gassy little creatures, that’s usually OK. If a baby is happy most of the time but gets fussy for a few minutes or even cries when he has indigestion, that’s just Mother Nature’s way of moving things along. Tips to Relieve the Pressure 

If your baby seems uncomfortable often or for longer periods of time, you might want to try these methods to relieve or prevent gas. 

Minimize the Air Baby Takes in 

Swallowing air is the main culprit and between bottles, pacifiers and crying, babies take in a lot.

  • Be sure baby’s head is higher than his stomach when he’s nursing or taking a bottle.
  • Tilt the bottle so the entire nipple fills with milk.

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    Burp Your Baby During and After Every Feeding

    Help the gas escape:

    • Lightly massage his tummy in a circular motion.
    • Place baby on his back and move his legs gently like he is riding a bike.
    • Put him in a warm bath, keeping a close eye on him of course.

    Do a diet check:

    • If you breastfeed, you might want to minimize potential problem foods such as caffeine, dairy, alcohol or spicy foods.
    • Babies can’t absorb sorbitol, which is in many fruit juices.
    • Certain formulas might cause gas for some babies.

       

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      Try an Over-the-Counter Medicine

      Products with simethicone help some babies, but the research is inconclusive.

      Remain Calm – and Talk to the Doctor

      Usually gas in a baby is normal and nothing to worry about. Rarely, it can be a sign of something more serious.

      Contact a doctor immediately if your child has gas and:

      • Does not have a bowel movement, has blood in the stools or throws up.
      • You are not able to calm your baby down for an unusual period of time.
      • Has a fever.

      Does your baby have gas often? Do you have a favorite trick to help?

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      Dr. Diana Schulz is a board-certified pediatrician at Kelsey-Seybold’s Summer Creek Clinic. Her medical philosophy includes providing parents with information and guidance so they feel comfortable with caring for their children and making sure “we all have a little fun too!”

Topics: baby with gas, gassy baby

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