All infants have gas. Many new parents however, are shocked at how much gas their baby has and the fact that it can make them incredibly fussy. Baby gas symptoms include flatulence, bloating, burping, cramping, and crying.
For the most part, baby gas does not signal a bigger problem. Passing gas 14-25 times a day is normal for both infants and adults. There are ways to help prevent excessive baby gas and to help them pass it easier.
What Causes Baby Gas?
Gas is usually caused by swallowed air and the normal break down of undigested food.
Babies cry more than adults and children, so they swallow more air than others. This reason alone can give more gas to babies than adults. Babies also have a harder time getting the gas to pass through their stomach than adults and children.
Strategies For Relieving Baby Gas
- Feed your baby in the proper position. Try to keep the baby’s head higher than the stomach. This allows the milk to sink to the bottom of the tummy and air rises to the top. This makes it easier to burp up the excess air. Tip the bottom of the bottle up a slight bit so there aren’t air bubbles in the nipple of the bottle.
- Have the right bottles. Use a slower flow nipple and a collapsible bag that collapses as they swallow.
- Get better burps. There are many positions for burping a baby. One of the best positions to help prevent baby gas is the “football hold.” Put your baby on his stomach along your arm, putting his chin in your hand. Gently rub or pat his back. The pressure placed on the baby’s abdomen will allow more gas to come out and keep the baby more comfortable.
- Take a break. If your baby can’t seem to get a burp up right after feeding, try laying them down for 5 or 10 minutes and then try to burp again. Laying down allows the air to separate from the milk. When you lift the baby up again the air may be at the top of the stomach and easier to burp up.