Our Top Six Tips For Dealing With Gassy Infants
Let’s be honest, everyone’s life is a whole lot easier when your baby isn’t grumpy – including Mom, Dad, and especially the infant themselves. One of the most common causes of those infant grumps is our old friend… gas. Fortunately, we have compiled our top tips to reduce infant trapped gas and to deal with it when it happens.
Here are our six tips for a gassy baby:
A change of position –
Trapped gas is exactly what the name suggests, gas within the human body that becomes trapped in the digestive system. This can cause discomfort for your infant, which in turn causes the grumps. However, if you sit them upright for feeding, gravity should become your best friend. Not only will they be able to keep the food and drink down a little easier, but the gas will also be able to escape more efficiently. For bottle feeding, we recommend sitting your child with their back upright against your chest. If you are breastfeeding, the upright football or koala holds are your best bet.
Burping sessions –
The number one rule of gas, as we all know, is better out than in. As such, we recommend treating them to a good burping session as often as possible. There really is no such thing as too much. You should definitely be burping your child after every feed, but every baby is different, and you should explore what kind of frequency works best for them. It is also important to remember that there is no one way to burp, so try a variety of positions to find what works best for you and your baby. Some prefer the traditional over-the-shoulder method, while others like to sit their baby down and gently rub their back.
Special anti-gas bottles –
Believe it or not, the anti-gas bottle does exist! We have not made this up. These bottles are designed specifically to cut down on the amount of air your baby swallows during feeding time. There are a variety of different products available, with most using some form of vent, liner, or insert to reduce gas. We also recommend using smaller-stage nipples to reduce the flow of milk, as this also reduces how much air your baby gasps into their body. The less air in their tummy, the less gas is coming back out.
Probiotics for the win –
It is important to remember that your baby is brand-new! Not everything within their body is fully developed yet, and that includes their digestive system. The microbiome in their gut, which is a mixture of both harmful and friendly bacteria, may not have found its perfect balance yet, which is why probiotics can help. If your infant is prone to gas and nothing else seems to work, it may be worth seeing whether probiotics can bring balance to the gassy force. Infant probiotics usually come in drops or powder form – all you have to do is add the recommended amount to your baby’s normal milk feed. In fact, some formulas already include probiotics as a standard ingredient.
Some babies respond better to a more personalized formula, with there being two main groups designed to treat gastrointestinal symptoms. Hydrolyzed formulas include proteins that are easier for a baby to digest because they have been broken down into smaller chunks – HiPP Comfort is a prime example of this. Hypoallergenic formulas usually break proteins down as small as possible (amino acids), making it even easier for a baby to digest. HiPP HA PRE is the best example of this. You should always have a chat with your paediatrician before switching to a special formula.
Baby exercises to get the gas flowing –
There are a number of exercises you and your baby can do to get that gas flowing in a healthy way, so we have picked out a few of our favorites:
Feet lift – Lay your baby in a reclined position and gently lift their legs up above their belly. This relaxes the pelvic floor in a similar way to women when they give birth, allowing gas to flow more easily.
Tummy rub – You may notice that your baby has a firm stomach when they are having gas problems. Fortunately, a little massage from you in a circular motion can help to disperse some of that trapped gas. Clockwise is the best method here as it is in sync with the flow of the digestive system.
Bicycle legs – Lay your baby down so their back is resting against your thighs. Gently move one knee in towards their chest, then back again, and switch the baby’s legs each time. As the left leg goes towards the chest, the right leg should be coming back.
It is important to remember that gas is a very normal part of the human body, so you should not be worried if your child is dealing with gastrointestinal problems. Hopefully, our tips should help you to cut down on gas, deal with it a little better, and put a smile on your little one’s face.