Gas in newborns and babies less than one year old is a common condition, which every mother has faced at some point or the other in her child's growing years. According to lactation specialists, gas is produced when a newborn feeds for the first time, either breast milk or baby formula. The components of milk are such that they produce gas in the process of digestion. Nevertheless, some babies are more susceptible to have gas problems than others.
There are virtually many factors responsible for the presence of gas in the baby's digestive tract, out of which, the main reason is the immature digestive system of the baby. However, understanding the main causes and profound symptoms is imperative to help relieve a gassy baby.
Causes and Symptoms of Gas in Infants
While feeding, a baby can engulf air bubbles due to the suction created during breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Another cause for a gassy baby is maternal diet; it is found that nutrients and gas-causing agents pass from the breastfeeding mother to her baby. Hence, if a mother's diet is enriched with foods that produce gas such as cabbage, legumes, dairy products, etc., the risk of developing gas in babies is higher. Also, too many citrus fruits and acidic food items cause stomach irritation in the baby.
Babies who are between 3-6 months old are prone to gas pain and related problems. Some of the most noticeable symptoms are sleeping problems, irritability, fussiness and crying for a longer time, without any apparent reason. Usually, such irritation signs are manifested after feeding. Other symptom are abdominal bloating, distended stomach, and frequent passing of gas. While massaging a gassy baby's tummy, bubbles can be felt in the stomach and the abdominal area.
Remedies and Cure in Infants
Practicing a proper baby-feeding habit is one way to get rid of gas in infants. Following are some effective methods regarding how to relieve a gassy baby:
- Burping the baby and patting his or her back at regular intervals (after every 3-5 minutes) is a sure way to reduce the accumulation of gas in the digestive tract.
- For bottle-fed babies, the nipple size should be accurate because a larger nipple size causes a baby to feed very fast, while a smaller one leads to the intake of more gas.
- Consider gentle massaging over the baby's tummy with a massage oil. This will help relieve the gas bubbles from the digestive system.
- Laying the baby on his or her tummy for a while also helps expel the gas. However, keep a close eye over the baby to ensure that he or she is comfortable and safe.
- In case the gas is caused due to food intolerance, the mother should strictly watch her diet. Eliminating lactose, peanut, and soy, one by one, and then monitoring the baby's tolerances is an effective way to help a relieve the baby.
Following proper baby care will definitely help alleviate the symptoms. There are several products formulated for relieving the babies from gas. However, one should be aware that anything other than mother's milk or baby formula may cause unusual side effects. Hence, never indulge in providing herbal remedies or therapeutic formulation without consulting a qualified pediatrician.
Disclaimer: This AptParenting article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.