Treating and Preventing Baby Gas and Colic
If you have spent time with a newborn mom even when you didn’t have a baby of your own, you’ve probably heard them complaining about their baby having gas and colic. Babies tend to be fussy when they have gas or colic. Many times, mothers have a difficult time handling such situations.
Babies can be termed as very “gassy” because they can pass gas up to 21 times a day. This can be attributed to the fact that they have plenty of opportunities to swallow air like when they are eating from the breast or the bottle. Once air gets trapped in the baby’s belly, he or she burps, gets fussy, bloated, cries, farts and has a hard tummy.
You can help your baby feel better by following these steps:
- Check the position in which you are feeding them: when breastfeeding or bottle feeding your baby, ensure that his or her head is higher than the stomach. The milk will then sink to the stomach’s bottom displacing the air
- Burp your baby after feeding
- Change bottle-feeding equipment to slower-flow nipple bottle feeders.
- You can either gently massage your baby, pump the legs back and forth while he or she is on her back, give the baby some tummy time or a warm bath.
- Stay away from foods that give extra gas like fruit juices
- You can try over the counter medications recommended by your doctor
Colic usually describes a time in which a baby cries for an extended period. It can last for many hours a day. It starts from around the second week until the baby is 3 months old. All babies have colic with the difference being to what degree. Researchers are yet to find the definite cause of colic but some of the factors that may cause it are:
- Immature nervous system
- Unusual sensitivity to stimulation
- The diet of a breastfeeding mother may bother the baby
- Intolerance to certain formula proteins for bottle fed babies
- Overfeeding and quick feeding
- Women who smoked during pregnancy
- Intestinal gas
- Failing to burp after feeding or an incorrect position after feeding
- Low birth weight baby
- Acid reflux
There’s really no cure for colic because there is no definitive cause. Nevertheless, you can try these methods to reduce the intensity of the crying:
- Hold your baby and if possible for a couple of hours
- Place a warm water bottle on his or her tummy. Don’t use hot water.
- If you are breastfeeding, be careful about what you eat
- Gently rub your baby’s tummy in a clockwise direction
- Evaluate whether the baby is reacting to ingredients in a formula if you are bottle-feeding them and change the formula
- You can also lay your baby across your knees with their tummy down. Then, gently move your legs as you massage the abdominal area.
- Frequently burp your baby
- Try to hold your baby upright as much as possible
Motherhood is not easy. When your baby has gas and colic, it can be quite frustrating. Be encouraged that the phase will come to an end in due time.