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Family Matters: Soothing Gas Pains


When my second son was born, he was a champion eater. He also had some award-winning gas pains. He’d draw his legs up toward his tummy and howl after a feeding. It was horrible. Babies get gassy when they swallow air, either when they are feeding, sucking on a pacifier or simply crying.

He ended up having to take a prescription gas-relieving medication, but there are so many things you can try (and we tried) to naturally help relieve gas in your infant.

First, keep their head higher than their body during feedings. That way, the milk sinks to the bottom, and air goes to the top without getting trapped. If you’re bottle-feeding, using a bottle with a collapsible liner allows air to be removed from the bottle as the baby feeds, so there’s not excess air trapped there as well. If bottle-feeding, using a low-flow nipple also helps with reducing air intake.

Burp your baby after feeding, or even during if you’re nursing and switching sides or if baby takes a natural break. Hold him on your shoulder and pat or rub firmly until he belches. If he doesn’t burp, wait a few minutes and try again.

You can help your baby work out gas by laying him on his back and pumping his legs in a bicycle motion. Hopefully this will help him pass gas. Rubbing his belly gently might help as well.

Sometimes a warm bath can also help relax them enough to pass gas.

If the problem is chronic, take a look at what formula you’re using or what you’re eating. You might need to eliminate foods from your diet if you’re nursing or change formulas if you’re bottle-feeding.

Finally, over-the-counter gas drops might provide some relief for your gassy baby! Check with your pediatrician.


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