Infants especially newborns might end up with gas for various reasons. The child might ingest the air during feeding, sucking on a pacifier or crying or even from sensitivity to milk or certain foods. The build-up of gas can trigger discomfort and pain once it is trapped in the digestive tract of the infant which makes him/her fussy, disrupt with sleep and causes him/her to stop feeding. The build-up of gas can be reduced with several measures.
Burping to reduce gas
Make it a point to burp the infant often during feeding to help expel the air he/she swallows. The child can swallow air whether he/she is being breastfed or bottle-fed. It is recommended to burp the child every 2-3 oz. if bottle-fed or when switching breasts for those who are being breastfed. Burp the infant well again after his/her feeding.
Using a special baby bottle
Look for a specialized baby bottle that is designed to minimize the amount of air that the infant swallows. It is common for the infant to ingest air while bottle feeding. This is why the air reducing technology is widely used in various baby bottles to minimize this.
Utilize a baby bottle that is specially made for newborns and limits the amount of milk that flows through the nipple. If the nipple allows a rapid flow rate, the newborn will end up swallowing more air. You can try various bottles and nipples to find the right one that suits the child.
What to avoid during breastfeeding?
For breastfeeding mothers, it is vital to avoid caffeine and other foods that the newborn might be sensitive to. Take note that food sensitivity can cause gas in the infant. You can also check if the child is sensitive to a particular food by avoiding if for a week and monitoring any improvements in the condition.
Avoid using cow’s milk
Do not provide the newborn with cow’s milk. Remember that the infant is still not capable of digesting cow’s milk, thus it can lead to gas formation and other digestive issues. Infants below one year old must not be given cow’s milk.
Calming the child
You can calm the crying infant by limiting the amount of air that he/she swallows. All you have to do is soothe the child by holding and rocking him/her. In addition, you can wrap him/her in a blanket so that the baby feels safe.
Massage the belly of the infant and create bicycling movements with his/her legs. This helps promote the movement of gas throughout the intestine and facilitate passing of the gas.
You can provide the infant with simethicone drops before a feeding session. Take note that simethicone works by breaking down the gas bubbles, pass gas and alleviate the pain linked with the gas build-up. A doctor should be consulted though regarding the right dosage.
How to hold the infant
When holding the child, it should be on his/her belly and rock while carrying him/her. This can help calm down the infant and facilitate passing of gas. Nevertheless, do not allow the infant to sleep on his/her belly. Allowing the baby to sleep on his/her stomach is often linked to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).