Newborns & Gas: Signs, Help & Prevention

Newborns & Gas: Signs, Help & Prevention

  • By Tamar Paluch
  • Nov 16
Reviewed by: Michael W. Woolridge B.Sc., DPhil
It’s no surprise that babies are gassy. The trouble is figuring out why and how to help your newborn when air gets trapped in their belly. Luckily, experts have found many key ways to help families notice the initial signs of infant gas and prevent it. Find out why your newborn is gassy and how to help minimize discomfort with the following tips.

Why is my newborn so gassy?

Above all, the most important thing to remember is that having a gassy baby is not at all unusual; many babies are gassy! As a new parent, it’s easy to stress out when you notice your little one grunt, cry or show signs of discomfort. To help minimize any anxiety that comes up, start by taking a look at some of the most common reasons your baby might be gassy.
  • Swallowing air when crying or feeding – Gas happens when air gets into the digestive tract, which can happen when a baby is crying or from air retained in certain baby bottles. Luckily, innovative products like the Emulait bottle are designed to regulate pressure, reduce air swallowing and minimize gas.
  • Underdeveloped digestive system – Being able to eat and digest food is essential to the development of every newborn. Look for symptoms like spitting up frequently, loose stools and gassy explosive bowel movements and talk to your doctor if you think there’s a greater issue at play.
  • Food sensitivities – It’s common for babies to experience gas due to various food sensitivities. These can sometimes come directly from a mother’s diet if you are breastfeeding. Consult with your baby’s healthcare provider if you’re concerned that your newborn is suffering from any food-related sensitivities.
  • Milk oversupply – For breastfeeding moms, an oversupply of breast milk can inevitably lead to a gassy baby. When a baby gulps milk more quickly to keep up with excessive milk flow, more air makes its way into their stomachs.

What are the signs of a gassy baby?

The best way to keep track of your newborn’s gas is to know what to look for. While smelling or hearing something are two of the most obvious telltale signs of a gassy baby, there are a few other key symptoms to look out for too:
  • Crying and fussiness – Gas is uncomfortable for everyone. Your baby will let you know they’re frustrated by crying or being more irritable than usual.
  • Not sleeping or eating – A gassy baby can suffer from cramping and bloating, which can affect their appetite and ability to sleep.
  • Drawing legs in – If you find that your baby is in this position often, it could be a sign that they’re trying to relieve abdominal pain and discomfort caused by gas.

How to help your gassy baby?

It can feel discouraging when you notice your little one suffering from gas. The good news is that you’ve already come so far just by learning about some of the reasons your baby might be gassy and the symptoms to look out for. All that’s left to do is discover some of the ways you can help them feel better, which include:
  • Burping your baby twice – Although most parents only burp their babies after feeding, it can actually be more beneficial to burp a gassy baby during feeding as well.

  • Trying the colic carry – One way to help relieve gassy discomfort is to lay your baby across your knee tummy-down and gently massage their back. Tummy pressure can help minimize pressure from gas. Other postural options include the “aeroplane hold” and more. While these methods don’t make gas go away completely, they can help minimize gas-related pain and discomfort more quickly than when your baby is lying on their back.

  • Giving your baby a gentle stomach rub – Massaging your baby on their tummy, shoulders, legs and back helps them relax and pass gas.

  • Trying infant anti-colic drops with Simethicone – Also known as Infacol, Colief, Dentonox and Windi, Simethicone is an anti-foaming agent that helps break up gas bubbles in your baby’s tummy. Be sure to talk to your doctor before trying this method.

  • Doing baby bicycles – Gently cycling your baby’s legs toward their tummy while they’re on their back may help relieve trapped air.

  • Encouraging tummy time – This position can help your little one relieve gas. Just make sure to wait at least 20 to 30 minutes after they eat and always supervise them during.

  • Adjusting your diet – Make sure to seek dietary guidance with an expert If you’re worried that your baby might be reacting to something in your diet.

  • Trying a new formula – This can depend on every individual baby’s unique preferences. Consult with your little one’s healthcare provider to see if they have a milk allergy or lactose intolerance that might require a different formula.

  • Use the right bottle – When it comes down to minimizing the amount of air your baby swallows during feeding, finding the right baby bottle is key. The Emulait bottle is designed to replicate how a mother’s nipple extracts milk while reducing air intake. Learn more today!

In summary

Nobody likes to see their newborn in any kind of discomfort, whether it’s gas-related or not. While it can be frustrating to find solutions at first, it’s important to stay calm and consult with a healthcare provider while looking for ways to help. At Emulait, we believe in closing the gap between breast and bottle so that every caregiver can give their baby the best feeding experience possible. Our products can be a big help when looking for solutions to reduce air intake and prevent gassiness, along with all of the incredible prevention methods we’ve discussed above.

References

Bellefonds, C. de. (2020, November 4). Have a gassy baby? what to know about infant gas symptoms, remedies and causes. What to Expect. Retrieved July 1, 2022, from https://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/care/gassy-baby

Gassy Baby: How to help your baby with gas. Pampers. (n.d.). Retrieved July 1, 2022, from https://www.pampers.com/en-us/baby/newborn/article/gassy-baby 

Signs and solutions for Gassy Breastfed Babies. Medela. (2021). Retrieved July 1, 2022, from https://www.medela.us/breastfeeding/articles/signs-and-solutions-for-gassy-breastfed-babies

Brown, T. (n.d.). Infant gas: Treating and preventing Baby Gas. WebMD. Retrieved July 1, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/features/infant-gas

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only, and does not substitute for professional medical or health advice. Always consult a medical professional or healthcare provided for any medical advice, diagnoses, treatment, or health objectives.

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