Have a Gassy Baby? What to Know About Infant Gas Symptoms & Remedies

August 05, 2020 4 min read

Have a Gassy Baby? What to Know About Infant Gas Symptoms & Remedies

A gassy baby is one of the most challenging things that an already exhausted new parent has to cope with. Not only is it hard on you as a parent, but your baby is struggling with pain and discomfort, and they have no other way to express themselves but with their cries. It certainly is a daunting feat that the vast majority of parents will have to deal with at some point. However, if you can plan ahead a bit by way of learning the symptoms of a gassy baby, you can help your baby cope with gas in a manner that eases the pain and stress for the both of you! 

What is Baby Gas?

The vast majority of newborns and infants will develop gassy discomfort at some point during their early days and months of their young life. It can be painful, uncomfortable, and downright annoying for your little one. And that is precisely why the best way to combat baby gas is to do some reading about it in order to understand why it happens in the first place. Baby gas is simply the build-up of gas bubbles in your baby’s intestinal tract or their tummy. It is usually caused by your baby swallowing air in the way of improperly latching on while breast-feeding or when they are taking their bottle. 

Learn More: 50 Most Common Baby Names

While for the most part, this gas will pass through their body with ease via burping your baby or flatulence, sometimes that gas builds up to the point where it gets trapped in your child’s body causing them discomfort, or in more severe cases, plain and simple pain! And, as previously stated, your baby has no other way to tell you about it but to cry, often for hours on end and with seemingly no way to comfort your little one. In the next section, we will be discussing some of the top symptoms to keep an eye out to ensure that your baby’s gas is not something on the more serious side. If your baby has trouble sleeping, The Ferber Method might be useful if you haven't tried it.

Symptoms to Watch For

The most common symptoms of a gassy baby include (but are not necessarily limited to) the following:

  • Passing gas and/or belching
  • Crying when they are trying to pass gas (or shortly thereafter)
  • Crying for no reason (they aren’t tired or hungry) 
  • Arching their back
  • Swollen-looking belly
  • Lifting their legs

These can be helpful especially if you need Tips on Becoming a New Father.

Top Home Remedies for Gas

There are a number of very simple remedies that can be done at home to assist in soothing your baby and also assisting in moving those gas bubbles out of their body. Here are some of the top things you may want to try:

  • Position your baby’s head, so that it is above his/her stomach and burp them
  • Move your baby’s legs in a circular motion
  • Swaddling your baby can help (but not all babies appreciate it)
  • Go for a drive. The movement can help to ease their pain and provide some comfort and may also encourage those gas bubbles to pass
  • Lay your baby flat on his/her back, lift their legs keeping their knees bent, and move their legs in a bicycling motion
  • Older babies often tend to cry more when they are in discomfort if they are bored. Providing fun distractions can be a great way to soothe them and distract them from the pain and discomfort. 
  • Cradle your baby in your arms, face down, supporting their head and elevating it gently. Be sure that there is nothing covering your baby’s nose or face
  • Massaging your baby’s belly by gently pressing down and rubbing in either clockwise or counterclockwise rotations. Allow your baby to guide your pressure by watching their reaction
  • Supervised tummy time an be a great way to get your baby moving and elevating their head which can help to pass trapped gas.
  • Consider Choosing a Wi-Fi Baby Monitor to watch your baby when not around.
  • Gas drops may help when given in proper amounts based upon the bottle dosage
  • Probiotics may also help, but there haven’t really been many studies on the safety of giving them to infants. If your baby’s gas is very bad, you may want to opt to chat with your pediatrician about some probiotic options and proper dosage for your baby

Nothing Working? What to Do Next

While gas is not considered a medical condition, and it is usually a temporary thing that will go away one its own, for some babies, the symptoms can be excruciatingly painful, and nothing seems to help. If that is the case, you may want to reach out to your pediatrician for some help. 

If your baby’s gas is quite severe and symptoms of other issues may be associated with the gas, your pediatrician may want to run some tests to better be able to narrow down the underlying cause.

In addition to an overall physical examination of your baby, your pediatrician will more than likely opt to utilize one or more of the following methods in order to properly diagnose the underlying causes of your baby’s gas:

  • Requesting that you keep a feeding log for your baby
  • Examining your baby’s stool typically by way of requesting a soiled diaper
  • If a serious issue is suspected, your pediatrician may request imaging studies to be done of your baby’s digestive tract in order to rule out any type of other serious conditions.

Summing Up Baby Gas Concerns

A gassy baby can be so exhausting both for you and your little one, but there are a large number of ways that you can provide a calming sense of comfort while also using some of the aforementioned tips and tricks to try and soothe your baby. Passing gas can most certainly be a painful and uncomfortable thing for your infant, but with some patience and trying different things, you can help your baby pass gas with ease. And remember, always trust your gut instinct (so to speak), if you feel that your baby may be dealing with something more than just gas, don’t hesitate to reach out to your pediatrician for some different options that you can try, even medication to help your baby get through their painful, gassy days with ease! 

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