Find out what’s true—and what’s not—about causes of gas in babies and the best ways to reduce it.
All babies have some gas. That’s the truth. Some believe babies may deal with gas due in part to an infant’s still-maturing digestive tract and feeding skills. What other facts should you know about gas in babies—and what myths should you overlook—to help your baby feel comfortable?
Burping can be a good way to alleviate gas in your little one.
Truth. It’s not uncommon for babies to swallow too much air when they feed, whether at the breast or the bottle. When your baby starts to fuss, pause feeding and burp her. She may be fussing because she’s uncomfortable and has a gas pocket that could be easily remedied by a nice burp.
There’s no wrong way to burp a baby.
Myth. Burping is easy once you get the hang of it, but there are certainly some dos and don’ts. For instance, you should gently pat your baby, starting at the lower back and working your way up. Don’t pound too hard. If you can’t produce a burp in your baby with one position, then try another. A few good options:
- Hold your baby against your chest (her body facing yours), with her head on your shoulder. Then pat and rub her back.
- Have your baby sit on your lap and support your baby’s chest and head with one hand while patting her back with the other. Make sure you’re holding your baby’s chin, not her throat.
- Lay your baby flat against your lap, her belly facedown. Support your little one’s head and make sure it’s higher than her chest. Gently rub or pat her back.
A warm towel on your baby’s belly might work.
Truth. Sometimes a warm towel on your baby’s belly might do the trick. Just make sure it’s not too hot.
Your baby’s mood could help prevent gas.
Truth. If your baby is keyed up when you’re feeding, she’s more likely to gulp air as she cries or rushes through feeding—which can mean more gas bubbles. Try to calm her down before you begin feeding. And aim to limit interruptions and distractions during feeding.
Gas in babies could be caused by a sensitivity to milk-based formula.
Truth. Sometimes gas in a baby could hint at an underlying issue, or it could simply be the immaturity of your baby’s digestive tract that can keep some nutrients from being digested, causing gas. Talk with your doctor about your worries and bringing your baby in for an exam.
Sometimes switching formulas, baby bottles, or nipples can help ease gas.
Truth. Some bottles and nipples are made specifically for babies who have gas. They reduce the amount of air your baby inhales during the feeding. Also, you can talk with your doctor about trying a formula designed for babies with gas. With easy-to-digest proteins, Enfamil Gentlease has been clinically shown to ease gas within 24 hours of feeding. While it’s gentle on a baby’s sensitive tummy, it still provides complete nutrition and expert-recommended levels of brain-nourishing nutrients—like DHA—that are important for babies’ development.
To Learn More
For the latest research on gas in babies, read “Baby Gas: What Doctors Are Learning.”