Six simple yet useful steps can help you ease your baby’s gas and find comfort.
Gas and babies seem to go hand-in-hand. Don’t worry: It’s normal. But if you want to help your baby’s gas-related issues—for example, if you think the gas is causing pain or fussiness—try these expert tips.
Check your diet if you’re breast-feeding. Some foods that may be causing your baby’s gas:
The best way to check if a food is giving your baby gas is to remove it from your diet for a few days and see if your baby’s gas problems ease. If a food seems to be a culprit, try eating it only in moderation.
Formula mixing. If you’re using powdered formula, make sure you let your freshly mixed bottle settle for a minute or two before feeding your baby. Why? The more shaking and blending involved, the more air bubbles get into the mix, which can then be swallowed by your baby and result in gas.
Try a formula designed for gas Some doctors recommend switching formulas to ease gas issues. Enfamil Gentlease reduces gas (along with fussiness and crying) in 24 hours. It’s also gentle on a baby’s sensitive tummy. It has easy-to-digest protein and provides complete nutrition—including brain-nourishing nutrients like DHA—for your baby’s growth and development.
Swap bottles for gassy babies. Some bottles are specifically designed to reduce the amount of air that is swallowed during feedings. If your baby is having problems with gas, try a vented, angled, or collapsible style. Make sure to hold your baby with her head elevated at a 45-degree angle and tip the bottle downward into her mouth with the nipple full of milk, not air.
Know the nipple your gassy baby needs. Nipples come in different sizes (based on age) and control the flow of the formula. So a nipple for a newborn has a slow flow, while a nipple for an older baby flows much quicker. Make sure you are using an age-appropriate nipple.
If your baby has outgrown her nipple size, she might be sucking in a lot of air with the formula, thus increasing her chance of having gas pains. At the same time, if the nipple flow is too fast, your baby is gulping too much formula at once, which can also cause gas. Trial and error is often the best way to determine bottle and nipple sizes.
Position your baby for simple easing. Keep your baby upright for 20 to 30 minutes after a feeding. If she’s still gassy, burping can help release any gas pockets from your baby swallowing too much air. Gently pat your baby, starting at the lower back and working your way up. Try one of these burping positions:
- 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.
If you can’t produce a burp in your baby with one position, then try another. Holding a warm (not hot) towel against your baby’s belly can bring comfort as well. You can also try soothing your baby by walking or rocking with her, or by putting her in a swing or vibrating chair.
To Learn More
For the latest research on gas in babies, read “Baby Gas: What Doctors Are Learning.”