As a baby's digestive system matures they tend to pass gas 13-21 times a day. This normal part of development sometimes surprises parents and caregivers and may even be worrisome when their little one seems upset.
Today we will look at what are some of the causes of infant gas, how to prevent tummy distress, and tips to treat babies during the fussiest times.
Common Causes of Gas in Babies
Generally, when a baby is suffering from gas, it means that their stomach is inflated with air. This can occur because of the immaturity of a newborn's digestive processes or when an infant has swallowed a lot of air while feeding.
Drinking too quickly
Whether by breast or bottle, nipple flow rate can make a big difference. If the nipple on baby’s bottle has too fast of a flow, or if a breastfeeding mom has an overactive supply, your baby can end up gulping the milk down, swallowing air in the process, which can cause gas.
Drinking too slowly
If the flow on your baby’s bottle is too slow, your baby may feel like he or she has to work harder to get their baby formula. As a result, your baby might take in too much air and this leads to gas.
Drinking baby formula with air bubbles
When using powdered formula to prepare the perfect baby bottle of baby formula, make sure you let your freshly mixed bottle settle for a minute or two before feeding your baby. The shaking during mixing allows air bubbles to enter the milk, which can lead to a gassy baby. Another way to prevent the bubbles is by simply stirring the formula to mix.
Crying for extended periods
Babies tend to swallow air when they cry, so it stands to reason when crying lasts an extended amount of time gas will build up and can be painful.
Not tolerating a baby formula well
Gas could be a sign of an intolerance or sensitivity to the lactose in your baby's current formula.
Ingesting gas-inducing foods
For babies that receive European baby formula as a supplement to breastfeeding, baby gas can occur as a reaction to something mom’s eaten that makes its way into the breastmilk.
Signs of Gas in Babies
Gas and related issues can start from the first few feedings and last through the toddler stage, often peeking between 4 to 12 weeks old as your little ones digestive system changes and matures.
It is this period when your baby may be the fussiest and tummy trouble can seem overwhelming, but once they hit around the three-month mark, most babies are able to get through it and are easier to sooth or distracted.
During the first few months infants communicate mostly with crying, so it can be especially hard to know if gas is the cause of your infant’s discomfort. Here are some common signs to look for that will likely point to gas in your little one’s digestive system.
For the most part, parents and caregivers can expect their baby to be generally happy and only fussy for a few seconds as they pass gas.
Babies have many opportunities throughout the day and night to swallow too much air. If you want to avoid your little one's gas pain, your best bet is to stop gas from building in the first place.
Knowing how to prevent gas build up in babies digestive systems can make an infant more comfortable and give peace of mind to parents and caregivers alike.
A sad baby means a crying baby, which in turn can lead to more air being swallowed. The best way to soothe a crying baby is to first have an idea of why the baby is crying, so you can quickly address their needs.
Effective Baby Bottle Feeding
After preparing the perfect bottle of baby formula you can effectively decrease the amount of air your little one swallows by holding the baby bottle at the proper angle and changing feeding frequency.
By optimizing your baby’s bottle feeding experience it can help prevent gas and pressure in your little one’s belly.
✔ Try out different sizes/different types of bottles and nipples.
✔ Tilt the bottle to a 30 or 40 degree angle so that the air rises to the bottom of the bottle.
✔ Make sure your baby’s lips are on the wide base of the nipple and not just the tip.
✔ Allow the formula to settle after shaking or mixing it.
Sitting baby upright for feedings
Keep your baby as upright as possible during bottle or breast feedings, at a 45 degree angle if possible. Consider keeping the baby upright during burping and for a half an hour after feeding to help minimize gas.
4 Steps to Burping Baby
Burping your baby during and after feedings will allow the gas that enters an infant's digestive system to easily be alleviated. Here is an easy burping position to prevent developing gas.
- Place the baby upright on your shoulder and pat their back.
- Sit the baby upright on your lap and lean them forward slightly while you rub or pat their back.
- Put your hand under their chin to support their chest and head.
- Lay the baby on their belly across your lap with their head slightly elevated while you rub and pat their back.
Avoid extensive sucking
Many babies are soothed by sucking, unfortunately when a baby vigorously and frequently sucks on a pacifier, it can lead to gas problems. It should also go without saying that empty bottles or unattached nipples should be avoided altogether due to the large intake of air that can lead to painful bloating and possible digestive distress.
Gas Relief for Babies
Watching a baby struggle with tummy pain can break any caregiver’s heart. Luckily, there are several relief options to help alleviate the gas built up and soothe the discomfort.
Get things moving
When an infant is in severe discomfort, using simple exercises such as the “baby bike ride” can help move gas along physically.
Simply lay the baby on their back and move their legs in an up-and-down pedaling motion. This helps move gas along physically, but also helps soothe and calm nerves in the intestines.
Rub your thumbs on your infant’s belly (just under the ribcage) using small circular motions. This easy technique can help get things moving by helping gas bubbles work their way through the intestines.
The colic carry
Lay your baby tummy-down across your knees or hold your infant under their belly with your forearm, and gently massage the baby's back. The pressure on your little one’s tummy can help relieve the pressure from gas.
Infant gas drops
Talk with your pediatrician about all natural infant gas drops or gripe water. There are many organic brands that are generally considered safe for all babies, newborn and up.
The gentle pressure on the baby's tummy can help relieve gas. Waiting at least 20 to 30 minutes (or when gas starts) before doing tummy time will let the baby formula settle and keep the baby from spitting up.
It is important to always supervise your baby during tummy time. Be extremely cautious to never allow your baby to fall asleep on their stomach, since tummy-sleeping puts babies at increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Probiotics / Prebiotics
A new baby's digestive system can often be sluggish and easily build up gas due to an imbalance in the gut microbiome, which is a collection of beneficial bacteria in the gut. By giving infants probiotics and prebiotics to help correct this imbalance, parents and caregivers can help to reduce gastrointestinal symptoms.
After checking with your baby's pediatrician, over-the-counter probiotics and prebiotics made especially for infants, can be added to a little one’s diet in liquid or powdered form.
For organic prebiotic and probiotics that are specially designed to perfectly balance your baby's gut flora and mimic the nutrition found in breast milk, caregivers often choose European baby formulas such as HiPP Dutch and HiPP German. Each of these nutritionally exceptional baby formulas contain both prebiotics and probiotics as standard ingredients.
Gas Reducing Baby Formula
European baby formulas are designed for every age, stage, and digestive need. Special nutrition is available to help relieve the gas, bloating, and digestive discomfort that many babies struggle with.
Options used most frequently for gastrointestinal symptoms are hydrolyzed, hypoallergenic, and A2 milk-based formulas.
HiPP Special Comfort has hydrolyzed proteins that are broken down into smaller fragments so that they’re easier to digest and absorb. Perfect for infants that are experiencing bloating and constipation with gas and painful colic.
European baby formulas such as HiPP HA are significantly hydrolyzed and have proteins broken down into their smallest components, the amino acid. Designed with organically based prebiotics and probiotics to ensure even the most sensitive, allergy prone littles ones can get relief from gas.
Holle A2 Cow's Milk Stage 1
Age: 0-6 months
Size: 800g / 28.22oz
Biodynamic Organic Certified (Organic ++), Milk from cows with A2 beta-casein protein type, DHA/ARA, No Maltodextrin
By choosing A2 milk, babies are still able to receive a more sensitive version of cow’s milk prior to completely switching to a different mammal. This small switch may be all your baby needs.
Two of the leading brands in European baby formulas, Holle and Kendamil, offer complete nutrition and gentle proteins without the added dangers of soy, which have been traditionally used for little ones with a low tolerance for cow’s milk-based baby formulas.
Choosing goat milk as an alternative to cow’s milk can be a tough decision; let alone choosing Holle vs Kendamil goat milk formula. Our team is here to help you, not only with providing you content to help your research, but answering the questions that may arise afterwards.
Gas Relief, Parent Support
Rest assured infant gas is very common. A new baby’s digestive system is immature and most of the time simply needs the support of a gentle touch and 100% organic nutrition to help relieve symptoms and discomfort.
My Organic Company knows that families need the same care as their infants, so we have built a growing community of parents, caregivers, and European baby formula experts to share advice, listen to a bad day, or share a smile. We look forward to seeing you there!