If your baby seems fussy and is drawing up his legs in pain, there is a good chance he has painful gas, especially during the peak discomfort age of 3 to 6 weeks. This can be caused by the breaking down of sugars in your baby’s large intestine and is the most common cause of abdominal discomfort in babies. It can also occur if he has swallowed too much air while crying or eating. Of course, if you are concerned about your baby’s discomfort, you should talk to your doctor.
If you are breastfeeding your baby, try feeding her before she starts crying. This will help her to avoid a rapid intake of air as she tries to swallow her food. If you notice that your baby has problems with gas, you can eliminate foods from your diet that may be causing the problem. Foods that tend to make you gassy come from a reaction from your body and typically do not affect your breast milk, but foods like dairy products, wheat, fish, eggs, peanuts, corn and caffeine can give your baby gas through your milk. It may take a week or so for food to clearly leave your body’s system, so try eliminating one food at a time to find what affects your baby.
You may want to try changing the way you feed your baby if he is fed formula or expressed breast milk from a bottle. A bottle nipple that’s too big can allow him to swallow excess amounts of air during a feeding, so try switching him to a nipple with a smaller opening. Some baby bottles are specially made to reduce the intake of air, so try different brands and styles until you find one that seems to help reduce your baby’s gas and fussiness. While feeding him his bottle, hold him semi-upright.
Burping your baby often can help her to release some of the air in her body consumed during a feeding. Burp her halfway through a bottle feeding or in between nursing from one breast to another. If her gas problems do not improve or if she is also spitting up frequently, burp her after every couple ounces from a bottle or every couple minutes while nursing. While burping her, hold her upright and pat her back gently.
You can try massaging your baby’s stomach and can also bicycle your baby’s legs in the air to help relieve discomfort. Carrying your baby frequently throughout the day can help reduce gas discomfort, as can having her sit in a little warm water.
Abdominal Discomfort in Babies
Posted On: 09-02-2016
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