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As a mother, there is really nothing worse than hearing your little baby screaming in pain from gas. Babies cannot express in words what is hurting them and sometimes the first sign of discomfort that we notice is our baby crying more than normal.
One of the most common issues that babies suffer from is painful gas that they cannot eliminate on their own.
I am not a doctor. These are just my experiences with gas pains in my babies. Please consult your doctor before treating your baby. This page may contain affiliate links, however, I will never recommend anything that I do not believe in and use myself. You can read more about my disclosure policy here.
How Do I Know If My Baby Is Having Gas Pains?
Although your baby cannot talk yet, he or she will show some pretty obvious signs of discomfort from having gas in their tummy.
Some signs include:
- crying while passing gas or soon after
- lifting the legs
- arching their back
- a swollen-looking tummy
- passing gas or belching a lot
- excessive spitting up
- trouble sleeping
Why Does My Baby Have So Much Gas?
Unlike adults, babies take in a lot more gas and have a much harder time eliminating it on their own. Here are a few reasons that babies may have so much gas.
- Incorrect breastfeeding latch – If your baby is not properly latched onto the breast they will swallow too much air
- Excessive crying – When your baby is crying a lot your baby’s belly fills with air
How to Prevent Painful Gas In Your Baby
So once you have discovered that your baby’s discomfort is caused by trapped gas, you should try to take steps to prevent your baby from having excess gas in the future.
I had two babies that had tummy troubles attributed to gas and acid reflux so I have tried every tip you can think of. Here are 7 proven ways to prevent your baby from having painful gas.
1. More Frequent Burping
One of the first tips that I recommend trying when your baby is letting out lots of gas is more frequent burping. Since babies often get extra air during feedings, stopping in the middle of a feeding and burping can help them to eliminate gas before continuing to eat.
So if they are breastfed try to burp your baby when they have finished with one breast and before putting them on the other.
And if your baby is formula-fed, try to stop the feeding once they have emptied half of their bottle and burping before continuing to feed them.
Making this one change to my babies eating habits really helped to get rid of the excess gas they were taking in.
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2. Feeding Position
How do you feed your baby? More importantly, how is your baby being held or sitting when they are eating?
This may not seem like a very important thing to think about when feeding your baby, but it truly can help when your baby is prone to having gas and acid reflux.
If you are feeding your baby while they are laying down they may take in more air and it will also go straight to their tummy and have a hard time getting out in that position. This is why it is always recommended feeding your baby in a more upright sitting position to help everything go down through their tummy.
This is also a pro tip for babies that suffer from acid reflux and spit up a lot.
Although it may be easier to hold your baby in this position if you are bottle feeding, using a Boppy pillow can also help breastfeeding moms to achieve the same position. As long as your baby’s head is higher than the rest of their body, you are allowing everything to move along correctly.
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3. Improving Breastfeeding Latch
Having the perfect breastfeeding latch is super important for your baby to get enough breast milk, prevent nipple pain, and even prevent your baby from having painful gas.
Think of your baby’s mouth as like a suction cup. If your baby doesn’t get good suction, they will get air. And air goes straight to your baby’s tummy causing uncomfortable gas.
If you are having a hard time getting the perfect latch while breastfeeding I highly recommend taking a breastfeeding class. My favorite breastfeeding class is Milkology.
Unlike other breastfeeding classes, Milkology can be taken right from the comfort of your own home. It is taught by Stacey Stewart who is a Certified Lactation Educator and a mom of 3. She has helped numerous moms learn to breastfeed and overcome breastfeeding obstacles throughout her career.
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4. Sleeping Position
Why is my baby so gassy at night?
Since most babies are active more during the day, they are able to work out most of their gas through movement. However, when your baby is trying to settle down for the night, they are less active and their gas can build up and have no way of being released.
One of the best sleeping positions for a gassy baby is having them in a more upright position while asleep. We also found this helpful for our baby’s acid reflux.
We found that letting our babies sleep in the baby swing, a rock and play cradle, or a bouncy seat were all ways to keep them in a comfortable position so they could pass the painful gas.
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5. Different Bottles
Is your baby swallowing air while bottle-feeding?
If you are using typical baby bottles that are not designed for preventing painful gas, your baby is probably swallowing excess air while feeding.
Luckily, there are numerous different bottles available for babies who suffer from gas problems and they are a perfect choice for changing your baby’s bottle up.
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6. Check Baby’s Diet
How does a baby’s diet affect gas?
Every baby is uniquely different and can tolerate different foods. Some foods may upset your baby’s tummy more than others. It really is just dependent on your baby’s digestive system.
If you are a breastfeeding mom and your baby is having gas pains, you should check your diet for common foods that cause gas in breastfed babies. Some of the biggest culprits in a breastfeeding moms diet could be certain fruits and veggies.
If your baby is formula-fed, you may need to check with your doctor and get advice about switching to a more gentle baby formula. I personally love the baby formula from Formuland because they have the highest standards and have specialty formula for babies who suffer from gas pains.
Finally, if your baby has started to eat solids, some of them may be a culprit for your baby’s gas pains. Common baby foods that cause gas are beans, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, bran, oatmeal, apricots and more.
So try to eliminate some of these foods if they are in your baby’s diet and see if that makes a difference.
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7. Try Shorter and More Frequent Feedings
Babies are notorious for trying to finish a feeding really fast and they often don’t stop until they are done. For babies that suffer from gas pains and even acid reflux trying to feed your baby in shorter intervals and more frequently can help to prevent a lot of problems.
By having smaller feedings more often you are not filling your baby up and letting them take in more gas in one sitting. You can then burp them and help them to work out any gas they may have before giving them more to eat.
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How Do I Relieve My Baby’s Painful Gas?
So of course, preventing your baby’s gas in the first place is very important, but you still are going to want to relieve your baby’s current gas pains now. Here are the best ways to help your baby move that painful gas out.
8. Gas Drops
One of the most common baby products that are made to help with your baby’s gas pains is gas drops. Gas drops contain simethicone which is used to break up larger gas bubbles into smaller ones making them easier for your baby to pass.
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9. Belly Rubbing
Your baby’s gas pains are likely mostly in their tummy since that’s where the painful gas likes to build up.
By gently rubbing your baby’s tummy, you can help the gas to move down and out to give them relief. Always be very careful and make slow movements so you don’t’ upset your baby’s tummy any further.
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10. Bicycle Legs
My favorite tip for how to get rid of baby gas fast is bicycle legs.
Just like as an adult, when you lift your legs to your stomach, you are often able to help your body to pass gas. The same goes for babies, although they don’t know this and may not have the dexterity to do it themselves.
To use the bicycle technique, gently hold your babies legs at the calf and slowly move them up and outward to the side until they look like they are ringing a bicycle.
We found that this movement helped tremendously with both of our babies gas pains.
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11. Holding Positions
Just like when you are feeding your baby, how you hold them after a feeding can help them to eliminate any extra gas remaining.
It is recommended for babies that suffer from gas pains to be kept upright after eating for at least 30 minutes. This helps their food to move through the digestive system rather than collecting in the stomach and causing pain.
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12. Baby Massage
Another great tip to try is baby massage for gas pains.
Baby massage has been found to be very beneficial for helping your baby to relax, preventing reflux and helping your baby to eliminate their gas. By massaging your baby’s tummy and back you may be able to help them move their gas before they have pain.
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13. Warm Bath
They always say that a warm bath fixes everything.
And with your baby’s gas pains it certainly can help. Giving your baby a calm bath can help their body to become relaxed and eventually pass any painful gas they’ve been holding onto.
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