Strategies to Avoid Infant Gas
A gassy baby can be a fussy and uncomfortable baby, which can be painful and distressing for both the baby and parents. The good news is that there are several effective strategies you can implement to avoid those gassy moments.
A baby's digestive system is still developing during the early months of life, making it more susceptible to gas and discomfort. Gas in infants typically occurs when they have difficulty moving gas out of their digestive system effectively. This can lead to trapped gas, which is painful and causes fussiness.
Below are 5 Tips to Avoid Infant Gas;
- Change Feeding Positions
When feeding, opt for an upright position rather than having your baby lay down. This allows gravity to assist in keeping milk down and air up, reducing the chances of gas getting trapped in their tummy.
When bottle-feeding, hold your baby with their back against your chest, ensuring they are in an upright position. This positioning can help milk flow more smoothly and minimize the intake of air.
- Burp Regularly
Burping your baby is an essential part of preventing and relieving gas. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends burping every 2-3 ounces during bottle feeding. However, every baby is unique, and some may require more frequent burping to release trapped gas effectively. Don't be afraid to experiment with different intervals to find what works best for your baby.
In addition to adjusting the frequency, try different burping positions to discover the one that helps your baby burp most comfortably. While the classic over-the-shoulder position is well-known, some parents find that their baby burps more easily when seated, with one hand cradling the chin and the other gently pushing up on the back.
- Use an Anti-Gas or Anti-Colic Bottle
The choice of baby bottle can play a significant role in preventing gas. Some bottles are specially designed to reduce the likelihood of infants swallowing expelled air during feeding. These bottles often feature liners, vents, and inserts that work together to create a more controlled flow of milk.
Here are a few anti-gas or anti-colic bottles that parents have found helpful:
- Dr. Brown's Anti-Colic Bottle
- Evenflo Feeding Angled Vented Plus Bottle
- Playtex Baby Nurser with Drop-In Liners
Additionally, the nipple you choose can make a difference, opt for a nipple with a slower flow, such as a preemie or stage 1 option, to prevent your baby from gulping and taking in excess air during feeding.
- Give Probiotics
Many instances of infant gas can be attributed to an immature digestive system and an imbalanced gut microbiome. Probiotics can help restore this balance and reduce gastrointestinal symptoms. Probiotics for babies typically come in the form of drops or powders that can be added to formula or expressed breast milk.
Many formulas, like HiPP Dutch, include both prebiotics and probiotics as standard ingredients. These components help support your baby's digestive health and promote a balanced gut microbiome.
- Consider a Specialized Formula
While most babies can thrive on standard infant formula, some may require specialized formulas to address gastrointestinal symptoms. Two common options for babies with gas and digestive discomfort are hydrolyzed and hypoallergenic formulas.
- Hydrolyzed Formulas: These formulas feature proteins that are broken down into smaller fragments for easier digestion. HiPP Comfort is an excellent choice for a high-quality organic hydrolyzed formula.
- Hypoallergenic Formulas: Hypoallergenic formulas take the process a step further by breaking proteins down into their smallest components, amino acids. HiPP HA is suitable for babies with sensitive tummies or Cow's Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA).