Baby Care Blog

5 Surefire Ways to Soothe a Gassy Baby

As a new mom, one of the things that surprised me about my babies was how gassy they were. My sweet, little cherubs would toot and grunt and pass gas a lot. At times, it was hard not to laugh. How can such a little baby make such a big noise! The truth is babies pass gas 13-21 times a day, so it’s totally normal.

There are many reasons why babies get gassy.

They could be feeding in an awkward position, eating too fast, eating too much, ingesting too much lactose (found in foremilk), swallowing air from a baby bottle, or they could have a slight intolerance to proteins found in breast milk. Remember, your baby’s digestive system is still developing too. Her intestines are still forming the micro flora she needs to effectively digest foods, even after she’s born.

Other things that can cause gas include normal baby stuff like crying, sucking on a pacifier or simply getting the hiccups. Anything that causes baby to swallow excess air can trigger gas.

When you know what to look for, it’s not hard to tell if she’s in discomfort due to gas. Babies will do involuntary things like grunt or strain. Sometimes they cry out or clench up their bodies. If your baby is happy one minute and crying the next ­– for no apparent reason – it could be gas pain.

Other tricks mamas use to figure out if baby has gas is listening to her tummy ­– you can actually hear her stomach gurgling! Or feel her tummy to see if it’s bloated, distended and hard.

If your detective skills lead your to believe your baby is having a bout with painful gas, here are 5 tricks that should help her feel better:

Move those little legs

If your baby is lying on her back, gently move her legs back and forth to imitate riding a bicycle. This exercise helps with intestinal motion and can expel trapped gas. You can also bend her legs and gently push her knees up towards her tummy. If she’s on her tummy, you can help ease into Child’s Pose (just like in yoga) and that motion will have the same effect.  

A gentle tummy rub

Baby massage is a method nurses use to soothe infants with gas bubbles. It’s called the “I love you” massage. Lie your baby down on her back, then start rubbing her tummy in a circular motion and mimic writing the letters “I,” “L” and “U” with two or three fingers across her belly. By “spelling” the words across your baby’s tummy in a smooth, gentle motion, you’re triggering activity in her abdomen that can help her pass those trapped gas bubbles.

Because baby’s gotta burp

Of course, the best go-to for any fussy baby is to burp them. Sometimes one good burp will do the trick. It may not happen right away, so burp her, lay her down for a few minutes, then gently pick her up and try again. Keep giving tummy time a try.

Little Remedies® to the rescue

If your magic hands aren’t soothing her, you can try products like Little Remedies® Gripe Water or Little Remedies® Gas Relief Drops. If you think your baby is gassy because she was crying a lot, try Gripe Water, a mixture of water and various herbs. It’s perfect for colicky babies because it’s a gentle herbal supplement, which eases stomach discomfort. Gas Relief Drops soothe unhappy tummies and can even be mixed with formula or water. The simethicone helps breaks up bubbles and gives gas that extra little push to work its way out.

Be mindful of feeding times

Try to feed your baby before you start hearing her hungry cries. This can help her eat at a leisurely pace and not gulp down her breast milk or formula too quickly. If you’re a breastfeeding mama and your milk lets down quickly, you may want to unlatch baby for a moment and then re-latch. That can help her manage your milk flow more easily.

Do you have tried and true tricks you use to soothe your gassy baby? Let us know in the comments section on the Boudreaux’s Butt Paste® Facebook page.