It’s rather stressful to hear your baby crying especially if you cannot understand what he/she needs. One common reason for such crying is baby gas pain. Don’t worry, there’s no need to call your pediatrician yet. There are many things you can do at home to alleviate your little darling’s suffering.

Is Your Baby Really in Gas Pain?

First, it’s important to figure out why your baby is crying. Infants cry because they have no other means of communication. So you have to make sure that your baby is not just hungry, thirsty or tired. If the child really experiences gas pain, the cry will be sharper, more intense and frantic. He will mostly likely to show other signs of discomfort, such as squirming around, pulling up his legs and clenching his fists. In case of gas pain, you may also observe flatulence and burping of your baby.

What Causes Baby Gas Pain?

Baby gas pain is caused by pockets of excessive gas which form in a baby’s stomach or intestines. These pockets of gas exercise pressure on its tummy causing discomfort or even pain. There are six common causes for this condition.

  • Incorrect feeding. If the breast or the feeding-bottle is wrongly positioned, the baby may swallow too much air.
  • Overfeeding. If the baby is given too much food at one time, you little one’s tummy gets overloaded.
  • Lactose overload. This happens usually when the baby gets too much foremilk which is rich in lactose but low in fat. Then not all of the lactose is digested because there is not enough fat to slow down the process. As a result excessive gas is produced.
  • Food sensitivity. Some babies turn out to be intolerant or allergic to some ingredients in breast milk or formula.
  • Immature digestive system. The infant has not yet learned to process the food, gas and stool properly. The intestines also have not yet to create their own micro flora – a group of microorganisms which are unique for every person’s guts. The micro flora is necessary for digestion process and the immune system.
  • Excessive crying. Excessive crying may lead to taking in too much air, then resulting in excessive gas.

How to Relieve Baby Gas Pain

Warning: please keep in mind that the following information is not a prescription, nor a substitute for professional medical treatment. Do consult your doctor if your baby is suffering from diarrhea, vomiting, fever, too much and too long cries or other symptoms that you consider worrying.

1. Keep Proper Position When Feeding

If you are breastfeeding, keep the baby’s head and neck higher than the stomach. In this way, the milk goes to the bottom of the stomach and the air goes to the top, making it easier for the baby to burp out. If you are bottle feeding, raise the bottom of the bottle slightly to prevent air accumulating around the nipple.

2. Use a Suitable Feeding Bottle

The optimal feeding bottle has a soft nipple that fits perfectly into the baby’s mouth, preventing air getting into his body along with the milk. The milk should flow slowly and evenly, so that the child swallows it easily, without excessive gulp. Sometimes it may assist to alleviate gas symptoms by changing formulas.

3. Try Helping the Burp

Burping is important for the baby because it pushes the excessive air out of his body. Specialists recommend burping in a seated position with soft rocking motions. Holding your baby upright or over the shoulder is also possible to burp. It’s good to burp in the middle and after each feeding. If the baby doesn’t burp right after feeding, lay him down for 5 to 10 minutes and try again. When you lift him up, the air will hopefully have moved to the top of the stomach, so it will be easier to burp out.

4. Try Tummy Time

Experts are unanimous that “tummy time” is extremely important for the baby. Specialists recommend that you let the baby lie on his tummy as long as he feels comfortable. Besides being helpful for the development of motor skills, more importantly, lying on their tummies helps babies get rid of the excessive gas more quickly. Gravity helps trapped gas to surface out more quickly. You could further facilitate this process by rubbing your child’s tummy in a circle.

5. Give Tummy Massage

Lie the baby down on his back, then start rubbing his tummy with circular clockwise motion and then pull your hand down the curve of his belly. Some nurses apply the “I love you” massage - with two or three fingers press mildly the area around the baby’s abdomen, then write the letters “I”, “L” and “U”. Repeat this several times until the excessive gas is expelled.

6. Do Some Bicycling Movements

While the baby is lying on his back, start moving his legs back and forth, imitating bicycle riding. This exercise helps with motion in his intestines and expelling the trapped gas.

7. Gripe Water

Gripe water is a common medicine for treating colic or other stomach discomfort, although its effects are not confirmed scientifically. It is a mixture of water and various herbs, including dill, ginger and chamomile. In the US, the drug is sold over the counter under the control of FDA.  Use such kind of gripe water which has certificate for safety and efficacy, and is produced under the FDA regulations regarding homeopathic substances.

8. Pediatric Probiotics

Adding pediatric probiotics in the infant’s menu for a few weeks may also help to ease baby gas pain, suggested by new research. If your baby has started eating solid food, try giving him a little yoghurt. This will help his guts to get used to different strains of intestinal bacteria and create its microbial ecology.

9. Simethicone

Simethicone is a drug administered for pain or other gastrointestinal discomfort due to excessive gas. It reduces the pressure by combining the bubbles in stomach into larger ones which can be passed out more easily. Simethicone usually contains synthetic ingredients such as artificial colors and flavors. However, it is not absorbed into the bloodstream, so it’s considered relatively safe. Simethicone drops are not recommended for newborns because of one of the inactive ingredients. The drug’s efficacy is not proven scientifically.

You can learn some home remedies to alleviate baby gas pain in the video below: