Painful gas is common in almost all infants. Often painful gas is taken as colic. But colic is different from excess gas. When an infant is colicky it will cry for five or more hours for about three times in a week. In contrast painful gas will occur when the baby hasn’t burped properly after a feed. The infant will try to get rid of the gas and cry out aloud as it can be a painful process. But you don’t have to fret over this. There are several ways in which you can help your infant relieve itself of gas.
Women who breastfeed their baby should avoid taking spicy and gas causing foods like legumes. They should also minimize intake of milk products and caffeine. Properties of a food that nursing mothers have are often passed into the milk. Gas causing foods can leave the infant with an upset tummy. Instead of feeding the baby all in one go try feeding it in small intervals.
This will give the baby time to digest the previously consumed milk. Nursing mothers should empty milk from one breast completely before offering the other side. This lets the baby feed on ‘hindmilk’ which is richer in nutrients that the ‘foremilk’.
Bottle-fed babies should be given softer nipples to suck on. The hole in the nipple should allow for an even flow suiting the baby’s sucking power. The hole should not be too big or the baby will end up sucking lot of gas with the milk. Don’t leave the baby sucking on empty bottles as this will again cause gas. Check for the best formula with your doctor. Choose the one which can be easily digested.
Burping the infants after every feed is very important. Often babies who are not burped properly end up with painful gas. Learn from your doctor the correct way of burping the baby. If your baby still develops gas then you need to do some extra burping. Once the baby burps after feed put it down and after 5 or 10 minutes try burping again. Many a times the infants build gas again within minutes of burping and should be burped at regular intervals.
Gently massage the baby’s tummy. This will help the gas move from the intestinal tract. The baby will then be able to expel the gas faster and easier.