Any parent of a gassy baby knows the desperate feeling of trying to soothe a child in gas pain. While it may be tempting to assume that all gas is created equal, two different types of gas can cause discomfort for babies: gas bubbles and intestinal gas.
Gas bubbles are caused by swallowed air and are relatively easy to relieve. On the other hand, intestinal gas is caused by the digestive process and can be more challenging to manage. Fortunately, parents can use a few simple strategies to help reduce their baby’s gas pain. By understanding the causes of gas and following simple tips, parents can help make their gassy baby more comfortable at night.
Why are newborns so gassy?
Many newborns are pretty gassy, and it can worry parents who are not sure what is causing it. Gas pains are often the result of too much air getting trapped in the baby’s stomach or intestines. When babies swallow air and then the air expands, it can cause discomfort. Newborns are especially prone to gas pain because their digestive system is still developing, and they have yet to learn how to pass gas efficiently.
In addition, many babies tend to swallow a lot of air when crying, which can also contribute to gas pains. Gas pain often peaks at night since babies tend to be fussier at night and may ingest more air while crying. Fortunately, gas pains are not harmful and will eventually disappear as the baby’s digestive system matures.
In the meantime, there are several things that parents can do to help soothe their gassy babies, such as burping them frequently or massaging their tummies. With a bit of patience and care, your fussy baby will soon be feeling better.
Symptoms of a gassy baby
Some things you will notice about a gassy baby:
- they burp a lot
- they are bloated
- fart a lot
- get fussy easily
- tummy feels hard
- turns red when trying to pass gas
Most of the time, the gas doesn’t bother the baby. Even if their face turns utterly red while passing gas, they are not usually in any discomfort. If your baby is happy between the times when they are turning red and farting, they are not bothered by the gas.
However, if they seem inconsolable and upset in-between passing gas, they may be uncomfortable. Your baby will usually be squirmy and arch their back when trying to pass gas. They will also pull their legs up a lot.
How to Relieve Baby Gas
Any parent of a young babies will attest to the fact that gas discomfort is a common occurrence. Newborns are particularly prone to gas, making them fussy and uncomfortable. Parents can do a few things to help relieve their baby’s gas discomfort.
For example, burp baby frequently during and after feedings can help release trapped gas. Also, massaging their tummy in a clockwise direction can help move gas along. Below are some tips and remedies you can do if your baby is experiencing gas discomfort.
Preventing Gas-Related Discomfort for your Baby
Most of the time, you can prevent baby gas discomfort with these natural remedies and techniques added to their daily routine.
1. Avoid frantic eating
When babies are over-hungry, they tend to eat frantically. The more frantic they eat, the more air they suck in. This can also lead to more spit-ups since gas is trying to work its way back out while more food is consumed.
Try feeding them before they get too hungry. Start looking for their cues when you know they should eat again. They will start rooting, turning their head, or start sucking their hands. Learn more about the baby’s feeding cues here.
2. Feed baby at an angle
Allow gravity to work with you. You want the liquid to travel down while the air bubbles naturally make their way back out. Keeping your baby at about a 45-degree angle while feeding allows air to stay near the surface instead of getting trapped.
Breastfed babies may be more prone to gas because they tend to swallow a lot of air while nursing. It’s essential to ensure that a breastfed baby is latched on correctly and at an angle, so they aren’t swallowing a lot of air. Breastfeeding positioning is also essential. Check out all the different breastfeeding positions.
Bottle-fed babies may be swallowing air if fed too quickly or if the bottle’s nipple is too large. If you are bottle feeding try burping your baby more frequently, feeding at an angle, and ensure that the bottle’s nipple is the correct size.
3. Burp the baby often
Babies pass gas up to 20 times a day. That can come out of either end. When it comes out as a fart, it has to travel through the intestines and has a bigger chance of getting trapped. If you be sure to have baby burp after every feeding and in the middle of feeding. Make sure baby’s position while burping them is upright for better gas relief.
Breastfed babies should be burped when you pause to switch breasts and then again when they are done nursing. It would be best if you burped bottle-fed babies every couple of ounces to ensure they are being burped often enough and not eating too fast.
Before you burp your baby, make sure to grab a burp rag or two. Babies spit up a lot! One new mom tip I love is that I always have a few burp rags around. Yet, I still have spit up on my clothes and the baby’s clothes most of the time.
4. Avoid overfeeding
As a first-time mom, the first thing I did with my fussy babies was try to nurse them. Then I finally realized the different types of fussiness my babies had and I was eventually able to tell when they were famished and when it was just gas.
Feeding them more can increase the air trapped in their tummy. Every time they eat, they tend to suck in air. With more food on top of the air, it is harder for the air to come naturally.
How to relieve baby gas fast
Most babies are pretty gassy, especially at night. You can use a few natural remedies to help reduce the amount of gas discomfort your baby has. One is to massage your baby’s tummy in a clockwise direction. This can help to break up any gas bubbles that have formed.
Another is to move your baby’s legs in a bicycling motion gently. This helps to work the gas through the intestines and out of the body. Below are more tips to help relieve your baby’s gas. If you do all these things and your baby is still gassy, don’t worry – it’s perfectly normal! Gas is just a part of life for most babies.
5. I love you Baby massage
An infant massage can help the baby relax, which can usually help the trapped gas bubbles come out naturally. One massage technique you can try is the I Love You baby massage. Massage with coconut oil for the benefit of an excellent natural moisturizer for the baby.
Steps to I love you massage:
- Facing your baby, start on the right side of your baby’s tummy up near the bottom of their ribs. Trace an “I” downward to their hipbone using two fingers and slightly firm pressure.
- Next, start at the abdomen’s left side and trace a backward upside-down “L” across their belly to the right side of the stomach and then downward along their right side to their hip bone.
- Start again at the left side, from the hip bone up toward the abdomen and across their belly in an arc to the right side abdomen and then down to the right hip bone.
Massages also help promote healthy digestion. Try to incorporate a massage into your nightly bedtime routine. It can relax the baby to help them sleep longer and sleep independently. It is also a great bonding experience for you and your baby.
6. Baby Bicycle Kicks
Bicycle kicks are another easy way to get gas moving. Gently lay baby on their back and “cycle” your baby’s legs as if riding a bike. Having your baby do bicycle kicks can help move any gas trapped in their intestines.
Then gently lift the baby’s knees to their tummy, press, and hold for a few seconds. This body movement helps more air come out.
Repeat as needed, switching between the bicycle kicks and the knee lifts. Make it a fun game with the baby, and sing to them as you do it. This can also be a great bonding experience. Baby bicycle kicks can become a part of their nightly routine before bed to relieve trapped gas.
7. Tummy time for gassy babies
Tummy time is great for newborns. It helps them strengthen their muscles and can also aid in relieving gas. Being on the floor on their tummy helps babies develop the muscles needed to sit up independently.
When babies are on their tummy, there is a slight pressure on their abdomen, which encourages any gas that may be trapped to move around. Be on the lookout, too, for diaper blowouts. If your baby is constipated, it might immediately come out when some air is removed.
Be sure to have them in an upright position for about 20 minutes after eating before putting them down on their tummy. You don’t want them spitting up everything they just ate. Give the food some time to settle, and be sure to burp them before attempting.
8. Gripe Water
Gripe water is an over-the-counter product that is all-natural. It aids in stomach discomfort and gas relief for babies. It consists of sodium bicarbonate and herbs like fennel seed, ginger, and chamomile. All of these ingredients help calm the baby and promote healthy digestion.
Gripe water would calm them down pretty quickly. Just read the ingredients, so you know exactly what is in it. Some of them are all-natural, and others have added ingredients.
Note: Always talk to your pediatrician before trying a new remedy like gripe water or gas drops and the recommended dosage for a newborn or infant.
9. Baby Wear
And when all else fails, Baby Wear! Or try this first. During the first three months, babywearing would usually cure anything. They typically want to be snuggled and close to you. Being so close can sometimes make you and your baby hot; check out the baby carriers made for summer weather.
Being in an upright position and bouncing around as you move would naturally help gas come out. This is the perfect remedy if your baby wakes up with gas every night. Wear your little baby around the house to ‘bounce out’ trapped air.
FAQs for baby’s gassiness
1. Why is my baby gassy only at night?
There are a few reasons why a baby is gassy only at night. For one, a baby’s gassiness could be related to their feeding session. If the baby is gulping down air while eating, the trapped air in the belly can cause discomfort. When the baby is lying down at night, the gas has nowhere to go but up.
Another possibility is that baby is experiencing gastroesophageal reflux (GER) when stomach contents flow back into the esophagus. This can happen when the baby lies down after eating.
2. How can I help my baby with gas at night?
If you’re a new parent, you may be wondering why your newborn is so gassy at night and what you can do about it. Most babies are gassy because they take in a lot of air while feeding. This can cause their tummies to become bloated and full of gas. Once they lay down, the swallowed air becomes trapped.
The good news is that there are some things you can do to help ease your baby’s gassiness. Try burping the baby often during feedings, and keep your baby upright for at least 30 minutes afterward. Giving them gripe water before bed can also help prevent a gassy baby. The fennel seed in gripe water is one of the natural remedies for helping a baby’s digestive tract.
You might also want to try eliminating dairy and certain foods from your diet if breastfeeding, as this can sometimes be a culprit of GER. If you’ve tried these things and your baby is still gassy, talk to his doctor about other possible solutions.
3. Do gassy babies have trouble sleeping?
Many parents of newborns report that their baby seems to be gassier at night, leading them to wonder if this is impacting their sleep. While there is no definitive answer, many experts believe that gas can make it more difficult for babies to fall asleep and stay asleep. This is because gas can cause discomfort, making babies fussy and irritable.
As a result, they may have trouble falling asleep in the first place and then may wake up frequently throughout the night as they struggle to get comfortable. Parents can do a few things to help alleviate their baby’s gas pains, such as burping them frequently and giving them a warm bath followed by a baby massage before bed.
However, it is also important to remember that all babies are different, and some may be more prone to gas than others. If you are concerned about your baby’s sleeping habits, it is always best to consult with your pediatrician.
4. Does baby kicking legs mean gas?
When a baby kicks their legs, it can signify that they are experiencing gas. This is because the movement helps release the build-up of gas in the intestines. However, it is essential to note that not all kicking signifies gas.
Babies also move their legs when hungry, tired, or want to stretch. Around 4-6 months of age, babies often start to experiment with kicking their legs. This can be a fun game for them, but it can also signify that they’re experiencing gas pain.
If your baby is frequently kicking and seems to be in discomfort, burping them or gently massaging their tummy can help relieve the gas. If the problem persists, consult with your child’s pediatrician. They will be able to give you specific advice on how to address your baby’s gas.
5. How long should you do bicycle legs on baby?
When a baby has gas, many moms may feel helpless. However, there are some things you can do to help your baby feel better. One of them is bicycle legs. This involves gently moving your baby’s legs in a circular motion as if pedaling a bicycle. This can help to relieve gas and get things moving.
It is important not to overdo it, though. You should only do this for a few minutes at a time. Otherwise, you may tire your baby out or make them more frustrated. Ask your pediatrician for guidance if you’re unsure how long to do it. With a little trial and error, you’ll find the perfect amount of time to help your baby get gas relief and have a successful bowel movement.
6. When do babies outgrow gas pains?
Most babies outgrow gas pains by the time they’re 4 to 6 months old once they outgrow their immature digestive system. Once their digestive system matures, they learn how to eat and drink without taking in too much air. They can usually only process simple things like breastmilk or formula until it is mature, not solid food. In the meantime, if your baby is experiencing gas pains, you can do the tips above to help ease their discomfort.
Contact your doctor if your baby is older than six months and is still experiencing gas pains. There may be an underlying medical condition that needs to be treated.
As a new mom you may be surprised that your newborn is gassier at night than during the day. There are many reasons for this. First of all, babies have an immature digestive system, producing more gas as a result. Secondly, they may cry more at night due to colic or teething pain, which can lead to swallowed air.
Finally, gravity plays a role: when the baby is upright during the day, gas bubbles tend to rise to the top of the stomach and escape through burping. At night, however, those same gas bubbles can get trapped and cause discomfort when the baby is lying down.
There are many reasons why a baby may be gassy, but fortunately, there are also many ways to help relieve their discomfort. First, stick to the baby’s routine as much as possible. This will help the baby’s digestive system stay on track. Excess air can also be a culprit for trapped gas bubbles, so be sure the baby is burped frequently during and after feedings.
If bottle-feeding, try using a slow-flow nipple to control the milk flow and the air the baby takes in. Also, avoid overfeeding and try holding the baby and the bottle at an angle to prevent your baby from swallowing excess air. Using a hypoallergenic formula may help formula-fed babies, and you may also want to try feeding them smaller amounts more often.
For breastfed babies, ensuring they have a good latch can help reduce the extra air. In addition, burping them frequently and avoiding letting them eat too quickly can help. As a breastfeeding mom, remember that the baby gets everything mom eats through the breast milk so watch your diet and avoid certain foods that seem to make your baby gassy. Your baby may have food allergies you are not yet aware of.
If your baby is still gassy and fussy, you can try gently rubbing their tummy or holding them in an upright position. Sometimes, gas bubbles will work their way up and out on their own. Finally, there are also various over-the-counter medications like gripe water and gas drops that you can use to help with baby gas. However, if your baby is still gassy after trying these tips, talk to your pediatrician.