Nurses in several hospitals 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”.
They do not know how to express themselves or they do not know how to control it ! We are talking about babies and baby gas problem here. Remember every baby is a gassy baby because babies eat around the clock, their bowel move, digestion keeps happening and there is production of gas. Do not forget most babies are fed mother’s milk. Mothers food intake and certain gas causing vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, beans, and onions will have effect on baby. This is another reason for many babies to go through gas cycles.
Unlike adults when babies release gas, it is not an embarrassment for anybody. It is more natural because babies are still learning how to use their bowel and muscle to push poop. The infant has not yet learned to process the food, gas and stool properly. The intestines of infants take time to develop and adopt. Moreover, intestine is 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. According to pediatric association, babies hardly feel discomfort because of gas. In case, the baby becomes fussy and she or he putting up legs and crying then it may be because of the uneasiness of some gas that refuses to pass. When there is extra gas and discomfort is happening then babies will show following symptoms:
- Often burps
- Gets fussy and cranky
- Bloated tummy
- Has cramps
- Has a hard tummy
- Putting legs up and clenching fists and squirming
Infants have plenty of opportunities to swallow air, like when they: Feed from a breast or bottle, Suck a pacifier, Cry.
To release gas from babies try these techniques:
1) Place baby flat with belly on the floor: Gravity helps trapped gas to surface out more quickly.
2) Gently massage the belly in clockwise: Nurses in several hospitals 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 released.
3) Place baby on the back on the floor and move her /his leg and hand like riding bicycle -be gentle.
4) Give a warm bath. Warm water helps the belly to relieve the gas related pain.
5) Bring on the burps - put baby on your shoulder and slowly massage back of baby. This brings burps and releases gas.
6) Bottle fed babies can ingest lot of air through bubble form – Tilt the bottle to an angle so that nipple will hold milk all the time till the baby finishes the food. Use a slower – flow nipple on the bottle.
7) Feed baby before baby gets too hungry. Empty stomach causes gas problem too. Make sure to feed baby in upright position to help easy movement of food in the system.
8) Watch what you feed - Some foods have ingredients that can cause gas. Example – sorbitol in fruit juice or added sugar in juices. Similarly, babies if fed with lactose then, it is source of gas.
9) Rock and bounce the baby very gently – this increases bowel movement.
10) Food sensitivity is another factor. Some babies turn out to be intolerant or allergic to some ingredients in breast milk or formula.
11) One can give few drops of Gripe water to baby to relieve colic symptom. Gripe water is a product sold to relieve colic and other gastrointestinal ailments and discomforts of infants.
12) Pediatric probiotic: Adding infant probiotic in the babies menu also helps to ease the gas and pain.
13) Drinking water: Each day give required amount of water to baby. This will help to reduce constipation and improves muscle movement.
Exceptions: If you see no bowel movement, blood in stool, extremely cranky/ fussy baby, high temperatures then contact the pediatrician immediately to undergo full checkup. If there is any blockage in the intestine or any infection, doctors can test it.
Remember- otherwise the infant gas is normal and is treatable and it is very common!
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