Infant gas can be caused by excessive air swallowed during crying or the breakdown of undigested food. Along with burping and flatulence, gas can sometimes cause infants pain. Despite the discomfort it causes, gas is normal among both infants and adults and does not usually indicate a serious problem. Infant gas can be safely treated at home using natural or over-the-counter remedies, but you should consult with your baby's doctor before administering any treatment.
Proper Feeding Techniques
The way you feed your baby can help to prevent gas from forming. Babies should always be fed with their heads higher than their stomachs, according to Dr. Jennifer Shu of WebMD. This makes it easier for babies to burp air out because it allows the air to rise to the top of the stomach. Shu also recommends using bottles with slow-flow nipples and collapsible bags that prevent babies from swallowing unnecessary air, and allowing up to 10 minutes after eating before burping the infant to allow air time to separate from milk.
Over-the-counter gas relief drops are available for infants. The main ingredient in these products is simethicone, which works by allowing gas bubbles to come together so that they are more easily removed, according to Drugs.com. When used as directed, simethicone does not have any major side effects.
Gripe water is an herbal remedy that may help relieve infant gas. The main ingredients are dill and water, though products may contain also contain other herbs, such as ginger or fennel, according to WebMD. Gripe water is believed to settle infants' stomachs, but it is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so check with your doctor before using it.
Massage may also work out infant gas. To massage an infant's stomach, Massage Today recommends beginning at the infant's chest and using both hands to rub in a heart-shaped motion toward the stomach. Placing an infant on her stomach and rubbing her back may also help to relieve gas, according to WebMD.