An uncomfortable, gassy baby can be stressful for new parents who are already battling sleep deprivation. While it is a normal part of the growth process, extra air in the digestive system can actually become extremely painful for a baby. If your baby passes gas, cries for no visible reason or arches her back, gas may be the culprit of her suffering -- and there are many things that can be done to help. While you can do physical activities to help alleviate baby's pain, you should always consult with your child's pediatrician before giving her anything to ingest.
Burp your baby during and after feedings to release any pent up gas by placing her up and just over your shoulder -- so that there is pressure from your shoulder on her tummy -- and patting her on the back. If you are bottle feeding, pause to burp your baby every few ounces, as well as when your baby is finished eating. If breastfeeding, burp your baby before switching sides.
Lay baby gently on his back on a firm surface and move his legs to imitate the motion of pedaling a bicycle. The circular movements of the legs help the intestines to shift and can release gas that is trapped.
Place baby on his stomach when he's awake during the day. The extra pressure from gravity during tummy time can help push out any trapped gas.
Place baby on her back and rub her tummy gently in a clockwise motion with one or two fingers and then pull your hands down the curve of her belly to push the gas downward.
Feeding baby less food at shorter intervals may help with gas pains. If you are breastfeeding, eliminating gas-producing foods such as onions and broccoli from your diet may be helpful. If bottle feeding, feed baby at a thirty- to forty-five-degree angle to help her avoid swallowing air. Experimenting with different bottles and nipples may also help, as well as trying concentrated or already-mixed formula instead of powdered types.
A pediatrician should be consulted if the baby is inconsolable for an extended period of time.