All babies produce intestinal gas, but some are more bothered by it than others. Fortunately, you can help your baby get past gas with simple home remedies. If your baby has forceful vomiting or cries without stopping for several hours, call your pediatrician.
During the Feeding
Swallowing air can create intestinal gas and is the main source of gas in the stomach. If you bottle-feed, hold the bottle at an angle to ensure that no air enters the nipple. Use a nipple that prevents milk from flowing too rapidly. If you breast-feed, express a little milk before putting the baby on the breast, so that the milk flows slowly and the baby doesn't have to gulp to swallow it.
After feeding, help your baby eliminate gas pain by burping him well. It's difficult for him to get rid of gas when he's lying flat. Some babies prefer being held over your shoulder, which puts pressure on the abdomen and helps them get the gas up. Others prefer being held over your arm or on their stomach over your knees. Never put a baby on his stomach to sleep, because this sleeping position increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
Simethicone drops, marketed and sold as an over-the-counter treatment for infant colic, haven't proven any more effective than a placebo in many clinical trials. Gas drops allow gas bubbles to coalesce and disperse more quickly, but don't eliminate gas altogether. Talk to your doctor before giving your baby any medication, including over-the-counter treatments, for gas.
- Clinical Evidence: Colic in Infants
- Italian Journal of Pediatrics: Infantile Colic, Facts and Fiction
- Pediatric Gastrointestinal Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management; W. Allan Walker, et al. (eds.)
- Family Medicine Obstetrics; Stephen D. Ratcliffe, et al. (eds.)