How to Relieve a 3-Week-Old Baby of Gas

Bouts of gas in a 3-week-old baby can be as painful for the parent as they are for the newborn. Infants may begin to show signs of occasional gastrointestinal distress: a distended belly, pulling up of the legs, flatulence, burping and fussiness.

Mother holding newborn Credit: Hemera Technologies/ Images

Pumping Gas

Newborn's legs Credit: ffolas/iStock/Getty Images

Pumping your baby's legs in a cycling motion may encourage the release of trapped gas. Placing him on his tummy puts pressure on the trapped gas and may make for easier passage. Only give your baby tummy time while he is awake and under your watchful eye; for sleeping, always place him on his back to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Simethicone drops (Mylicon, Little Tummys) may help bring the infant some relief, but scientific study has not proved them any more effective than a placebo, a sugar pill.

Up and Out

Mother sitting newborn up Credit: Jani Bryson/iStock/Getty Images

Holding your 3-week-old upright puts her in prime position for burping excess gas. A back or belly rub may also get things moving in the right direction. Don't forget to support her head, as the neck muscles are still too weak to do so. If you use powdered formula, consider switching to liquid for a while. Powder can be more difficult for some babies to digest.

When to Call the Doctor

Newborn with doctor Credit: 4774344sean/iStock/Getty Images

If, despite your best efforts, your infant's discomfort and crying persist, seek the advice of your pediatrician. Gas pains and colic can sometimes mimic more serious conditions that warrant treatment. Signs that your baby might be experiencing something beyond typical gastrointestinal distress include a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, refusing feedings and prolonged fussiness. Consult the doctor about these symptoms.

references & resources
Load Comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.