Stomach gas is the cause of pain in your baby's belly, which can sometimes result in discomfort, flatulence and colic symptoms. While gas, specifically gas after eating, is common in babies, it can still be the sign of a more serious condition. To properly deal with baby gas, you must first understand the causes. Then, you'll be better prepared to treat current gas symptoms as well as work to prevent the painful gassiness for a more content baby.
When your baby has gas after eating, you'll notice that he becomes fussy after eating. This is because gas bubbles can be uncomfortable. Some other common symptoms of gas after eating include flatulence and your baby pulling his legs into his chest in an effort to relieve abdominal pain. A curled lying position could also point to discomfort after eating.
Several factors come into play when it comes to after-eating gas in babies. The main culprit for gas is swallowed air, which can occur if your baby cried before or during a feeding session. Too much air can also occur if your body lets down -- releases the initial milk flow -- too quickly, causing your baby to gasp while beginning to eat. If you breastfeed your baby, gas-inducing foods that you eat, such as cauliflower or beans, can sometimes be passed through your milk and result in mild discomfort in your baby.
If your baby is suffering from gas pains, you can choose from a variety of treatment methods to help relieve that pain. Placing two fingers under your baby's belly button and applying firm pressure can help to force some air out of the belly -- just ensure that it doesn't cause your baby to cry even more, resulting in the intake of more air. Simethicone drops, such as Mylicon or Ovol help to break down the bubbles in the stomach to relieve gas and can help affect the actual amount of gas passed. If attempting to ease gas pains doesn't seem to work, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Your baby could be suffering from painful reflux, which has several similar symptoms as gas. If your baby is diagnosed with reflux, your doctor may prescribe medication to help protect your baby's stomach lining and aid in the digestion of breast milk or formula.
Careful feeding practices can go a long way in protecting your baby from gas after eating. If you breastfeed your baby, take note of the foods you ate before a particularly fussy spell and try removing them from your diet. When feeding your baby, do so when she's calm and only beginning to feel hungry to reduce gulping in air during feeding. Letting down into a towel or milk storage bag can also help regulate milk flow before your baby begins to eat for more rhythmic, consistent draws and less air intake.