Just like adults, babies can get gassy too. Because of the patterns in which babies are fed, parents are often blessed with the melodies of their babies around the clock. This shouldn’t be a cause for concern, considering that it is in line with normal bodily functioning. The more often you eat, the more frequent the gas. That’s predictable. If so, what about all these parents talking about gassy babies? You might be wondering, that if the above is true, why you keep hearing about parents worrying about their baby having gas? Well, to answer your question, the gas they’re worried about is a different type of gas. It isn’t your everyday toot
Sometimes, a baby may suffer from excessive gas which would cause them pain and discomfort. This happens when their tiny bodies have too much gas and it isn't finding an escape. This could happen due to several reasons -
1. Drinking too fast/slow
2. Too much crying (this leads to swallowing air)
3. Air bubbles in the formula they drink
4. Improper latching while breastfeeding
5. Having gassy food
6. Drinking juice or ingesting foods that are tough for your baby to digest
But how do I tell the difference between normal gas and excessive gas?
There are certain signs that emphasize when your baby is facing higher levels of discomfort than normal.
When there is excess gas trapped in the body, it can cause gastric pains. This could cause a baby immense discomfort and the pain would induce frequent crying. The key factor here is that the crying will tend to be more frequent and possibly sharper than normal. A lot of the time, the duration of the crying spells are quite long and may extend for a couple of hours, and the babies seem to be inconsolable.
Legs in the air
It’s only natural, when one is in discomfort, to try to relieve it. This is so even in the case of babies. If they are facing a lot of discomforts, they will attempt to make it go away. What a lot of parents have noticed is that when their babies are excessively gassy, they tend to pull their legs towards their chests and arch their backs.
Red-faced and fussy
A lot of babies also tend to get red in the face when gassy. They also tend to become more fussy and irritable. You’ll notice that even small things set off your baby and may lead to tantrums and crying spells.
Gassy babies tend to squirm a lot, presumably trying to ease the discomfort caused by the pain, without knowing what exactly needs to be done to fix it. What’s more is that they can’t communicate it to anyone and so they might keep trying to move around to try to signal their parents.
When gas is trapped, it gets trapped in the abdomen. Due to this, a baby’s abdomen will get hard or tense or distended. Under ordinary circumstances, if you press down on a baby’s abdomen, it will feel soft and squishy, however, if there is gas trapped in there, it’ll feel different and bloated.
A gassy baby will expel a lot. “Expel what,” you may ask; everything. Gassy babies keep burping and passing gas often. That’s not all, they also tend to spit up a lot which may or may not happen while being fed.
What’s important to keep in mind though, is that your baby can’t communicate how he/she is feeling at this point in their lives. So when they’re in discomfort, it becomes extra frustrating because they don’t know how to fix it. That’s why people keep saying you should burp your baby after feeding, and make sure they latch on properly.
The best way to make sure your baby isn’t facing discomfort is to prevent it. You can do this by burping your baby after feeding, giving your baby frequent back and tummy massages (not right after feeding), making sure your baby gets enough water and making sure that your baby is being fed in the right way, which means checking the bottle and/or whether or not your baby has latched on properly.
Gas can be troublesome for both you and your little one, so why not make sure that neither of you has to deal with it?