Helping the baby pass gas is critical. In the first months of life, it is very common for babies to swallow air when they eat since they do not control the sucking technique. Besides, gases are very uncomfortable for babies, so it is important to help them expel them since they do not yet know how to do it by themselves.
The discomfort generated by the gases can be very intense and, therefore, can cause the baby to cry. However, we should not confuse gas with colic, as the latter is more painful and annoying than gas. If you have any doubts about this, consult your pediatrician.
Types of baby gas
Before we tell you how to help your baby pass gas, you should understand what types of gas your child may produce:
- Stomach gases — a newborn baby is learning to relate to the environment on an ongoing basis. Thus, they tend to swallow a lot of air during feedings, including during crying periods.
- Gases of the intestine: these are caused by the digestion of food and can have very different specific causes.
How to help your newborn to pass the gas
Here are some tips for getting the gas out of a baby:
- Place them on your chest: hold the child with their head at shoulder height and tap them on the back. Ideally, take the precaution of covering yourself with a cloth, as it is not uncommon for the baby to expel some food in the process.
- Sit them down: when they can sit up, you can try to expel their gases in this posture. Hold their chin with one hand and give them the same blows on their back.
- Massage their stomach: place the child on their back on a flat surface and massage their tummy very gently. Another option is – in this same position – to raise both legs at the same time, you also have to do it very gently.
- Hold them upside down: hold the baby upside down and hold them with one arm. With the other arm, you can tap on their back to help them pass gas.
How NOT to pass gas to a newborn
There are some miracle solutions on the market whose effectiveness is more than doubtful. Our advice is to be suspicious and to consult your pediatrician before giving any product to your child.
Foods that cause gas to the baby
There are several foods that cause gas to the baby regularly. This is something that should be taken into account more from six months onwards when your child’s diet is diversified. Although there is a widespread myth, it is not proven that a mother’s feeding can influence her baby’s gas, even while breastfeeding is their only support.
These are some of the foods that can cause gases in the baby:
- Vegetables (especially beans).
- Cabbage family (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.).
- Some stone fruits (plums, apricots or peaches)
- Citrus fruits (oranges or tangerines)
Why you should not (in principle) eliminate them from the diet
It may seem that simply eliminating the above-mentioned foods from the diet solves the problem, but this is far from being the case. First of all, you have to take into account that the causes of the baby’s gases go beyond the food they eat, as we have seen in the case of stomach gas. Another example, the fact that they are constantly eating means that their digestive system, which is still tender, it is working almost permanently. This is a very important gas producer.
In addition, removing food from your baby’s diet without professional advice is not recommended. All nutrients are necessary for baby food and have a specific function. Only in very specific situations can be made some adjustments that dispense with some, they should be assessed by your pediatrician.
Baby gases: should I ask my pediatrician?
The baby’s gas is a common nuisance in the first months of life. In principle, they should not cause concern, but if your child is uncomfortable after each feeding, especially if other symptoms such as fever or vomiting appear, do not hesitate to consult your pediatrician for a professional assessment of your case and to rule out other possibilities, such as infant colic, so that appropriate measures can be taken to relieve your baby.