Gas is something which affects all human beings,
but it seems to be an especially large part of the lives of many infants and
newborns. Because the gastrointestinal system of babies is not fully prepared
for food of any kind, many infants experience side effects of milk, solids, or
formula. Infants may pull their legs to their chest and grunt until they are
red in the face for hours, trying to pass the gas which is causing them pain and as a parent, you may feel
helpless. However, there are some things that can be done to alleviate the
painful gas felt by some infants.
Both what the mother and infant consume can affect the child's digestive system, so paying close attention to the diets of both mother and child can act as a preventative measure against painful gas.
- Good! Breast milk was made just for babies and their stomachs can handle this better than anything else you could feed them.
- However, what the mother eats can have an effect on babies. Limit the dairy products such as milk, cheese, ice cream, and sour cream. The mother's milk is flavored and influenced by what she eats, so eating milk products will pass some lactose onto your child, whose tummy is unable to handle that as a newborn.
- Also limit
any spicy foods, unless it's specifically part of the mother's diet and she ate
that kind of food all throughout pregnancy. Major changes in the diet of the
mother can have a huge effect on the baby; anything the mom eats, the baby must
digest it as well.
- If possible (and it's not always possible), feed the child the mother's breast milk, as this was tailor-made for the baby and can be nearly 100% consumed by the infant's body with very little byproducts or waste.
- Yikes! You should stop that right away. The little tummies aren't made to handle solids, or anything that's not mommy's milk.
The Bicycle: Grab hold of your babies calves or lower legs and move the legs in a circular pumping motion toward the baby's chest, then away, with legs alternating. So when one leg is up near the child's chest, the other is extended in a natural position. Doing this for a red-faced, pushing baby may immediately cause them to feel better and smile at you, even if only temporarily. To see this exercise in action, please view the video below:
Then, put your hand on the upper left corner of the stomach, straight across from where it was for the previous stroke, and move across the top of the stomach, to the position of the previous stroke, then move straight down, mimicking the "I" stroke. This is the "L" in Love.
Now, place your hand on the bottom left part of your baby's stomach and move it straight upward, applying gentle pressure until you reach just below the ribs, where you started the previous stroke. From, there, you continue across and then down, just like the "L" stroke. What you just completed was the "U".
Continue doing this exercise several times to aid your baby's digestive system. For an example, see the video below:
Laying Child on Stomach: Sometimes the simple act of putting the baby on his or her stomach is enough to help lessen the pains of gas and help it come out. Nothing special needs to be done here, just don't leave the baby there too long, or he or she will begin fussing.