Calming the Colic: Tips to Help a Gassy Baby
Any mama who has had a crying baby (so, yeah, every mama) has had that terrifying moment of feeling like there is NOTHING at all you can do to get them to feel better. Not hungry, not sleepy, not cold, not hot, not not not, but still crying!
Well if this type of thing is going on for 3 hours a day, 3 days a week, for around 3 weeks, it may be more than just a noisy sad baby. Experts use this "rule of 3" to describe a baby with colic.
Colic is kind of a catch-all term for a baby that is more or less fussy or crying all the time for no apparent reason. The hard thing with colic is that it is hard to pin down a single reason for babe's discomfort, but, through research, experts have figured that one of the main common denominators is gas and tummy troubles.
Well, how do you know if you have a gassy baby a sane, out of her mind exhausted mama might ask, and there are a couple of things you can look for to help find out if that is what's causing your babe some trouble.
If your little one isn't having regular dirty diapers, it might be a sign that she's gassy and are having trouble going. Making sure that she's eating enough is the first step to making sure she'll have BMs every day. Sometimes giving baby a little water everyday helps too (always check with a doctor first before giving water to a baby).
If he hasn't pooped, you can also massage his belly in a downward motion to try and move things along. Putting babe on his back and pushing his legs up in butterfly/bicycle kick motions can help relieve gas and allow room for a bowel movement.
Another option that mamas use if their baby has been constipated for at least a day is suppositories. This is usually a little messy, and once inserted, you have to wait for the inevitable blow out, but they're effective! You can also work on relieving gas using the Fridababy Windi Baby Gas Catheter. You insert the tip into the bum, wait for the whistle to know it's releasing all that trapped air, and the BM comes almost immediately after.
No matter which way you choose to get things moving, if your babe is stopped up it can cause for a lot of discomfort, and a lot of tears (for everyone).
Tears After Eating
Another thing that will tell you if your baby is colicky due to their gas is if they start getting fussy immediately or shortly after eating. It's always important to burp little ones after you feed them to make sure you're getting rid of any trapped air, but for some babies they need a little more help. Another tip to making sure that baby isn't sucking down too much air while they eat is to burp in between sides (when nursing) or about half way through a bottle. Getting rid of that gas while they're still eating will make sure that they eat more and hopefully have less discomfort post-feeding.
Some mamas who are formula feeding with switch up from the standard formula to one more suited to sensitive tummies (worked great with my second). Or if you're pumping and bottle feeding, you might want to change up the type of bottle and nipple you're using.
If you have a babe prone to tears after eating, investing in some bottles like the Natursutten 4oz Glass Bottle 2-Pack, is going to make life better for everyone! They're designed to be anti-colic, and the nipple shape and flow are designed to make sure that baby doesn't get any air trapped in her belly while she's eating. The nipples have a double-valve which makes for a more even milk flow, and the rubber is free of harmful chemicals. These bottles will help to ensure that, at least while they're eating, you're doing everything you can to keep the bubbles at bay.