Nothing is worse than that helpless feeling when you've got a baby that won't stop crying, and you've already tried everything you can think of to soothe them. For a lot of little babes, the problem's in the tummy, and that means the dreaded gassy tummy. While baby gas is every parent's nightmare, there are actually a few things we can do to help our little one's discomfort a little less to make sure we all smile (and sleep) a little more.
Feeding Positions and Burping
It's hard to know ahead of time whether or not your baby is going to struggle with gas consistently, but making sure you're feeding your babe the right way can go a long way to make sure you'll never have to deal with gassy babes.
When you're working with a newborn, it's important to know the signs for when they're getting hungry before they're shrieking from their imminent starvation! (Can you hear my eyes rolling?) If you see baby start to squirm, rub their face, or give you little whiny reminders, you should probably be prepared to sit and nurse/bottle feed babe. When feeding baby, make sure their head is higher than their tummy, and do your best to listen for long swallows. Once babe is eating, make sure you're burping them throughout.
This helps to make sure that your babe is eating as much as they can and to decrease the chance that they'll have little gas bubbles later on. While holding babe over your shoulder, or sitting them over your knee and burping them forward facing, make sure you hear a little belch before finishing the bottle or moving to the other breast.
Rubbing the Tummy/Bicycle Kicks
If you've got a babe that's dealing with some gas, you'll probably want to start by checking their tummy. Most babies with gas will have a hard tummy, and will cry or try to avoid you pushing down on it. Do your best to try and relieve some pain by rubbing the tummy from chest to bum on the right and left sides of their belly.
You can also turn them onto their tummy and rub their back in long strokes from bum to the back of their neck to try to get those gas bubbles to come up as burps. Another popular trick for getting babe to pass that gas is to lay them on their back and do some bicycle kicks with their chunky little legs. You can alternate one leg at a time, or push both up at once, but make sure to have the leg lightly bent at the knee and push it up towards the chest. The hope for any of these techniques is a toot or a belch, so just be ready for that.
Gas Drops or Rectal Relievers
If all else fails, and you've still got a babe with a tummy full of gas that refuses to budge, you'll probably be looking at what you can use to get it out. Gas drops are a great way to help relieve your baby's discomfort with little-to-no effort other than getting your little one to take some medicine. Gripe water is a very popular and natural alternative that is also known to reduce baby gas.
Another option is to work on the other end, and use a rectal gas reliever like the FridaBaby Windi. Yes this can seem like an invasion of your babe's privacy, but also time to experience something new because this thing gets the job done! Rub babe's tummy downward, then insert the tip of catheter into babe's bottom (you can use something like vaseline or coconut oil to make it a little easier), hold the Windi in place until you hear the whistle of that gas passing, then toss it in the trash. Also not a bad idea to have a diaper on hand in case things get a little more interesting.