Breastfeeding Basics: How Do I Help My Little one Ease Gassiness?
3 minutes read
Dr. Deena Blanchard
Our Pediatrician answers your questions about common culprits, and what to do.
One of the hardest parts in the early weeks of parenting is when your little one seems to be uncomfortable. Parents often wonder if baby’s tummy is upset, or if something they are eating is causing increased gas or pain. While anecdotally some mothers who breastfeed notice that certain foods make their little one more gassy, research has found that for most babies, there is no specific food that will increase gassiness.
Gas is a quite common in babies, especially in the first few months while your baby’s digestive system is still maturing. Gas bubbles can create uncomfortable pressure that your little one has trouble relieving on their own. If baby is experiencing fussiness or pain you suspect may be due to gas, talk with your pediatrician. In addition, the below tips can help!
The idea that what a mother eats when breastfeeding can cause gas in her infant is certainly talked about a lot- and it’s one of the top questions I get asked in my practice.
Look for patterns
If you’re nursing, and notice that including certain foods in your diet causes your baby to seem gassier or that he or she seems to cry more, it is okay to try and cut out that food and watch for improvement. While there isn’t a lot of clear evidence on the topic, some moms report that certain foods (such as cruciferous veggies or daiy, for instance) cause their baby to be gassy in the 24 hours following.
Keep a food diary
Jotting down what you eat and watching for symptoms can be helpful in determining if in fact a specific food is making your little one more uncomfortable.
Eliminate common culprits
Constipation can be a source of gassiness, as can excessive crying (which can result in your baby swallowing extra air).
Slow the flow
When bottle feeding, position the bottle at an angle rather than straight up and down so the milk only comes out when your baby sucks. Using a slow flow nipple and decreasing air bubbles in the formula preparation can be helpful. Make sure your nipple is for the right age and stage of your little one (as they vary in sizes). It is also important to always mix formula as directed. Burping midway through feedings and at the end of feedings can help reduce gassiness as well.
Find the right formula fit
Some babies may have a food intolerance or allergy to a specific ingredient in formula. Talk with your pediatrician to see if your little one may benefit from switching formula type. For babies with more sensitive tummies, a partially broken down formula such as Earth’s Best Organic® Gentle Formula can help decrease gas.
Consider a lactation consultant
If this still doesn’t seem to change anything, consider contacting a lactation consultant. Your milk flow or breast positioning during nursing could be a cause as well (an incorrect latch can increase the amount of air your baby swallows during nursing).
Be patient…as baby may grow out of it
Babies have immature gastrointestinal systems, and this can sometimes contribute to gassiness. In general, after around thirteen weeks of age, infant digestion tends to mature and overall gassiness will decrease. You may find that around that time you will see improvement in gas as part of normal developmental maturation.
This is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical advice. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please always discuss any health and feeding concerns directly with your pediatrician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read above.