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Infants become restless and cranky when they develop gas bubbles in their tiny tummies. New mothers often spend sleepless nights trying to calm their babies. But parents can sail through these testing times smoothly if they equip themselves with tactics and techniques of relieving their baby of excessive gas. Let us first understand what infant gas is and what leads to its entry into your little one's belly.
What and why of infant gas
Gas is a natural byproduct that occurs while digesting both breast or formula milk, but the problem arises when it is produced in excess and baby is unable to push it through the digestive system. At such times, the gas gets locked up in the lower or upper intestines causing abdominal pain.
What are the other causes?
Mothers menu: Mother's diet is one of the factors that should be
looked into, if baby is often suffering from gaseousness. Nutritionists and
dieticians are of the opinion that dairy rich diet or diet high in acidic
substances and gas-producing items like legumes may cause gas in the infant
while it is fed on the mother's milk.
Swallowed air: Babies tend to swallow some amount of air while on
feed. The rate of suction becomes higher, if mother is experiencing excess
supply of milk that gushes down the baby's throat. Similar situation may also
arise with inappropriate nipples in bottle fed babies
Crying: Crying is perfectly normal for infants. But crying for long periods sometimes results in intake of air causing gas trouble.
How do we know that infant has developed gas? Parents may take a clue from the symptoms being exhibited like frequent burping, belching, flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, pain /cramps in the abdomen.
Infant gas relief
Baby's digestive system is not developed enough to produce all the required digestive enzymes to fight off those gas bubbles. They need your help.
Burping the baby after or in between the feeds works like magic in relieving gas.
If baby is being breast fed, mother should observe her diet carefully and eliminate the culprits one by one on a trial and error basis.
Reduce the quantityand increase the frequency. High amounts of milk at one sitting may cause indigestion and gassiness.
Consider changing the bottle's nipple if the current one is flowing too heavily in his/her mouth.
A warm bath, mild massage on tummy or gently moving
the baby's legs back and forth are some of the tried tested methods to
help baby relieve gas naturally.
Infant gas relief drops
If all else fails, infant gas relief drops may come to your rescue. They are sure to provide you and your baby much needed relief. These drops contain an active ngredient called simethicone.Simethicone unites the small bubbles into one huge bubble so that it is expelled easily at one shot. It is important to note that gas relief drops do not prevent gas from occurring, but only helps to release the gas as quickly as it entered. These gas drops are considered safe for infants because simethicone does not enter the blood stream and also there is no trace of alcohol in it.
These drops work as long as gas is not pushed down to the lower intestine. Simethicone only helps to push the gas that is taking rounds in the upper part of the digestive tract and has no effect on the gas in lower intestine.