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Baby Colic Relief

Colic Relief: How To Minimize Gas Baby Trouble

Breastfed babies usually don’t have as much gassiness as bottle-fed babies, however, any gas baby has from swallowing air while nursing can cause pain, fussiness and colic-like symptoms. If you are breastfeeding and your baby has problems latching on during nursing, or if your milk flow often causes your baby to choke, that could lead to gassiness and colicky symptoms.

To minimize the gas your baby has during breastfeeding, follow these tips:

  • Nurse from one side per feeding.

If you are producing too much milk, gassiness will often develop as the first milk expressed during a breastfeeding session has a different composition than that of milk that is expressed later during the same feeding. Alternating between each breast that (one at each feeding) will keep your milk production at a more reasonable level. It will also give baby a chance to get the nutrients that come from the hind milk.

  • Make sure that your baby has a proper latch.

If your baby often chokes, or suckles without getting any milk, he or she may be swallowing air. This can cause both gas pains and frustration, leading to more colic-like symptoms. Your baby should latch onto the areola and there should be good suction throughout the feeding. If necessary, change your positioning until you find one that is comfortable for you and also allows your baby to latch on easily.

  • Burp regularly.

Not just at the end of feedings. Just as with bottle-fed babies, breastfed babies should be burped in the middle of the feeding to reduce the gas baby has after the meal. If you don’t have a problem with overproduction and your baby latches on well, following this step may help to reduce gassiness caused when your baby swallows air during the feedings themselves.

  • Adjust your diet.

Foods you eat can contribute to your baby’s gassiness, so you may want to avoid eating things like broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts until your baby’s digestive system has had time to properly develop. If you suspect that your baby may have a milk allergy or another sensitivity, discuss it with your baby’s pediatrician and get a definitive diagnosis as soon as possible.

Remember, there is no “wrong” position in which to nurse, as long as your baby is held securely and you both are comfortable. You may find that your baby swallows less air if you nurse him while lying down on your side, or if you hold him on the same side – being nursed in a “football” hold. Some mothers like to recline and let the baby lay across the tummy; it’s very much a matter of preference.

Also, don’t be afraid to try a combination of techniques when seeking to reduce colic and gassiness. However, if you keep a written record of what you have tried, you can reduce frustration and confusion when it comes to your efforts.

Be patient and allow time for the techniques to work – don’t dismiss any technique as ineffective just because it doesn’t seem to work on the first night. Many digestive improvements can take several days to a week or more. Gassiness in newborn babies is unavoidable as their digestive systems develop, but if you follow these tips, you can reduce the gassiness and potentially minimize the colicky symptoms as well.

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