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Newborn and Infant Care

Gas

01/04/2000

Question:

my baby is a month old he gets gas an hour afterhis feeding. what can we do to help it?

Answer:

Many newborn infants develop problems with gas after feeding. Typically, "gas" is caused by excessive swallowing of air during feeding or through crying before feeding. Although there are no 100% effective methods to prevent swallowing air, there are some ways that you can minimize the amount of swallowed air and thus, reduce the amount of gas pain. These measures include minimizing the time the baby cries before a feeding; giving small volumes of milk or formula at one time in conjunction with frequent burping, and experimenting with different types of nipples for bottle feeding to find one that best matches your baby`s sucking efforts. Since your baby has a problem with gas, burping should be done after every feeding to assist in eliminating excessive swallowed air. Burping is done by positioning the baby on the shoulder or across the lap and GENTLY patting or rubbing the back until the baby burps. Too-vigorous patting or rubbing does not yield better results and may actually be painful!

If the baby is being breast-fed, gas formation could be related to maternal ingestion of a gas-forming food; thus paying attention to the mother`s diet and eliminating offending foods may be helpful.

If these measures are not effective, it is important that you discuss this problem with your baby`s health care provider, so that other problems that could cause the signs of gas be ruled out. Other problems that could cause these signs include colic, lactose intolerance, or other gastrointestinal tract disorders.

It may be helpful to keep a log of feeding times and volumes, and the timing, intensity, and duration of the gas pains. If the mom is breastfeeding, keeping a dietary intake record in conjunction with the feeding log may also be useful. This information may be useful to help your health care provider determine the cause of the pain and assist you in developing a plan to minimize or prevent the distress.

Be reassured however, that in the majority of cases, the simple measures outlined above will eliminate or reduce the severity of the gas problem.

For more information:

Go to the Newborn and Infant Care health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Judy Wright Lott, RNC, NNP, DSN
Associate Professor of Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati