One of the toughest challenges of being a parent to a newborn is figuring out why our baby is crying. Sometimes we feed them, change them, and distract them, and they still continue to cry. There are very few things more stressful for a parent than being unable to soothe our baby. Gas pains can be a common culprit for our baby’s fussiness. Many parents look for over the counter medications to ease their babies discomfort. However, it can be difficult to determine what medications are effective, but also safe for our newborn. Today, I am going address the common questions I get from my patient’s parents about newborn and infant gas pains, and the differences between the remedies we use to treat the discomfort.
How to help a gassy baby: Gas drops of Gripe Water
Why is my baby gassy? All babies have some gas, however, the amount of gas and the discomfort can vary between newborns. There are several different reasons why a baby can develop gas. Many times it has to do with air being brought into the stomach, which happens when a baby cries or drinks bubbles from a bottle. This air can get trapped in the stomach and cause discomfort. In addition, a newborn’s digestive tract is not fully developed, which can lead to gassiness and indigestion. Some moms that breastfeed find that eating certain foods such as beans, cauliflower, or broccoli can cause their baby to become fussy. If you notice your baby reacts differently based upon the foods you eat, it is helpful to keep track of what your eating and how your baby is reacting so that you can discuss it with your pediatrician.
What can I do to prevent my baby from getting gas? Although there is no absolute way to prevent your baby from getting gas, there are things you can to do to decrease the chances. It is important to make sure that if you are using a bottle, the nipple allows for the right air flow. Drinking milk too fast or even too slow can lead to gas bubbles. If you have a newborn suffering with gas, it is important to invest in products that help prevent or eliminate gas. Dr. Brown’s is my favorite line of bottles! Their bottles have an internal system that routes the air through vents within the bottle, bypassing the milk. This helps reduces air bubble oxidation, preventing gas, and maintaining the vitamins in the milk. When feeding your newborn, it is important to sit them up, so that their head is above their stomach. This will not only help with gas but reflux as well. Finally, know your baby’s feeding schedule and try to have your gas remedy ready ahead of time. Remember, crying can lead to air being swallowed and trapped in the stomach. We want to prevent crying, especially when our baby is about to eat.
Is there anything I can do to help with my baby’s gas pains, without having to use medicine? Yes! Burping your baby is going to be one of the most effective ways to alleviate gas. I always recommend that babies are kept upright for at least 30 minutes after feeding to help combat gas and reflux. If you find your baby is extremely fussy, try a warm bath and light belly massage to help break up the gas bubbles. You can also try laying your baby on their back and moving their legs in a bicycling motion. Even tummy time is helpful to get rid of gas.
Comparing Gas Drops and Gripe Water
What is the difference between gripe water and Mylicon and which one do you recommend? For many parents over-the-counter remedies can be a life saver when it comes to alleviating their newborn’s gas pains. However, it can be difficult to know which remedy to choose, and which are the safest for your newborn. I get a lot of questions about the difference between gripe water and Mylicon Gas Drops. Mylicon Gas Drops are an FDA approved medication, whereas gripe water is considered a natural herbal remedy. Mylicon’s active ingredient is a medicine called simethicone, which works by breaking down the surface of gas bubbles. This helps the baby’s natural process of getting rid of the gas. Mylicon Gas Drops have been studied and approved by the FDA and deemed safe for use with newborns and infants of all ages. Gripe water is a herbal remedy that contains sodium bicarbonate and herbs. Most brands of gripe water contain sodium bicarbonate combined with a variety of different herbs such as fennel, ginger, chamomile, cardamom, licorice, cinnamon, clove, dill, lemon balm or peppermint. It is important to note that gripe water has not been approved by the FDA to treat gas, and the Posion Control Center advises against the use of herbal supplementation in infants. It is important to note that the ingredients in gripe water can be absorbed into the bloodstream and on rare occasions can cause allergic reactions. Most importantly, please discuss a treatment plan with your pediatrician if your baby is suffering from gas pains.
We all dream of having a peaceful sleeping newborn, but the reality is that they can be temperamental and fussy. I hope these tips help you with your journey. Remember we are always here to help. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments or email us directly.
*This post is sponsored by but all opinions are of my own*