By Doula Jen
It can be one of the most frustrating aspects of new parenthood. Baby is fed, diapered, swaddled, cuddled, rocked, lullabied, and even burped. Yet they are still fussy, still grunting, still gassy. It happens. Sometimes baby is sensitive to changes in Mom’s milk; sometimes a change in formula shakes things up. Sometimes gas isn’t the only problem–other digestive issues are plaguing baby’s belly as well.
However severe, whatever the cause, here are some tips for sorting out a fussy infant with a gassy or stopped up tummy.
Burp Thoroughly and With Intention
This sounds intense! Not really. The idea is to burp after every feeding and to go for not just one, but sometimes two or three burps. How do you know when you’re done? Feel the back and belly and you can feel the air bubble. A soft belly means baby is no longer gassy. When you feel a tight and swollen area, work that area on the back…burping with intention. Get at the bubble you FEEL rather than just patting at random. Also try a firm, sliding massage up the back rather than the standard pat. Think of forcing the gas bubble up and out.
Walking with baby in a lightly bouncy way can often loosen a burp. Sitting with baby and moving gently on an exercise balance ball is also effective. Sometimes simply wearing baby in an upright carrier such as the Moby or mei tai can resolve gas with the natural rhythm of your daily chores.
Circular, repetitive massage of the abdomen and lower back can be a great help. Additionally, gentle massage of the arms and legs can soothe and relax baby, also helping to allow a release of pent up gas.
Pretty simple. Place baby on a safe, flat surface such as a favorite blanket on the floor. Gently bicycle the legs, smile, and sing. Help your baby dance! This is a fun bonding activity and also a way to ease out gas.