Your little one’s gas pains can be cause for distress for your entire family. Not only is your baby uncomfortable and unable to communicate their needs, but parents may feel frustrated and confused when attempting to remedy the situation.

Remedies for Your Baby’s Gas

Newborns rely on their parents for everything, and that includes gas relief. While older kids and babies might be able to handle an uncomfortable gas pain on their own, infants may need extra help. Additionally, some babies are simply gassier than others as their bodily functions develop. While not every baby needs additional assistance, it’s up to parents and caregivers to help their babies relieve any discomfort due to gas pain.

Recognizing Signs of Gas in Babies

A baby who is showing discomfort because of gas is asking for help from their caretakers and parents. However, recognizing the signs of gas might be tricky at first, especially for new parents. At first glance, a gassy baby might appear to be hungry or tired or simply fussy. If your little one has some built-up gas, you might notice these physical signs: 1,4

  • Pulling their legs up to their chest for physical relief
  • Being extra fussy
  • Scrunching up their face
  • Being extra squirmy

While some babies will need help relieving gas for the entire first year of their lives, most babies will need help for their first four months.1

How to Help a Gassy Baby

When your baby is fussy and uncomfortable due to gas, there are a few tricks that parents can try to help their little one find relief:

  • Bicycle Legs. One way to help a gassy baby is to lay them on their backs and move their legs as though they’re pedaling a bicycle1,4. These gentle, circular motions can help bring relief and stimulate their digestive system. Another option is to hold your baby’s legs together with their feet in your hands1,2. Gently bend their legs at the knee and press their knees to their bellies. Be warned that this method may also be effective for getting the bowels moving.
  • Tummy Time. Putting your baby down for some supervised tummy time may be an effective method for adding some gentle pressure on abdominal gas buildup and helping force it out2. Tummy time can also help your little one strengthen their upper body!3
  • Identify Problem Foods. If you’re breastfeeding your baby, you may find a particular food “gas inducing” for your baby3. Keep a journal of what you eat and take note of when your baby is extra gassy. You may want to try cutting out foods to help with your baby’s gas and fussiness.
  • Change Bottles. The type of bottle your baby drinks from might be causing gas buildup. Consider swapping in baby bottles that are specifically created to keep babies from swallowing extra air while drinking3. They tend to be vented or allow the baby to drink at a certain angle, so it may take some trial and error to find the type of bottle that works best for you and your baby.
  • Change the Flow. You may need to change the nipple on the bottle to adjust the flow of milk or formula3. Some great bottle-feeding tips include making sure your baby has a good latch on the nipple and ensuring that the nipple is filled with milk so that your infant isn’t swallowing any visible air bubbles.2
  • Change Formula Preparation. When your baby is very young, you may want to consider using ready-to-drink formula or allow time for freshly mixed powdered formula to settle before feeding3. Mixing and shaking formula causes air bubbles to build up in what your baby drinks, resulting in more swallowed air and gas3.
  • Change Formula. If you’re afraid that the type of formula that your baby is drinking is causing them gas, talk to your pediatrician about making a formula switch and finding a formula that works for your baby.
  • Burp During Feeding. One of the most helpful ways to prevent gas buildup in your infant is to burp them during and after feedings2,4. While your baby might be irritated about having to take a break during lunch, it’s worth it to prevent excess gas from sitting in their tummies and digestive tracts2. Burp when you switch breasts if you breastfeed, and burp after every 2-3 ounces of a bottle2.
  • Talk to Your Doctor. If you’ve noticed that your baby’s gas is excessive and is truly making them uncomfortable, talk to your child’s doctor about potential allergies and digestive issues.

For new parents, it can be incredibly stressful when a baby is crying from gas pains, but thankfully, there are ways to help your baby find relief and soothe their tummy troubles.