If you’re a first time mom, the picture that you may have in your mind of your baby is one similar to those cute ads on TV. Although there will be plenty of times when your son or daughter would be giving you little smiles to melt your heart or giggles that you just can’t resist, there will be unexplainable bouts of crying as well. You would also have to deal with other conditions like gas in baby or colic episodes, and this is something that you need to prepare for and learn about as a parent.
Colic and Gas in Infants: The Basics
Let’s take colic and gas in infants as an example. First, there’s gas in baby that you would have to deal with many times over. The number one thing that you need to remember for this is that all babies have gas. Considering their tiny bodies, however, most first time parents are surprised at how much gas in infants is actually present.
Some of the symptoms of gas in baby include crying, bloating, cramps, burping and flatulence. Its main causes are the air swallowed while feeding, and the normal breakdown of food that’s not digested well. In the next section, we will learn about how parents can better deal with gas in baby.
Now, what about colic which is another common condition for infants? In layman’s terms, colic is having a baby go through uncontrollable bouts of crying for no known reason. First time parents may be frazzled once they see that their baby is not hungry, wet or tired – but cannot seem to stop crying.
Typically, colic episodes occur during the late afternoon and gets worse as the evening progresses. There are other cases when the bouts of crying would persist all day. This can be caused by colic or gas in baby, and there is a way for you to check if it’s the latter:
- It is normal for babies to have a round belly which sticks out a bit. To determine if your baby has gas, lightly touch the protrusion to determine if it is firmer than usual. If it is, this means that gas is trapped in there and gas is what’s causing your baby to cry.
What if colic is the cause of the problem? If your baby is crying for no apparent reason, is in a tight posture which alternates with a quick extension of the spine, and has an appearance of being in pain, it could be colic. First time parents need to understand that a total change in environment could be intimidating for your newborn. For the past nine months, the infant is inside the mother’s uterus where it’s utterly safe.
But once the baby is welcomed into the world, he or she would have to encounter different smells, sounds, sights and sensations which are a bit difficult for them to adjust to. Other causes of colic includes excess air in the baby’s stomach, and the mother consuming food items which cause gas to form on the baby if she’s breastfeeding.
Learn How to Deal with Gas & Colic
After learning about colic and gas in infants, how are you supposed to deal with it or prevent it from happening in the first place? Take a look at the following tips:
- For nursing moms, make sure to avoid food items which are too rich and fiber and may cause excessive gas for your baby. Sweet potatoes, eggs, lean cuts of beef, fish and turkey are best for nursing moms who would also like to prevent colic and gas from affecting the baby.
- Make sure to include regular burping in your baby’s daily routine. Feed the infant for one minute then burp your baby. Do not hold the bottle or your breast in the baby’s mouth again until an adult-sized burp has been produced.
- There might be a need for you to rush through the feeding process of your baby if you have somewhere to be, but do not skip the burping process if you would not like your child to have bouts of colic.
- Whether you are breastfeeding or giving formula to your baby, make sure to place the baby’s head in a higher position than the stomach. This way, milk will sink to the bottom of the stomach before the air goes on top, making it easier to burp the baby later on.
Learning to deal with gas, colic and similar conditions will be second nature as you grow into the role of becoming a parent. As long as you have your baby’s health in mind, you should be able to handle such situations without getting frazzled.