Because your baby’s digestive system is still immature – and probably a bit overburdened by frequent feeds – a little gas is inevitable. It’s usually manageable, but it can occasionally become painful. Fortunately, there are several ways to soothe sore tummies.
Try a probiotic
In recent years, probiotics have come to be recognised as health heroes. Just a few drops each day can help improve digestion by balancing the bacteria in the gut (for adults and children) – plus, they’re said to be useful in treating diarrhoea, boosting the immune system and treating eczema.
Massage and manipulation
Massage holds a host of benefits for your baby. If you’re specifically targeting indigestion, try rubbing your baby’s tummy gently, yet firmly, in a clockwise direction. Bicycling your baby’s legs may also help to shift gas – pump them towards and away from your baby’s tummy.
If it seems like your little one is going to drift off during a feed, try to burp her first. Find a method that works best for your baby (either propping her up on your knee with her head held firmly in one hand while rubbing her back firmly with the other, or rubbing gently while she’s lying face-down on your lap). Remember, this can be a lengthy process.
Change your bottle
Ensure that you’re holding the bottle in a way that prevents air coming through the teat. If that doesn’t help, shop around until you find a teat that has a slow flow. It’s also possible that your baby can’t tolerate the milk protein in formula very well. Again, you’ll have to go through a process of trial and error until you find one that causes less irritation.
Change your diet
Your baby is actually unlikely to respond to foods in your diet if you’re breastfeeding. That said, if she’s allergic to milk proteins in cow’s milk, she may experience a reaction if you consume a lot of dairy. Consider cutting down, and monitor her condition to see if this makes a difference.