Most babies suck in and swallow air as they eat (whether they eat from a breast or a bottle) which can cause gas bubbles to form in the baby's stomach. If these gas bubbles are allowed to pass through the stomach and into the gastrointestinal tract, they may cause painful bloating and discomfort. The best way to relieve the pain caused by gas is to help it find a way out, either through burping or by passing gas.
Does my baby have colic?
All babies cry, but sometimes a baby will cry for hours at a time, for what seems like no reason at all. This extreme type of crying in a baby between three weeks and three months of age may be due to colic. Doctors usually diagnose colic when a healthy baby experiences intense crying for more than three hours a day, at least three days a week, for at least three weeks in a row.
If your baby develops gas frequently, here are a few techniques you can try to keep him from swallowing so much air while he eats:
Change position: Hold your baby at about a 45-degree angle while you feed him so that gas will stay above the liquid and be more easily burped out.
Change bottles: If you feed your baby through a bottle, try one that is a different design or shape. Try switching bottles, nipples or both.
Burp frequently: Burp your baby halfway through feeding to prevent the buildup of gas bubbles.
Don't overfeed: Let your baby determine how much he needs to eat at any given time. Forcing him to eat more can lead to discomfort and gas.
Try these simple techniques first to alleviate gas. If after a few days, your baby is still bothered, talk to your health care provider about other ways to naturally relieve your baby's discomfort.