So in the wake of the recent Mylicon recall I wanted to focus on some easy, natural ways to help ease gas. Some of these methods can also be used to help colic and constipation as well. First realize that most babies will be gassy from time to time, it’s just a part of the maturing digestive tract and most will be able to manage gas more easily as it matures.
Still want some help?
1) Time: For most babies this will be the most effective treatment for gas. If you can’t determine a specific cause for the gas, you will just have to wait until baby’s digestive tract matures. Unfortunately this does not help you when you are dealing with an unhappy baby. Try to remember that it will pass eventually.
2) Infant Massage: I have been learning infant massage techniques with my baby girl. I never learned much with my boys, but know a great teacher now and have been lucky enough to benefit from her expertise. There are certain strokes you can do to ease baby’s discomfort. We have been using grapeseed oil for this. I invite you all to look for an infant massage class near you. I know many hospitals have classes. Or check your local library for a book. For more information check out www.infantmassageusa.org.
3) Carries: Carry your baby in the “football hold”, with baby’s head in the crook of your elbow; drape baby’s stomach along your forearm and grasp the diaper area firmly. The pressure on baby’s tummy will help relieve the discomfort.
Or try the “colic curl”, holding baby with his back against your chest and encircle your arms under his bum. Curl baby up with his head and neck resting against you.
Also the “neck nuzzle”, hold baby against your chest with her head snuggled up under your chin. Hum or sing to her while moving side to side. Dads can be great at this one. Their lower pitched voices can be very soothing.
4) Soothe: Rhythmic movement, soothing sounds, visual distractions, and close physical contact all might help soothe a fussy baby.
Soothing sounds can be a vacuum cleaner, bathroom fan, your singing, music, or white noise machines.
Visual distractions can be a mirror to look at themselves, silly or happy faces along with eye contact from you, lights, ceiling fans, other children, or pets.
Many of these soothing techniques can be and should be used in conjunction with close physical contact between you and baby, either being held or in some kind of baby carrier.
Please do not use star anise. It has been linked to serious neurological effects. Mint tea should also be avoided for baby and breastfeeding mothers. Be careful about any herbal treatments. Read labels. Talk to your doctor. Be informed about anything you or your baby ingests.