Q: My son is three weeks old … he spits up more than my other babies combined, he also has a lot more loud gas, but he doesn’t fuss much … any ideas?
A: All babies have gas — some babies simply have more than others. While a certain amount of gassiness is completely normal, it may be causing your baby discomfort, if you notice tell-tale symptoms such as abdominal bloating, frequent burping, spit-ups, hiccups, flatulence and excessive fussiness or restlessness.
Gas in a newborn or infant can be due to several factors, not just one simple thing, since there are different ways that gas can get into babies’ digestive systems. Gas is produced in the digestive tract from the moment baby has his or her first drink of breast milk or formula. Newborn gas is a natural by-product of digesting lactose, proteins and other nutrients.
If your baby is generally happy and growing normally, any reflux is most likely GER, not GERD. You may want to try the following tips to minimize spitting up:
- Handle him gently and burp often.
- Try to keep him in an upright position during and after feedings. Nurse frequently. Smaller, more frequent feedings are easier to digest.
- If you have a large supply of breast milk, and your baby chokes or gags when the milk lets down, then spits up afterward, try offering only one breast per feeding.
- After feedings, try holding him upright for a half hour or let baby lie upright on your chest. You could also use a front carrier or baby sling or place baby in a crib or infant seat at a gentle angle
- Try to identify foods or vitamins in your (if you’re nursing) or baby’s diet that might be causing a reaction. Avoid foods that exacerbate reflux.
- You could also try my homeopathic medicine Colic Calm that can be very helpful in controlling reflux and the accompanying discomfort. Many natural health care practitioners are recommending it to parents with babies suffering from GER. By all means, speak with your pediatrician and try this natural homeopathic remedy before resorting to prescription pharmaceuticals.
Experiment with these suggestions, because what works for one baby may not work for another. Work closely and communicate with your baby’s health care providers, since treatment can require trying different options until you find what works for your particular baby.
If your baby has reflux, try to keep a positive attitude, and remember that in almost all cases, spitting up and GER occurs in healthy babies who just need a little more time to grow. Before you know it, your fussy baby will be a teenager with a driver’s license, and then you’ll really have something to worry about!
Q: Do you have any other suggestions for solving tummy troubles?
A: Gripe Water: Gripe water is an herbal or homeopathic remedy that has been used for more than a century as a remedy to treat infant gas. Our Colic Calm® formula is the only homeopathic gripe water on the market that is FDA-regulated homeopathic medicine. All other gripe waters are dietary supplements with sugar and sodium bicarbonate.
Probiotics: Probiotics are benevolent bacteria that aid the digestive process and support the immune system by protecting the body from harmful microbes ingested with food. Liquid probiotic formulas are available for children and several studies suggest that supplementing with a pediatric probiotic may help ease gastric problems, if administered over a period of several weeks.
Tummy Calm contains all-natural ingredients, each of which has a long history of safe use.Infant Massage can be helpful, and it is also a great way to bond with your baby.
If you’d like to learn more, Amazon has a great selection of books (click here to see) on infant massage. You can also check out an infant massage class in your area.