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3wk baby screaming with gas....help!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
My baby is 3 weeks old tomorrow and just in the past two days she has started freaking out a little while after eating. She screams and writhes for a couple minutes, then settles and sleeps, then wakes and screams, then settles and sleeps (with me walking her to sleep each time, of course). I can feel her farting through her diaper, so I figure it must be gas.

She's not my bio baby, so she's formula fed. I have begun watering down her formula some to prevent constipation and it helped for about 12 to 24 hours, then the screaming began again.

Is it possible she's reacting to the formula? Does anyone know of a recipe for homemade, natural formula? I have no idea if that exists, but I'm not crazy about giving my baby formula with wheat, dairy and soy products in it. Does an alternative exist?

She's my first baby and I have no idea what I'm dealing with here. Can anyone give me advice?
post #2 of 12
Oh gosh, that sounds hard. greensad.gif I wouldn't water down the formula without checking with your doctor first, just in case your little one needs the calories. I would check with your ped to see if they have any advice; there are lots of different kinds of formulas, but it could also be something else like the iron content or something bothering her.

You might also want to review this page on the best way to bottle-feed a baby, as it can help prevent overfeeding, swallowing too much air, etc.: http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/feeding-tools/bottle-feeding/
post #3 of 12
Sorry--crazy phone.
Edited by pammysue - 7/2/12 at 4:47pm
post #4 of 12

I agree with the other posters that formula should always be made precisely according to the directions in order to meet your baby's nutritional needs.


Have you tried some of the basics?  We found that bicycling our babies' legs after they ate was very helpful in terms of addressing gas. We also found that pushing the baby's knees gently up to her chest was a good position to relieve gas (also helpful for passing stool). 


Dr. Brown's brand bottles were best for our babies in terms of reducing the amount of air they were getting when sucking on the nipple of the bottle. 


I would also suggest that you make sure the baby is fairly upright when you are feeding it.  No bottles while the baby is lying down flat on its back.


It is possible that another formula wouild assist with your baby's gas, but I think that any changing of formula should be done under the advice and supervision of your pediatrician. 

post #5 of 12
Please stop watering down her formula right away! She needs all the calories and nutrients in full strength formula to grow and be healthy. Watered down formula is very dangerous and can lead to failure to thrive, especially in one so little.

It sounds like a frustrating time for both of you, but you should know gas in newborns and young infants is not unusual even for breastfed babies. You may need to try a bunch of things before you figure out the right thing for her. One thing to try is putting pressure on her tummy. Some ways to do that is to carry her face down with the heel of your hand on her tummy, fingers supporting her head and legs draped over your arm, carry her in arms or in a carrier with her knees pushing on her tummy, lat her lay on her tummy flat or with her belly across a boppy or rolled hand towel or your leg (STAY with her all the time if shes on her tummy!)

As the PP suggested a formula with less iron may help or you can try gas drops.

You should also check out The Happiest Baby on the Block. You can get the book or DVD from your library.
post #6 of 12

Also -- just thought of something else we did.  We kept our babies on the slowest flow nipples (I think it was the preemie variety) we could find until they were about 6 months.  Anything else and we felt they were really gulping to keep up with the flow which seemed to increase gassiness.

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Great advice all! Thank you. Jemma does seem to be responding really well to being on her belly, either on my thigh when I'm sitting or on my arm when I'm standing, when she's dealing with the gas. I think the idea of moving her legs is interesting too, I'll try that.

The reason I've watered down her formula a little is because I'm in Africa, where formula is made much thicker. Thisis because most formula fed babies here are in situations with lack of access to clean water and /or a malnourishment situation. Since these don't apply to me, I've been making hers a little thinner, but it's good to knowthat this is better avoided.

Sometimes she responds well to skin-to-skin as well,, when her tummy is hurting. Interesting. Or maybe she just finds it comforting. I try to do this with her for several hours a day regardless, for the sake of our bonding, but it seems it settle her when she has gas also, at least some of the time.

Thanks again everyone for the great tips. It's a relief to have some ideas for addressing this.
post #8 of 12
Sorry you and your babe are having a difficult time!

I second the Happiest Baby on the Block book for tips on calming a fussy baby. At that age, they often just have immature guts & the gassy-stage will eventually pass. We had the same thing happen with DS3 at about 3 weeks. We tried the pressure on tummy, bicycling legs, lots of burping ... He was still fussy and grunty so when we saw a product called the Windi at the baby store we bought it. It sounds awful at first - its basically a soft tube you insert rectally and it makes baby fart. We were desperate. It got great reviews online. And amazingly it worked! We only used it a few times and now DS3 is 7 weeks old and doesn't seem gassy like he used to. I think as he got bigger his gut was able to handle feedings better.

He also sleeps on his tummy now and is much more comfortable. He is breast fed, but when I pump and DH bottle feeds, upright position helps a lot.

Good luck!
post #9 of 12

Don't know what your formula options are, but you might want to try switching to something formulated for gassy babies.  Also, watered down chamomile tea, or fennel tea helps a bit with gas.  Don't know if you can get "gas drops", but those work pretty good. 

post #10 of 12

I KNOW THE PERFECT OLD HOME REMEDY FOR GAS!! :D   Boil a teaspoon of Anise (It has a licorice-like taste) then strain it, and pour it into your baby's bottle to drink.  This is a very poplular old remedy to cure Gas!  

post #11 of 12

I think a lot of people just panic and think it's not normal or something, when in most cases it is just baby getting used to the world! I doubted everything until we got more of a "routine" and I kind of got my head around things (and had time to research a lot more). IMO it takes about that first 6 weeks for a baby to get used to being out of the womb, and even that whole first 3 months to get over being a "newborn." Look up baby massage on youtube, I agree with the massage and leg pumping and other physical methods mentioned above :) I am not sure about feeding a baby under 6 months anything but if using formula I would likely reconsider as you don't have the whole virgin gut thing.

post #12 of 12

My DS went through a similar thing, where he would cry after eating and pass a lot of gas.  I was breastfeeding and had a very active let-down and fast flow, which was making him gulp and take in too much air, and then causing cramps.  A doctor we had seen about this told me to give him Ovol before a feed, which is an over-the-counter that works to combat the gas.  Also, DS had a little bit of reflux, so I was told to keep him upright for 30 mins after a feed.  The reflux ended up resolving after he got a few weeks older. 

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