How To Deal With Infant Gas

All babies have episodes of gassiness or cramping.

Technically, colic occurs when your baby cries more than three hours a day, more than three days a week, for more than three weeks.

The definition is pretty arbitrary. We don’t usually know why these babies cry so much. This fussiness peaks around 4-8 weeks and fades with time. With no treatment your baby will stop crying as much. But these weeks can pass so slowly!

The crying is unpredictable, but does usually occur within the same few hours each day, usually in the evening. Babies often seem to be in pain, though we usually can’t figure out the source.

Parents often look to me to provide suggestions of how to soothe their fussy baby. I wish there was a one-size-fits-all solution for all fussy babies. If this were the case, someone out there would have a Nobel Peace Prize.

In fact, a systematic review published in the prestigious journal, Pediatrics, demonstrated that no individual complementary medicine treatment was consistently helpful at treating symptoms of colic. The reality is, there is nothing that works for everyone, but some tricks work for some children and other tricks work for others.

My favourite trick is using massage to decrease the back up of gas. Daily massage is also a great way to bond with your baby. Researchers are finding that massage may promote better sleeping, relieve colic, and perhaps even enhance an infant’s immune system, motor skills, and intellectual development.

Some parents swear by Ovol (Simethicone) or Gripe Water. Other parents tell me that probiotics provided some comfort to their baby.

There is no consistent evidence that shows these are effective, but they don’t seem to cause ill effect either. Try each one out and hope for some colic relief.

To Health! 

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About Dr. Dina Kulik MD, FRCPC, PEM

Dr. Dina Kulik completed her Pediatrics Residency and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children. Dr. Dina is one of Canada’s leading child health media experts, providing child health information through television, radio, print media, and via her blog Above all, Dina’s greatest joy is her family, and being the mom of four crazy boys.

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