5 Ways to Cope With Infant Gas
Infant gas, or in medical terms, colic, appears in roughly one-third of infants and lasts roughly three months. It passes without medical treatment, but causes much suffering for the infant and their parents. Here are five strategies to help you cope with it:
1. Carrying in a cradling position
The cradling position reminds the infant of their time spent in the womb. Aside from being calming and integral in helping infants lay on their bellies for longer periods of time, it is also known to help release gas. To properly cradle, you must lift the infant so that they are balanced by your two hands; one hand beneath the back of their head and the other behind their knees. Keep them close to you body and their head & knees parallel to ones another. You can also use a soft, unstructured infant carrier to support your infant in the cradling position.
In this position, the infant’s back is curved, helping to relax the stomach and intestinal muscles, encouraging gas release.
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2. Infant Massage
Infant massage is an age-old tradition, passed down from generation to generation and even doctor-approved for helping calm infants, aid their development and strengthen their bond with their parents. To release gas, you can run a little bit of natural almond oil on the infant’s belly and gently massage in a clockwise, circular motion. In addition, you can lay your infant on their back, lift and bend their legs towards their belly and gently rotate them clockwise.
Of course, you should only massage with gentle care, ensuring your infant is enjoying the massage and not expressing any resistance or discomfort. Tipat Chalav (well baby check-up clinic) and private infant development centers run many infant massage courses. Why not try one?
Read more on infant massage
3. Gentle rocking
When your infant was in the womb, they enjoyed the constant rocking that mom’s walking brought on. As such, gentle rocking at a slow pace can calm infants and even put them to sleep during their first months of life. Proper rocking can be performed by cradling the infant in a carrier and going out for a short walka, or by lightly bouncing on a physio ball.
Rocking while standing in place is possible, but be sure that you are moving your legs and bending your knees - and that you are not rocking by moving your arms.
Read more on rocking to treat gas >>
4. Nutritional changes for nursing mothers
Many nursing mothers report that a change in their diet helped relieve their infant’s gas. It is important to mention that this method has not been scientifically proven and is a hot topic among dietitians. However, you can attempt to make some supervised dietary changes
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