Gas pain or colic is a common issue among infants during early infancy and all go through this phase between 1 to 6 months. The baby will experience cramps, acute abdominal pain of intestinal origin and accompanied by severe crying.
Formation of gas during the first 3-4 months of the baby occurs because the gut has not set its own rhythm. If a baby is breastfed and the mother ate food that produces gas such as onion, garlic and pulses, this can be passed through the breast milk and cause gas or colic in babies. Dietary care is very important on the part of the mother. Swallowing plenty of air while the baby is being breastfed can cause formation of gas.
Symptoms of gas and colic in babies
- Burping and belching is natural after feeding a baby. It is the way of the body to expel gas in the stomach, but if there is excessive burping and hiccups that lasts for long periods of time, it is a symptom of colic.
- Bloating in which the abdomen is swollen and tensed.
- The infant severely cries due to the painful cramps. The legs are drawn up on the abdomen and the crying is loud and continuous. Remember that crying is the only way the baby can communicate his/her problem.
- The baby spits after feeding, but when he/she spits often with no relation to feeding, it can be a symptom of excessive gas build up in the stomach and intestines.
- Colic is usually severe in the evening and crying is sharp and agonizing than normal crying while the face becomes red and flushed.
Causes of colic in infants
- Swallowing too much air while the baby is feeding due to the nipple on the bottle is too wide or the baby hurriedly sucks in air along with the milk.
- Foods that the mother has eaten are passed through the milk and the baby is sensitive to these foods such as cabbage, onion, cauliflower. Take note that these foods can cause colic.
- If the baby receives too much of foremilk which is the thinner milk with low fat content, it can cause gas formation.
Treatment and home remedies of colic in babies
- After feeding the baby, hold the baby upright and pat the back until the baby burps in order to expel excess gas the baby swallowed while feeding.
- When feeding, hold the baby in a position where the head and neck is positioned above his/her stomach.
- Gently massage the stomach of the baby in order to release the trapped air. This should be done after feeding the baby.
- Boil ½ teaspoon of anise seeds in two glasses of water and let it cool down. Give the baby 2-3 drops at least 2-3 times every day since this helps release gas.
- Boil a few leaves of basil in water and then allow it to cool. Provide the baby 2-3 drops since it helps relieves the spasms as well as promote better sleep.