Alternatives To Gripe Water For Babies
Unfortunately, baby cant verbalize what plagues them during bouts of discomfortif their belly hurts or theyre experiencing gas pains, youre left guessing. It can be difficult for parents to distinguish normal cries of hunger from those of distress, but process of elimination can help your detective work. Eventually, you might decide that its time to try gripe water. However, if youre not quite ready to go that route , there are some gripe water alternatives to consider. Here are a few ways to soothe baby and potentially alleviate tummy troubles without turning to gripe water for babies.
Bicycle babys legs. Garcia suggests laying baby on their back and gently pumping their legs to help expel trapped gas and mollify pesky tummy pains.
Offer gentle compression. Applying some light pressure to babys belly can help work out gas bubbles and provide comfort. Try holding baby tummy-down with your arm supporting their abdomen, or lay baby tummy-down across your knees and rub their back. Similarly, you can lay baby down on their back and gently massage their belly in a circular motion.
Try a new bottle. Its possible that your bottle could be the source of discomfort. When baby gulps milk, they can also swallow air, which can lead to gas bubbles. A bottle with a vent or valve system can cut down on excessive air consumption. Also if baby seems to be chugging too quickly, Garcia recommends trying a nipple with a slower flow.
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Nordic Naturals Babys Nordic Flora Probiotic Powder
Why its great: This one is the least expensive and it comes in powder packets that are easy to use. Each packet is the correct dosage, so you dont have to worry about measuring out the right amount. It has 4 billion CFU and contains 2 strains of probiotics that are proven to help with digestive health. This probiotic is also completely odorless and tasteless, which means its also easier to get your child to take it.You get 30 doses with this box and it is best for babies and toddlers 6 months to 3 years old.
Keep in mind: This one is for 6 months and up, so youll need to find something else to use for newborns.
Good for: Parents that want a good quality probiotic on a budget.
How We Chose The Best Baby Probiotics
To choose the best baby probiotic, we used the above guidance from Dr. Ferry to start our search. We looked for probiotics that had lactobacillus and/or bifidobacterium, which Dr. Ferry says are the two most common probiotic strains . We also researched which options were recommended the most by What to Expect community members and our contributing writer staff. We also made sure each probiotic had high reviews from other reviewers who tried them online.
Below, the best baby probiotics to ask your pediatrician about.
See registry advice and a custom baby gear checklist
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Challenges To Implementation: Parents Will Need To Purchase The Probiotics
As with any nonFDA-regulated product, it will be important to guide patients toward reputable manufacturers to ensure homogeneity of dosing. A 29-day supply of BioGaia probiotic drops , which costs $37 according to the manufacturers Web site, , should be affordable for most parents. Otherwise, little stands in the way of using this therapy to reduce the crying and subsequent stress associated with infant colic.
Oversupply: Leading To Fore/hindmilk Imbalance & Increased Gassiness
If youre breastfeeding and have a lot of milk your baby might not be getting the right balance of fore- and hindmilk.
The milk at the start of the feed is high in lactose and low in fats. As the breast empties, the lactose content decreases and fat content increases. So the milk towards the end of the feed is low in lactose and high in fat.
If youre producing lots of milk, your baby may not reach the hindmilk. Or, you may end up switching to the other breast before completely emptying the first.
As a result, baby ingests too much lactose and not enough fats. So:
- Less fat in the diet means baby is likely to be less satisfied after a feed fat digestion is slower, keeping baby fuller for longer
- Too much lactose means some will be left undigested and instead ferments in the gut.this fermentation means more gas and therefore more gas pains for your baby
Watery stools that are often green are also a sign of fore/hindmilk imbalance in gassy babies.
For more details on foremilk, hindmilk and other essential breastfeeding information this post should help: Your Essential Guide To Newborn Breastfeeding: A Must Read To Start It Right
HOW TO HELP YOUR GASSY BABY
IN A NUTSHELL
Ensure breast is empty before switching to the other side.
HOW TO DO IT
When breasts are completely empty they should feel very soft and you will be unable to squeeze any more milk out by hand.
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Does Gripe Water Cause Any Side Effects
Gripe water side effects are not common, but in rare circumstances babies under one month may experience vomiting, Fisher says. You should also watch for any possible indications of an allergy to gripe water for babies, including diarrhea, hives and itchy skin. If you notice any of these symptoms after giving baby gripe water, call your pediatrician. Of course, any sign of anaphylaxis, such as swelling of the lips or tongue and difficulty swallowing or breathing, warrants immediate medical attention.
Generally speaking, you should avoid giving baby large quantities of any medicine, including gripe water. While there are very few commonly reported side effects, infants can get used to a sweet taste and may temporarily reject breastmilk or formula, Woods cautions. Before trying any gripe water for your infant, its a good idea to consult babys pediatrician.
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When Should I Be Worried About My Babys Gas Pain
If your baby is showing any of the following symptoms, something besides gas may be causing your babys painReust CE, Williams A. Acute Abdominal Pain in Children. Am Fam Physician. 2016 93:830-836. . Call your pediatricians office for advice.
- Lengthy periods of inconsolable crying
- Bouts of inconsolable crying most days of the week
- Blood in babys stool
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Mommys Bliss Baby Probiotic Drops Gas Constipation
These probiotic drops work as gas dropsrelieve colic, constipation, and gas by just having 5 drops daily. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that occur naturally in the body, and when taken as a supplement, they offer a variety of health benefits.
Mixed these drops into breast milk or formula, or you can apply them to the breast during feeding. But make sure not to add these drops to the hot formula as they might damage the live bacteria. The maximum storage temperature is 77 degrees F. Its important to refrigerate the product after opening to maximize its life.
- Mommys Bliss probiotics drops are pediatricians recommended for promoting digestive health in infants and children.
- The microencapsulation process protects the probiotic cells, ensuring that they make it to the gut without losing any effectiveness.
Should You Give Your Child Probiotics
Parents might assume that even if probiotics don’t help, they aren’t likely to be harmful. The American Academy of Family Physicians states that probiotics do appear to be safe for healthy children.
However, there are many types and strains of probiotics to choose from, and the dosages can vary widely between supplements. It can be hard to figure out how much to take as well as how often to take them.
Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding whether to give your kids probiotic supplements:
- They are not regulated by the FDA, making it virtually impossible to know if the label accurately describes what is in the products.
- Although probiotics appear to be an effective treatment for the conditions listed above , there is much we still don’t know about which strains and dosages are the most effective.
- There is no proven benefit to giving healthy kids probiotics regularly, and they are not approved bythe FDA as a treatment for any specific disease or condition, according to the AAFP.
- Gas and bloating are the most common side effects of probiotic supplements. While not harmful, these side effects can be uncomfortable.
A healthy and safe choice is to give your child a serving of yogurt daily or include other probiotic-rich foods in your family’s meals. Look for a statement on the label that the food contains “live and active cultures.” These foods will provide good bacteria to support a healthy immune system without the risk of side effects.
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Probiotics May Help Combat Colic But Evidence Mixed
By Andrew M. Seaman, Reuters Health
4 Min Read
NEW YORK – Giving babies good bacteria may help ease incessant fussing and crying, says a fresh look at past studies.
But researchers say its too soon to recommend the bacteria, known as probiotics, for colicky babies.
There is some promise in probiotics, but we need further research to clarify it, said Dr. Valerie Sung. She led the study at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and Royal Childrens Hospital in Melbourne, Australia.
So unfortunately parents shouldnt just jump and get probiotics for their crying babies, Sung, who is also affiliated with the University of Melbourne, told Reuters Health.
About one in five babies younger than three months is affected by colic, write Sung and her colleagues in JAMA Pediatrics.
Colic is thought to put babies at risk of child abuse. When it persists in older babies, it is also tied with later mental health problems and allergies.
Although colic is a common problem, there are no known treatments other than checking babies for underlying medical conditions and supporting families, Sung said.
Some studies have found differences between the bacteria living in the stomachs of colicky and non-colicky babies. They suggested those differences could cause gas, bloating and discomfort.
So researchers have wondered whether giving babies probiotics and changing the balance of bacteria in their stomachs could relieve those symptoms and the excessive crying that may come with them.
Formula And Gassiness: Do Formula Fed Babies Fart More
In addition to gassy foods, some babies may react if they have food sensitivities. This includes food sensitivities in a breastfed mothers diet or food sensitivities in a baby formula. For example, a baby who has dairy sensitivities may react to formulas that contain dairy. If you think your gassy baby is reacting to his formula, consider trying a new formula. Check out this post for more information regarding the best baby formula.
Youll know that your baby tolerates the new formula if hes less gassy during feedings, less back arching after meals, and less spit up.
In addition to food sensitivities, bottle-fed babies may fart more since they tend to swallow more air while drinking. You can combat this by using slow-flow bottle nipples, feeding baby at a 45-degree angle, and holding the bottle so that milk is always in the nipple.
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Poor Latch Can Result In A Gassy Baby
Signs of a poor latch include:
- Painful nipples baby latching right at the end of the nipple
- Limited swallowing sounds as baby is not sucking efficiently
- Tongue not visible when you pull the bottom lip down
As a result, baby takes in much more air than necessary. Gassy baby alert.
HOW TO HELP YOUR GASSY BABY
IN A NUTSHELL
Ensure a good latch, seek help from a location consultant if necessary.
HOW TO DO IT
If your baby has a good latch you should notice the following:
- Your baby has a good chunk of nipple in his or her mouth
- You can hear swallowing
- You can see your babys tongue when you pull the bottom lip down.
Hopefully, someone at the hospital will have helped you get the basics. If not this video has a great demo on how to achieve a good latch.
Theres a whole profession dedicated to helping mamas breastfeed because many, many moms find it tricky.
Go seek out your nearest lactation consultant.
How To Buy Baby The Best Baby Probiotics
To help you shop for specific baby probiotic products that have proven helpful for various conditions, check out the 2021 Clinical Guide to Probiotic Products Available in the USA. Updated each year to capture the latest science, this is the guide that many doctors consult before recommending particular probiotics for kids. If you want to know which probiotic to give Johnny when he is on antibiotics or has ulcerative colitis, that site does really good job, Merenstein says. But its still smart to run your pick by your childs doctor before buying it.
Merenstein also advises parents to check out the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics website. This research-based organization has created several short, easy-to-understand videos and infographics on how probiotics work and how to choose the best products.
As a final note, Merenstein says that when shopping for probiotics, always check the Supplement Facts panel to make sure the strain or strains are listed precisely. Each probiotic name should include the genus , the species , and a set of numbers or letters to indicate the exact strain.
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Ways To Sooth Colicky Babies
Some colicky babies just cant be soothed, but there are several interventions that parents can try out.
- Cuddle, rock, or gently bounce the baby
- Massage the belly with gentle, clockwise strokes to release gas
- Take the baby out for a ride in a stroller or car
- Use a white noise machine
- Use angled baby bottles to reduce air swallowing and gas
- If breastfeeding, remove dairy, soy and other allergens from the mothers diet
- Prevent any exposure to tobacco
Does My Baby Have Colic
A baby likely has colic if the child is under the age of five months and has frequent and prolonged periods of crying, fussing, or irritability that appear to have no cause and cannot be prevented or soothed by caregivers. The crying usually occurs around the same time each day and often starts in the afternoon or evening. Colic typically peaks at approximately six weeks of age and resolves by four months.
Additional symptoms that occur during crying periods include:
- Excessive gas
- Legs pulled up to the chest
- Cries that sound more angry or painful than normal
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Zarbee’s Naturals Baby Daily Probiotic Drops
Why its great: The Zarbees brand was created by a pediatrician and father that wanted to make products that were chemical-free and made from natural ingredients. The probiotic drops are just one of the many products the company makes. They include 2 strains of probiotics that are great for gut health and decreasing colic and gas in infants.
The dropper is easy to use and get an accurate dosage. Plus, this can be used right away for newborns. Plus, this one doesnt need to be refrigerated, however, it does need to be kept in a cool, dry place.
Keep in mind: This is a smaller bottle and only contains 30 doses, so it doesnt last as long as some of the other options.
Good for: Parents that want to make sure their babys probiotic is composed of all natural ingredients.
Spending Time Doing Tummy Time
While youre on the floor doing bicycle kicks, its the perfect time for tummy time! You probably already know that tummy time helps your baby strengthen his neck and core muscles, but the pressure of the floor on your babys tummy can also help alleviate gas.
Tip: Wait at least 20 minutes after feeding before engaging in tummy time to reduce the chance of baby spitting up.
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Mayo Clinic Q And A: Gas Drops For Fussiness
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Our 3-month-old is on formula and gets really fussy sometimes after she eats. It seems like shes in pain. When we give her the over-the-counter gas drops, it usually seems to make her feel better. Are there any risks from giving her the gas drops every day? Is there anything else we should be doing for her?
ANSWER: You and your baby are not alone. Fussiness is common and can be a normal part of infant behavior. In general, theres no harm in giving your baby gas drops if they seem to help. Its likely her frequent fussiness will fade over time without additional treatment.
Over-the-counter gas drops usually contain simethicone, a medicine designed to relieve painful symptoms associated with having too much gas in the stomach and intestines. Simethicone is generally a safe medication for babies. It could cause loose stools, but that is uncommon. The typical dose for simethicone is 20 milligrams, up to four times a day. It is safe to use every day. If gas drops make your baby feel better, you can continue using them.
When you choose gas drops, however, check the ingredient information, and avoid drops that contain sodium benzoate or benzoic acid. These substances can be harmful to babies in large quantities. Fortunately, they are not included in most gas drops intended for infants.
Development Of The Gut Microbiome
Babies begin to develop their unique intestinal bacterial profile, known as the gut microbiome, even before birth as they are exposed to bacteria in the womb. During the birth process, the gut becomes further colonized with bacteria from the mother.
A 2019 study found that 63% of infants’ gut bacteria matched their mother’s bacterial profile, demonstrating that maternal health directly affects babies’ health from birth.
Other factors that influence strains of gut bacteria in early life include exposure to antibiotics, premature birth, genetics, and nutrition. Breast milk naturally contains probiotics, and while many infant formulas have probiotics added to them, the research is unclear on whether they provide the same benefits for gut health.
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