Discomfort from infant gas and colic can be upsetting for both babies and parents. Offer these simple, time-tested tips for balancing the digestive system, reducing crying time associated with colic, and helping with occasional gas.
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Parent counseling tips
Ways to soothe and prevent occasional infant gas
- Slow the flow: Be sure to give baby time in between gulps, so they’re not swallowing air along with their food
- Say “when”: An overfed baby can become a gassy baby
- Burp often: Try burping after every 2 or 3 ounces (from a bottle) or when you switch breasts
- Promote gut health: Probiotics can boost the gut's level of good bacteria to help balance the digestive system
- Consider diet:
- For breastfed babies: Nursing mothers can try to eliminate milk products, caffeine, onions, cabbage, and other foods from their diet
- For bottle-fed babies: Try a different type of formula, in case your baby may be sensitive or allergic to ingredients in the one you’re using
How to soothe a crying, fussy baby
- Swaddle: Wrap your baby in a large, thin blanket to make them feel secure and warm
- Tummy time: Lay your baby tummy-down across your knees to relieve pressure
- Move: Walk your baby in a baby carrier or steadily rock them; this reminds them of movements they felt in the womb
- Try a pacifier: Many babies are calmed by sucking
- Help relieve gas: Lay your baby flat on their back and move their legs in a bicycling motion (aka “bicycle legs”)
Good to know
Studies show the benefits of probiotics
Two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have shown that the probiotic strains Bifidobacterium animalis and Bifidobacterium breve significantly reduce crying time associated with colic for infants.1,2
B. animalis (an ingredient also found in Infants’ Mylicon® Daily Probiotic Drops) was shown to reduce crying time in the first week of treatment. Crying time continued to decrease during subsequent weeks, with beneficial effects on sleep duration and on stool frequency and consistency.1
In a separate study, B. breve (found in Zarbee’s® Baby Daily Probiotic Drops) was shown to reduce crying associated with colic in the first month, with the decrease becoming more evident over time, eventually becoming significant in the third month.2*
These studies are part of a growing body of evidence showing the usefulness of some probiotic strains in supporting infants with occasional gas and colic.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
REFERENCES: 1. Nocerino R, De Filippis F, Cecere G, et al. The therapeutic efficacy of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12® in infant colic: a randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled trial. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2020;51(1):110-120. 2. Giglione E, Prodam F, Bellone S, et al. The association of Bifidobacterium breve BR03 and B632 is effective to prevent colics in bottle-fed infants: a pilot, controlled, randomized, and double-blind study. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2016;50(suppl 2):S164-S167.