A: You can help prevent gas by feeding your baby before she cries, a signal that she's too hungry to wait any longer to eat. When you do feed her, use a leisurely pace, because rapid feeding increases her intake of air. If you are breastfeeding and your milk is letting down briskly, you may need to remove your baby for a moment and let the spray of milk slow down so she can manage the flow. If you're bottlefeeding, check the nipple opening to be sure it isn't too large or too small. Bottlefed babies usually swallow more air, especially when the bottle's nipple isn't full of milk.If your baby still seems uncomfortable, you can help trapped gas move by gently massaging baby's tummy in a clockwise motion while she lies on her back. Or hold your baby securely over your arm in a facedown position, known as the "gas hold" or "colic hold." Still no relief? Ask your pediatrician about trying the over-the-counter anti-gas medication simethicone, sold as Infants' Mylicon Drops, which may help move gas through the intestines.
Originally published in American Baby magazine, August 2005. Updated 2009.