Q: My baby is very gassy. Should I consider switching his formula?
A: It's easy to immediately blame digestive problems on formula, but it's important to be sure this is really the cause, since changing formula too often can cause other tummy troubles, like diarrhea. Before you switch, it's a good idea to first try some of these other remedies known to help quell the gas:
- Burping more frequently. Stop mid-feeding to burp your baby instead of waiting until the end. - A new feeding position: Hold your baby upright when he eats and hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle. This helps any air that may be swallowed stay at the top of the stomach where it's easily burped out. - A different bottle or nipple. Some bottles and nipple styles are better at keeping air from getting into babies' tummies. Experiment to see what works best. - A bath. The warm water is soothing and can help your baby pass gas. - Tummy massage. This can also help release trapped gas pockets.
If none of these do the trick, talk with your pediatrician about other formula options. He may suggest trying a formula like Enfamil's Nutramigen -- generally used for babies with colic or those who have an allergy to cow's milk -- for a few weeks to give your baby a chance to outgrow these bouts of gas. After a few weeks, try phasing your baby's regular formula back into his diet and watch him closely to see if symptoms return. Nutramigen and other formulas like it are pretty pricey, and using them exclusively can add up after a while.
Copyright 2009 Meredith Corporation.