In order to get a baby to sleep for long periods of time, they must be comfortable. If they are colic, have gas, or reflux it is going to have a huge impact on their ability to sleep which in turn is going to cause them to be more fussy and irritable. It is an awful, viscous cycle.
One thing you can do is slow down the feedings. Take frequent breaks to burp your baby and pat their tush to release air and gas. This will also allow their stomachs to slowly digest the milk as they go rather than just gulping it all down. Each feeding session could take 45 minutes or more to complete.
For reflux, keep your baby upright
After a meal, make sure you do not lay your baby flat as this will cause more reflux. Make sure your baby is propped up slightly so that their head is elevated higher than their tummy. You can do this by holding them, putting them in a bouncer, swing, etc. Some babies have to sleep the entire time with some kind of incline.
For colic and gas, try the bicycle move
Lay your baby flat on their back, hold their feet, bend one knee while you straighten the other and pump their legs as if they were riding an imaginary bicycle. This will hopefully distract them from their discomfort and state of crying and help ease their pains by releasing gas at the same time. It can’t hurt to describe what you’re doing to them and make it fun as well.
You can also hold both feet with their legs stretched out, then bend both knees bringing them towards their chest. Hold that position for a few seconds and release. Repeat this a few times, again explain what you are doing along the way.
My daughter had terrible gas pains when she was only a couple of months old. The pediatrician explained that her digestive system was still developing and learning how to function efficiently and that it would just take time. I felt terrible standing there knowing that there wasn’t much I could do to help her. I would just hold her, and bounce her, and sing to her for some comfort while also trying the suggestions above. She would cry and be fussy for what I thought was no reason at all (she was fed, had a clean diaper, and a recent nap) but then I would feel her let some gas go and I understood. We would wait for it to pass but sometimes it would take an hour or more. The worst was at night when we were both exhausted.
My husband and I both have sensitive stomachs and I am lactose intolerant. I wasn’t sure if she was lactose intolerant too or if this was just normal baby stomach pains. I was breastfeeding but on occasion supplementing with formula. Per the doctor’s recommendation we switched those supplemental bottles to a more gentler formula which helped some but just not enough.
Have you heard of Colic Calm gripe water?
As a new Mom, I was not familiar with gripe water at all. I started doing some research on infant gas though and came across several websites which explained the benefits of it and read review after review of other Moms who have tried it and had success. The best part was that it contained natural ingredients and had no side effects. I knew I needed to do something to help my baby pass that gas and relieve the pressure in her belly.
I purchased ‘Colic Calm’ and used it only when my baby really need it… when I could tell she was really suffering from those gas pains. I have to tell you… it did indeed help! It wasn’t a miracle drug that instantly vanished the gas, but I could tell a difference. When I used Colic Calm, I no longer felt helpless. I knew that I was helping her to ease those pains and those crying episodes weren’t as lengthy or as bad as they could have been.
If your baby is suffering from colic, gas, or reflux, I really encourage you to research the topic of gripe water further to decide if it’s right for your little one. Click here to read more about Colic Calm from their website.
Click to read more articles on my website regarding common problems with babies.