When I was advised by my pediatrician to supplement breastfeeding with formula feedings due to my low milk supply, I turned my beautiful baby boy into a bag of gas every time I bottle-fed him. He and I suffered through hours of crying due to painful gas pains, leading to colic and spit ups. While searching desperately for a solution, I learned all about gas pains and how air ingestion causes discomfort. My conclusion after reading numerous articles about this subject is that air swallowing is the number one cause of gas and colic. Babies can swallow air when they cry, when they suckle, and while they feed. Most air ingestion is caused when bottle-feeding. Here are six tips to help your baby swallow less air while feeding.
1. Get ready. Don’t wait until your baby is desperately hungry to feed him or her. Frantic sucking while feeding leads to a lot of air-swallowing resulting in gas and colic. Learn to recognize the early signs of hunger in your baby. Some signs can be sucking fingers or hand, lip-smacking, and sobbing. Once your baby shows these signs, create alarms on your device (phone, tablets, etc.) to let you know when you need to start getting ready for the next feeding. Several smartphone apps are available to help you do this such as “Feed Baby – Baby Tracker” by Penguin or “Eat Sleep: Simple Baby Tracking” By BitMethod.
2. It’s a date!. In our recent breastfeeding tips we talked about enjoying the meal times. You can do this whether you breastfeed or bottle-feed. Treat it like it is; “a fancy meal” to be relished. Get on your favorite rocking chair, fit your favorite pillows around your body to keep you comfortable, get your favorite relaxing tunes playing and enjoy the experience. Invite your partner to participate; you should both look forward to it. The goal here is to relax you and the baby so food digests better.
3. Stirred not shaken. Be sure to stir the breastmilk or formula to mix instead of shaking the contents within the bottle. Shaking creates lots of air bubbles mixing with the milk that will end up in your baby’s tummy. You want to minimize bubbles as much as possible. Try mixing formula in a separate container so you can stir with a spoon and make sure it’s fully dissolved.
4. Use an air-free baby bottle. If your current bottle has an air-vent that allows air to enter after you filled it with milk, change your bottle. Bare air-free baby bottles have patented air-plug technology that allows you to expel all the air before feeding and maintain an air-free environment for the milk at all times. The goal is to minimize air-swallowing that causes gas pains and colic.
5. Upright feeding position is best. Have you ever tried eating or drinking while you’re laying down? It’s very uncomfortable and takes extra effort to force the food into your stomach. Pediatricians say you should never lay your baby down while feeding but people do it anyway because ordinary bottles with air-vents only work when upside down. Bare’s air-plug technology works with suction as opposed to gravity and dispenses air-free milk at any angle, allowing you to feed in any position. Use Bare with Perfe-Latch nipple if you are breastfeeding or Bare with Easy-latch nipple if you are only bottle feeding. The best feeding position is sitting up so your baby’s torso is in a vertical position, while his/her head rests on your forearm and chest. This will help keep the food down in his/her belly.
6. Do not overdo it! While a hungry baby will chug a whole bottle just because your current bottles may offer free flow of milk, Bare allows your baby to control the flow and pace at which she drinks with suction strength. If your baby is getting full and applies less suction than the beginning, Bare will slow down. Bare is designed to stop dispensing milk when your baby stops sucking to prevent overfeeding. This feature is a great projectile-vomit stopper!
Hope you enjoy the reading, look for more tips on our weekly blog, and remember, feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need support finding the help you need.
Your friend; The Breast Fairy
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