Fussy and Gassy

Updated on June 17, 2016
S.B. asks from Coatesville, PA
27 answers

My baby boy is 4 weeks old. He is drinking 5 ounces every 2-3 hours. He was born 8 lbs 13 ounces. He is approximetly 11 pounds already. He is very gassy and wakes up A LOT because of this. I tried breastfeeding and he wouldn't latch, it was horrible. We had him on Similac Advanced and changed him to Enfamil Gentile Ease. We seemed to see relief for two days and now back to being very fussy and gassy. He isn't sleeping much because of this. The doctor also thinks he has reflux so he is on Zantac. I called the doctor today and he said to try a soy based formula. Should I? I am lactose intolerant and my mother said I was colicky. What to do? I am pulling my hair out! NOt sure how much more i can handle. I have a can of Similac Isomil Advance and Similac Sensitive. Which one? Also i used Doctor Brown Bottles. HELP PLEASE BEFORE I GO CRAZY

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone for your help! I haven't decided what we are going to try next but I will keep you posted. I am honestly thinking of the Neutramigen or Allimentium (spelling?). As for the Mylicon drops we give them to him after every feeding, don't think they work for my guy!

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J.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

Similac Alimentum, Enfamil has an Augmentin (sp?). My son was colicky and I was going crazy. I put him on Similac Alimentum, Playtex bottles (with the bags), and I found a wrap at Buy Buy Baby called happy tummies or something like that. You heat it up and wrap it around the baby's belly. The heat and the herbs in the wrap calm and soothe their belly and them. Good luck. It is hard, but it will be over soon!!

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M.R.

answers from Philadelphia on

I hate to say this, but I think most 4 week olds are fussy and gassy. The fussy leads to swallowing air=gassy. Also, they don't sleep much. They outgrow it eventually. Having said that, my son was on Zantac briefly and ineffectively and then moved to Prevacid and it was like a miracle for him.

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L.B.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi S.,
My son was also gassy as a baby. We used the drop ins because you can get the air out so the baby is not sucking air. We also used Mylacon, which is like a gas-x for babies. We mixed it in with his bottles at every feeding. I would try these before switching to another formula. Good Luck.

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S.P.

answers from Philadelphia on

Are you using powdered formula or ready to feed? My guy had reflux from the time he was born and was as gassy as you described your son being. He was so miserable. We noticed that if we used the ready to feed he was soooo much less gassy. It was a huge huge relief. The ready to feed is more expensive but, for us it was the answer to his gas problem. Zantac has also been a Godsend to us in terms of his reflux. He's a totally different baby on the zantac. Also, have you tried mylicon for his gas? It might help.

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V.F.

answers from Scranton on

Go to a health food store and get some Bubble Be Gone. It could be also that he has some thrush starting. Any overgrowth of yeast in his stomach will create the thrush/yeast and it will make him bloated and irritable

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J.D.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Have you tried baby Milocon drops? Those might relieve some of the gas. You can drop it into the formula.

My baby was gassy, too. To be honest, I thought I was going crazy. But after about the six week mark, he didn't seem as gassy. I am no doctor, but it seemed like his digestive system needed to adjust.

Another suggestion...do bicycle motions with your baby's legs. This might help him.

Good luck!

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S.J.

answers from Pittsburgh on

My baby was a lot like the situation you are describing. We used gripe water (it can be purchased probably anywhere, but I know Walgreens has it in the baby section). I can't say that it fixed the problem but it did seem to help. As to the soy- I breast fed so not sure. Hang in there, it gets better! Make sure you find someone to take over (especially since he is bottle fed) and give you a break at least daily. Good luck!

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T.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi there,

My son was a bit gassy. We switched to soy, and everything is now great! My daughter was on soy, too, and now she eats like a "normal" toddler. You know -- she eats dairy products and refuses her veggies! ;)

Good luck.

T. :)

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G.A.

answers from Philadelphia on

My 5 month old was colicky. I also switched to the Dr Browns bottles. A friend of mine recommended using the Similac Alimentum. It's specifically designed for colicky babies. Within a couple of days I noticed a big improvement over his fussiness. I have been using it since he was 1 month old. It's a little expensive but if it works it's worth it!!

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D.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

S.,
Awwww...He's only 4 weeks old. Poor little guy. Hasn't had time to adjust to anything, has he? I've heard that babies cannot be lactose intolerant. Are you sure it's gas? Maybe he is a "fussy" baby?
I agree with the previous post as to the ready-to-feed formula. I used it in the beginning and then tried to save a little money by buying the powder and my son got very fussy and gassy. maybe coincidence but I switched back to the Similac Advance ready-to-feed and he was fine. Now, understand me, he did not have reflux but would just get gassy, crabby and fussy on the powdered formula. When I sat and crunched the numbers, it really wasn't THAT much more expensive.
As for what you can do for the gas, you could try gentle massage, gentle bicycling of his legs to move the gas down. My mom (genius!) devised microwaving a small hand towel til warm and putting over my son's tummy (over his clothes/onesie) while rocking & soothing and he really seemed to like that. Just don't make it too hot. You can also try having him lie on his tummy on your lap for a bit. Good luck!
p.s. Don't you think it's ODD how many babies seem to be switched from this to that to this to that? It could just be that babies are gassy and fussy til they get used to processing food....

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C.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

how long has he been on the gentlease and the Zantac? The meds usually take at least 2 weeks to give their full effect. i suggest waiting things out a bit to see if the meds make a difference.

also ask the doc if your child can have gas drops (mylicon). if so, place a drop or 2 directly in the bottle. it will help with the gas too.

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M.M.

answers from Sharon on

Hello, my son had similar symptoms when he was a baby. One thing that helped with the acid reflux was zantac but also adding a little rice ceral to the formula to thicken it and help it stay down. My son saw doctors at childrens hospital in Pittsburgh and they are the ones who suggested this. I had to put an tablespoon of ceral for every ounce of formula (this started when he was two weeks old). I would also try giving him so Mylacon. It is gas relief medicine for babies and works miricles. One to two drops of this should comfort him enough to allow him (and yourself) to get some shut-eye. Good Luck, I hope this helps.

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R.D.

answers from Allentown on

I had the same issue with my newborn and switched her to Similac Sensitive (orange lid). it made a huge difference. I also used the gas drops which also helped. After about 4 months I was able to put her back on the Similac Advanced without a problem. Good luck.

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J.G.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi S.,

My daughter was also fussy and gassy around 4 weeks old. We had her on dairy formula then her doc said to switch her to soy based. That seemed to work for a few weeks but then it was back to being fussy and gassy. What really worked for me was taking her to my Chiropractor who aligned her and did muscle testing with all of her different formulas (by that time we had tried so many). Turns out that she should have not been switched to soy based formula. After this and the regular adjustments, she has slept through the night (since she was about 6 weeks old). The name of my Chiropractor is Health Goals Chiropractic and they are located in Mount Laurel, NJ. Check out their website. She was a life saver!!

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R.M.

answers from Harrisburg on

I had a similar experience with my daughter who is now 4 months old. I breastfed her, though, but when I went off ALL forms of dairy there was a marked improvement. My caution for you is that if your son has a dairy sensitivity (to the proteins in dairy) he could also have the same problem with soy because the proteins in soy are very similar to the proteins in dairy. My doctor recommended Similac Alimentum as a backup for me in case she needed milk at daycare and I hadn't pumped enough (http://similac.com/baby-formula/similac-alimentum-hypoall... it somehow is better when there is a dairy protein problem. I'd say you can try soy and if there is no improvement after a few days, try the Similac Alimentum.

I hope some other people can help you with their actual experiences with formula since I can't do that.

I'd also recommend watching the DVD "Happiest Baby on the Block" which gave us a lot of ideas of how to comfort our daughter when she was so colicky. I'd recommend the book too, but I doubt you have time to read a book :) I borrowed the DVD from the library, but it took a while to get it because it had to be sent from another library.

Good luck!! If you have any further questions or just want to vent about how hard it is to have a colicky baby, feel free to email me directly [email protected]____.com're FINALLY on the other side of it, and it's like my daughter is a different baby.

Oh, I used the Dr. Brown's bottles too at first, but switched to Playtex Drop Ins and that seemed to cut down on the gas as well. And I was also absolutely neurotic about burping her A LOT. (My doctor said to burp her after every 2 oz when she was being fed with a bottle) And I gave her gas drops (Mylicon) after every feeding. That helped some with the waking up.

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B.D.

answers from Lancaster on

My daughter was like this due to an intolerance to milk. She also couldn't handle the soy. She was on Nutramigen (by enfamil). Try the soy and if that doesn't work try the other. But, you have to give it a couple days for the other to work itself out of their system. In a few short days I had a "new" baby!

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S.R.

answers from York on

I've been there, S., so I can sympathize. My daughter was very colicky. She too was on Zantac, for about 9 months. I can't say that it helped too much, I think she eventually just had to outgrow her issues. Formula wise I would wait another week or two before I switched to soy. It's really hard on their tummies to keep switching around, and often it doesn't help anyway, so if you can hold out I'd try milk based for another week or more. Have you used gripe water? You can get it at Target, any drugstore, etc. It's kind of expensive but often it would get my daughter to burp right away and she would have immediate relief. I tried the gas drops and they didn't work for me, but gripe water was often helpful. Good luck!

S.

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B.F.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi S.,
My son who is now 2 1/2 had the same problem. The doctors put him on Zantac and Axid neither worked. I was breastfeeding so they told me to stop drinking milk or try soy again, didn't help. What helped was Mylecon we used it ALOT!! And having him sleep propped up. I used to put him in the swing or on a wedge. Actually i held him to sleep for about 6 months but that is very hard on you. It goes away on its own I can totally sympathize it is so hard on everyone. I really suggest the Mylecon it was a lifesaver for me and maybe it will give you a couple hours of peace. If you need to talk feel free to email me. [email protected]____.com I wish you the best of luck

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J.V.

answers from Allentown on

Hi S.,

My sympathies go out to you. My grandson had a similar problem. I agree with the ladies here - mylicon, gripe water, warm cloths, giving him time to adjust to a formula before switching, etc.

That being said, my grandson did end up on soy and he was a much happier baby. Get some rest for yourself, too. While that won't relieve his pain, it may help you a bit - new babies are exhausting.

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R.F.

answers from New York on

I have been through the same nightmare and nothing was helping until I started giving babies magic tea to my extremely gassy baby. It helped a lot and completely soothed him.

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N.O.

answers from Philadelphia on

Mylicon drops worked wonders for both of my kids. Daughter had formula and also nursed for the first 6 weeks, and we went thru a period where she would scream and scream and mothing would work. THEN WE FOUND MYLICON!! It is a lifesaver. My son has been only breastfed but he still got very gassy early on(it was very hard to get him to burp), and everytime I add a new food into his diet now that he is also eating some foods. Their little systems just have to adjust, and are commonly gassy till they do. I think I would have done crazy if I hadn't had mylicon.

One thought also, you said that he is eating 5 oz every 2-3 hrs. It is also possible that he may be getting overfull, and his belly hurts because it is too full. I think that a 4 week old baby 'generally' only needs about 3 oz every 2-3 hrs. All babies are different, but you may try giving him less formula per bottle, and then give him a paci to suck on to satisfy his need to suck.

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E.M.

answers from Johnstown on

Don't keep changing formulas. His system needs time to adjust. Mylicon gas drops work WONDERS! Try them.

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B.W.

answers from Erie on

Hi S. . . . This WON'T last forever, I promise you !!! My first child was 100% breastfed and she was horribly cholicky -- back then (20 years ago) they didn't put infants on zantac for reflux, either. (in fact, I am AMAZED at the number of moms I've heard from on this site whose babies are taking zantac.) Anyway, that said, go ahead and try the soy. Similac makes a powdered soy formula which is cheaper to buy than the liquid stuff. I thought it was highly portable, too, because you bring bottles of water, and can bring the appropriate amount of powder in another container. Spill it into the water at feeding time, shake it up, and there you go -- no worrying about keeping it refrigerated and then having to heat it up.

Try feeding him half his bottle, burping him, then feeding him the other half.

Try keeping him somewhat upright after feedings . . . I know, lots of times they fall asleep eating .. . .but if you can keep the air up on top, it should come out as burps and not bring anything else with it. And that would be more comfortable for you as well as for him.

The other thing is that babies cry. They just do. Put some music on, hold him to your chest, and dance around the house with him. Do something to help get your focus off your frustration and your sense of "INability", while holding him and giving him some comfort. I vote for singing along, too, because maybe at some point, he'll stop crying to listen. :-)

The most important thing is to live through this time period with a minimal amount of frustration. You are living through those "sleepless nights", and the high dependency stage of life. It's tough on Mom. And when you are frustrated, tired and anxious, guess who responds ?

It's so natural to want to "fix" everything, so the baby won't cry at all, but we can't do that. Do your best, but if he's otherwise fine, and is just crying, then simply turn on the stereo and dance with him. It's great therapy for Mom. :-)

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B.H.

answers from Philadelphia on

I second the suggestion for trying the "Happiest Baby on the Block" method - worked amazing wonders for my friend's fussy baby!

I would also say you should try Nutramigen formula. I know it is expensive, but it made all the difference to my niece and nephews who have food sensitivities and gas issues. If he is just colicky, it may not work, but my sister went from really fussy, unhappy babies to MUCH happier babies within just a few feedings. Ask your doctor if it might help your situation. If it does and you qualify for WIC, they will let you use the formula coupons for Nutramigen if your doctor signs off that it is neccessary for your baby. Good luck!

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S.B.

answers from Philadelphia on

I breast feed my baby, so I can't speak to formula types, but I think it may be possible that you are over feeding him. Five ounces is a lot of formula at one time. I remember reading that a newborn's stomach can only hold less than one ounce when they are born. I can't imagine that by 4 weeks his stomach would grow enough to hold 5 ounces at one sitting. There is a good chance that when it seems like he is still hungry, that all he really wants to do is suck on something. If you are over filling his tummy, that could cause gas pain. You might want to try feeding him 3 oz, then stopping & try a pacifier. If he is still fussy & seems to be looking for food after 5 minutes, then give him more.
Another thing to try...for my second son mylicon only worked if I gave it to him BEFORE I started feeding him. You may want to try that.
Good luck. I hope you figure it out.

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D.W.

answers from Philadelphia on

I heard the bottles you use are good. I used the advent bottles and had no problems with them. I would do a soy based formula. If you are lactose intolerant then your son may be also. Try both of the formulas and see if it helps. I promise it will get better. Try some gas drops likes mylicon and see if it helps. do the bicycle exercises with his legs and move them back and forth to see if this will help relieve the gas pains. good luck.

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A.K.

answers from Johnstown on

I had the same problem with my daughter. She always seemed very gassy and would scream for hours on end. The doctor told me that she had reflux or maybe colic. I tried a total of 6 different formulas on her and the only one to work was the soy based similac. I worked wonders for her, no more late nights no more screaming. I was wonderful. I suggest you try it. Similac Isomil advanced was what i used.

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