Need Advice for Baby with Terrible Gas Pains

Updated on January 16, 2017
N.K. asks from Los Angeles, CA
37 answers

My baby is 18 days old and the first few days, he did fine on the premixed Enfamil formula they give at the hospital. Once we got home and began using the powder formula, he began having gas pains causing him to kick his legs uncontrollably with that look on his face like he was trying so hard to push out some gas while screaming. It progressively got worse so the pediatrician had us try Enfamil Gentlease. That didn't make a difference after 5 days so then she had us switch to Similac Alimentum. Two days of that and he was much worse so I went back to the Gentlease. Haven't contacted the pediatrician again yet but will on Monday. I've tried the Mylicon drops and Colic Ease several times with no results. The pain happens suddenly and goes away suddenly but it happens several times throughout the day, usually about an hour and a half after feeding. Poor little guy, we'd just like to relieve him of the pain. I've read some about acid reflux because he does spit up several times after every feeding. Sometimes it's just a little dribble and other times it's the full on projectile vomit. He also gets hiccups after almost every feeding that last quite a while...he had them in the womb all the time as well. I've read that Good Start could be another helpful formula option. Don't know if it could be lactose intolerance or that he's just very gassy (like his Daddy!). I feel bad to keep switching his formula and possibly upsetting his tummy more. Anyone have a similar problem?

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So What Happened?

We went back to the pediatrician who said we could either try going back to the premixed Enfamil that we used in the hospital because powder can be harder to digest or we could try a lactose free powder...it was up to us. Makes you feel real good when your doctor leaves it up to you! I got the expensive premixed formula and it seemed like he was doing better, at least he was pooping again on a very regular basis. It's been about 5 days now and his gas and fussiness is worse than it's ever been. I'm about to cry right along with him. I've tried gripe water and Mylicon with no results. I bicycle his legs and try to rub his tummy, which he hates. He poops and passes gas all the time so it's hard to understand why this happens. I also have the Dr. Karp book and sometimes those techniques work for a short time. I would love to try everyone's advice with the iron free or Good Start formulas but I'm afraid to keep changing his food for fear of making him hurt worse during the adjustment period. Not sure how to proceed at this point or to continue with the premixed formula for atleast 2 weeks. 2 weeks seems like forever with a crying baby. Since he's gaining weight, the doc didn't seem to be concerned which is really disappointing.

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E.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

I am a first time mom with twins now 15 mons old. the nestle goodstart is excellent my little girl had the worse of the gas pains and it helped her. dont be afraid to try different formulas, i did and in the end they could drink all three, enfamil, good start, and similac without any problems. its just his little system might not be developed enough yet. hang in there will get better.

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M.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

My six month old baby girl went through the same... We used the Milicon (sp?) drops and the Little Tuimmies Gripe Water (for hiccups). Both worked wonders!!!

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V.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

get homeopathic Lycopodium 30C, you can get liquid in several places on-line. this is one of "many" remedies designed for gas relief. may not be the one he needs, but will not do any harm to try.
Good Luck
V.

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L.D.

answers from Honolulu on

I ended up using the Similac Sensitive premixed formula. THere was something with the Enfamil that didn't agree with my son. Also, the burping. I had to burp him belly down over my legs for the first month or so. Moving his legs in the bicycle motion helped with the gas, and pushing his knees into his chest. Give him a little tummy massage! The type of bottle might have something to do with it also. I used the wide playtex drop-ins. Air tight so none gets int the little belly.

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D.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Yes! My son was deemed lactose intolerant as an infant and we had to use Enfamil LactoFree (same as GentleEase just no lactose). However, I was advised to give it wo weeks and make sure I was burping him accordingly. Often I didn't get ALL the burps out, so keep that in mind too.

I had to stay away from powder mixes as this seemed to increase the gas issues. They say there is no difference but with my son there was.

If he's that young you need to give his belly time to adjust to the formula before giving up completely. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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H.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi
Try Similac (no Iron) THis worked for my first daughter who experienced the same. Second daughter was put on it immediately and had no problems. As a first time mom I would tell you this, put away all the books and go with your gut, also if not sure about anything, call the doctor.

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D.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

N.,
Try bending his knees to his chest,that will sometimes dispell the gas. Also, laying him on his tummy on your lap where you can watch his head. For some reason laying on their tummy will also dispell the gas. My son had this when he was little too. I was able to use Goodstart and it worked wonderfully. I also used playtex disposable bottle liners. This got out as much excess air as you can and that really helped too. I hope these things are helpful.
You will get through it!

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A.B.

answers from San Diego on

my friend used gripe oil drops for her sons. it's organic/ all natural and can be found at a health food store. it's the same idea as mylicon. it really worked for her boys.

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J.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hello,
Try Similac Sensitive formula, it helped my baby..

W.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

N. I know it is frustrating not knowing what is causing this, maybe this website maybe of use. www.mspiguide.com There are so many babies who are labeled...colic or lactose intolerant and that is not always the case. MSPI is not known by a lot of Doctors yet and they usually don't know some of the information the website has. Nutramgen is a formula that does not have cow protein which may work great for your baby. It is very expensive...so if your Dr. says the baby needs this have the Dr. "prescribe"it and call the insurance for you to see if they will cover it. Good luck.

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K.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

my son a had similar problem. he would get such bad gas pains you could hear them. I switched his formula to a soy based formula which was so much better he hardly ever vomited and the gas pains went away. I would try Isomil with low iron. I hope this helps!

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S.N.

answers from Los Angeles on

I agree about two of the previous suggestions: Dr. Brown's bottles and gripe water

Those bottles really make a huge difference in how much air they take in when the drink from a bottle. These bottles were a lifesaver with my son. Also, gripe water was much more effective than mylicon. We usually put some in his bottle or gave it to him right before the feeding. It also gets rid of hiccups! Gripe water is sometimes hard to find...I know they sell it at Walgreen's and some pharmacies.

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N.S.

answers from San Diego on

Hi N.,

Please google "chiropractic and reflux".......I have a chiropractor who treats my son. His partner treats infants and within a few treatments the symptoms you describe are gone.

Sometimes during childbirth their nervous system is upset and a few adjustments are needed to help it function properly.

Best wishes,

N.

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E.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

I cannot respond from experience with formula, because I ended up not using it until my daughter was 6 mo, so intestines more developed. My daughter had milk and soy allergies to deal with. So when I breastfed her what I ate was enough to cause her pain. We suffered through with her, just excercising her legs in a peddle fashion to help her pass the gas bubbles and modify my diet.
Now I have a second daughter and she too suffered gas pains. I ended up modifying my diet, which seemed to help, but I still wanted some milk products and someone gave me a gift of Gripe Water (Baby's Bliss) you can buy it at Longs or CVS. She took this great and within minutes she was settled down and either passed gas or just settled.
I tried the Mylicon drops and they did absolutely nothing for her or my first daughter.
I would get the gripe water and try that immediately. Pediatrician recom. and all natural. Your baby is still so new, it may just be that the system is soooo young, that he just is having trouble passing it right now, especially if it starts about 1 1/2 hours after, then it is going into the intestines by that time and trying to pass through, not in the stomach. Keep trying different formulas to find one that works. There are rice based formulas now (didn't have it when my first daughter was having trouble and she had to suffer through until one (with allergies) when I could give her Rice milk, which I just left her on (she is now almost 4) although she does eat some milk products now without problem.
Good luck. I know how difficult it is to see your baby suffering from gas. It is very painful.
Also, both of my daughters spit up A LOT. My newest one (just 12 weeks old now) spits up more than she takes it (it seems). Going through a lot of shirts (for myself), but she is gaining weight, she is not uncomfortable from the spit up, so the sphincter that is at the top of the stomach is just not able to hold down everything yet. I just try to keep her as still as possible so I don't force things up.

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S.E.

answers from Los Angeles on

So sorry to hear about this, N.! It brought back memories of my daughter's infancy. She's now 7, but was tortured by gas (and still is), hiccups and excessive spit up until the doctor finally took it seriously and put her on Infant Pepcid. We also switched her to Enfamil A/R, which means "added rice," and which is much thicker than regular formula and sticks to their ribs (lessening the spit up effect). You need to talk to your doctor about GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)and see if she's willing to try something - it took 9 months before mine took the symptoms seriously. GERD often goes undiagnosed in babies. You should also try a couple of other things, like keeping the infant in an upright position for 30 minutes after feeding; and having him sleep on a "wedge," so he's never just flat. Good luck!

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J.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

You might want to try mixing a probiotic in his formula. We use PB8, ESPECIALLY if he was given an antibiotic in the hospital OR if you were given it during labor. (PB8 seems to be the best with the best results, being almost instant.)

The other thing that seems to work WONDERS is using Nutramigen with goat's milk instead of water. Sometimes the Enfamil with goat's milk works, but the Nutramagen with goat's milk is usually a sure thing.

Also, remember that "acid reflux" is very often misdiagnosed because at day 10, a baby's stomach is only the size of a ping pong ball and they are grossly overfed, so of course, it's going to coem out. Smaller meals and more frequent feedings seem to be better. Not to mention, that is your baby has a sensitivity to something in the formula, then the body will reject it.

Good luck.

PS Most peds freak on the goat's milk, but are somehow ok with cow's milk. Go figure. I've seen the babies settle with 48 hours nearly 100% of the time with the goat's milk.

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S.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi N.,
I can understand how difficult this experience has been for you! I teach parent education classes and know that formulas other than breast milk are sometimes very difficult for a little tyke to digest. Often, their digestive system is not quite developed enough. I would definitely consult your pediatrician again, however, here are a couple of suggestions:

1) take the side of your hand under his rib cage and pretend you are scooping sand down to the ground. You are essentially helping any gas bubbles move out.

2) if you don't already have the HAPPIEST BABY ON THE BLOCK by Dr. Harvey Karp, you may want to get it. Tips are included that may be helpful. He recommends swaddling, rolling baby on side/stomach, shhhhing in ear, swinging and sucking her switch off a reflex.

Best of luck
[email protected]____.com

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D.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

i mainly breastfed but when i would supplement my son would have problems ..the ONLY formula that worked was Good Starts Supreme Comfort Proteins..introduce it slowly..and u can add just a little more water to it..also believe it or not..colic tablets help w/ gas..Hylands was the brand i used..formula is harder on their bellies..so that's why it's hard for him to digest it..but the Good Start one is the way to go..oh and i tasted Alimintum (sp?) and i gagged that stuff is nasty! Good luck i remember how stressful that was..no one likes to see their baby suffering w/ gas pains..oh and i had to use Dr. Brown's bottles b/c they have the least amount of air in them

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S.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

use good start for 5 days, burp him at least 2 times with each feeding.

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S.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

We found that Gripe Water worked amazingly well!

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J.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi N., I had the same problem with my son, so we started using similac advance early shield. It helped a lot. I would reccomend laying your son on his back and pushing his legs into his tummy w/o lifting his butt off the floor a few times. That will help push the gas out. Also sit him on your lap with your arm on his belly, sometimes applying pressure will help get it out as well. Mylecon drops are a hit and miss, have you tried gripe water? I do believe similac has a soy formula as well. I also reccomend trying the doctor browns bottles, born free or think baby. they have a filter to help keep the bubbles in the bottle instead of the nipple, so the baby doesnt catch air. I hope these tips are helpful!

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L.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have a 5 week old son that has similiar problems. It sounds like he might have acid reflux. My son would scream and spit up alot. He was just diagnosed with acid reflux and is now taking Prilosec twice a day. It helps so much! Also my son has a protein intolerance in which he would scream for hours and had bloody stools that showed up around 3 weeks of age. I was breastfeeding and changed my diet but he contiued to have problems. He now is on Nutramigen and is like a whole new baby! I hope you can figure it out soon so you can enjoy your newborn. Good luck! L.

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A.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

It may be as simple as a chiropractic adjustment-for your husband, too! Before you dismiss this as crazy check out the following article. Scroll down to question 7
http://www.bonnchiropractic.com/faqss3.php

You can google "chiropractic infants gas" and find other articles. You could also try a little reflexology. A gentle foot massage on the middle of the foot and the heel should help.

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J.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

All 3 of my kids had really bad tummy troubles. Isomil helped out tremendously! You need to give it about 2 days to really start working. I also used Good Start for kid #2 and that helped, but not as well as Isomil. You may also want to try Nutramigen.

My mom had me rub their tummies with chamomile oil and place a bandana around their tummies. It seemed to help ease them with gassiness.

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L.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

HI N.- When my daughter was an infant, she had really bad gas pains too.She didn't have reflux, but my goodness, she had that gas pain. I felt very helpless and stressed by it.We switched from breast milk, to Enfamil lipil, to Gentle ease, to Goodstart and back to gentle ease and stayed on it because it was right for her. I put mylicon in every bottle till about 6 months,I probably could have taken her off sooner but I was scared of gas. I also gave her gripe water alot too. Anyhow- What I want to say is it passed eventually, thank God! I also remember peddling her legs to move the gas out and tummy rubs. I bet a nice, warm bath would be good too. Yes, talk to your pedi and see what they say. I know it's very scary because you just want it to stop. Oh and giving 1 formula at a time a good, solid try.

HTH!
L.

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M.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

My little guy was having the same terrible gas pains. I had tried Enfamil and Similac products. A friend of mine who has three older boys said all three of her boys could only tolerate the Good Start. I switched and I am still using it today (he's almost 9 months). I buy the purple can, the one that doesn't have all the other added stuff in it (w/o DHA, ARA, etc.) I hope it works for you. Good luck, I know it's hard to watch the little ones in so much pain. Oh, he also would like it (alot) when I would "bicyle" his legs or you put their legs crossed and gently push their knees into their tummies. This really helps push the gas out.

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M.C.

answers from Las Vegas on

I had to switch my son to soy formula at about 4 1/2 months- it helped a LOT! I would ask your Ped first though if you trust him/her.

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A.K.

answers from Springfield on

Your baby needs Babies magic tea. I was at my wits end and this tea helped us a lot.

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L.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

This happened with my daughter too and it turned out she had colic. The gas drops helped a little but not much. She went on Similac Sensitive and that helped. We also put a warm pack across her tummy when she would have the pains and it would help her get the gas out. Unfortunately there's no cure for colic but it goes away around 6 months.

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D.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi N.... Poor baby of yours.... I had a similar experience with my first born ( 20yrs ago) He was drinking Enfamil, when out of the blue he started with the colics,his tummy got as hard as a rock to the point I thought his belly buttom was going to pop out...I took him to his Dr, and it turned out that there was too much iron in the milk. He was always on the liquid formula. Well the dr did switch to a low iron formula, and also at the time he recommended I give him a teaspoon of Karo Syrup with water. Again I'm only telling what the Dr said 20 yrs ago. That made his little tummy softened as he was able to poop, I don't know if that's also a problem you'r baby is having. Consult it with your Ped first & good luck with your bundle of joy... I wish I could turn back time....
D

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T.

answers from Las Vegas on

N.,

My baby had terrible reflux and it took a bit of experimenting but it turns out he's allergic to both dairy and soy proteins. Fortunately I'm a breastfeeder so I was able to change my diet and he was better. Since you are doing formula, Similac Alimentum is the first level of hypoallergenic (nothing is truly hypoallergenic, just more or less allergenic). The next level (more) is Elecare or Neocate. It is special order. You can get it from a pharmacy or on-line. I actually know a bunch of folks who did what you are doing - struggling to find a formula their baby will tolerate. It is very stressful when you have an endlessly crying baby (been there,done that). I hope you find a good formula really quickly.

Lactose intolerance is extremely rare in babies. Human milk is very high in lactose. Babies who don't tolerate dairy it is a milk protein problem, not lactose. If you don't find some relief pretty quickly, try the neocate. It is pricey but remember that most babies outgrow their intolerances pretty quickly as their GI system matures. I found pediatrians and even my son's pediatric GI doctor were basically useless in helping me find out what my son's problem was. Other moms were actually much more helpful.

Once I eliminated dairy and soy from my diet (and therefore my son's), his reflux was 90% better. It takes about 3-4 weeks for dairy proteins to leave your system once you quit eating them so you can't expect immediate improvement if you change to a more hypoallergenic formula. But you should see improvement within a week and continued improvement after that until the protein is out of his system. We were able to cut my son's Prevacid dosage in half within a month and then in half again soon after that and then we were able to eliminate it entirely. For him, no medication really helped his reflux until we figure out what was tearing up his stomach and eliminated it.

T.

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J.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

This is so hard to see happening and I feel for you. With my son it turned out to be spincter spenosis (tight anus) and was not diagnosised until 4 months old. For my daughter is was severe allergies to dairy and soy (breastfed with both babies until several months old).

I strongly suggest looking into a formula that is soy and dairy free and adding a probiotic for infants. www.neocate.com

I highly suggest that you look into vaccinations as something to watch out for as there are ingredients such as dairy, soy, wheat, yeast, corn, egg that are in there that could cause even more reactions (besides the ingredients that are toxic that are in there as well). Please make sure YOU have done the research on vaccinations for YOUR child. The AAP recommended schedule of shots for children is too many, too soon. Here are sites and books that I always recommend for people to start their research:

www.909shot.com
www.tacanow.org

Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders, by Dr. Kenneth Bock
The Vaccine Book, by Dr. Robert Sears
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Childhood Vaccinations, by Dr. Stephanie Cave
Evidence of Harm, by David Kirby

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R.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi N....I have twin 14 month old girls and they both had terrible gas pains in the beginning. Try the soy formula..enfamil makes it and a quarter of an ounce of prune juice in a couple of bottles a day(check with your doctor) but it saved my life!!

good luck....

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L.B.

answers from Honolulu on

Don't know if this will help or not, my youngest son had terrible gas pains and what you are discribing is virtually the same thing we lived through with him. We put him on a formula powder that did not have iron in it, and we bought the Symithicone (spelling) drops. We gave him the drops prior to feeding him, fed him smaller amounts, and burped him more often, if we followed the same procedure each time, the pains went away and the vomiting and spitting up significantly reduced. I would follow the same procedure again if I ever run into the occasion, and will recommend this for my grandchildren if any end up with this gas problem. Hopefully, either this helps, or your pediatrician has better ideas.

Good luck,
Mom of 7

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L.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi N.,

Try Carnation Good Start and Dr. Brown's Bottles. That combo will do it. Time and time again, my friends didn't believe me. Once tried, they won't do anything else. Good luck and God Bless...

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P.A.

answers from Las Vegas on

I remember this scenario with my son when we first bought him home. It was a nightmare for two months until we finally figured out what was going on. We took him to a GI specialist. Go with your gut and do what you have to do to make your baby feel better as long as it's safe. I don't believe in waiting two weeks to "see" if formula is going to work for your baby. You should pretty much see results right away if not within a couple of days once the old stuff is out of his system. I used COLIC CALM which you can only find online. It's homepathic and all ingredients are natural. It won't hurt your child. It's better than Mylicon drops. I hated those drops they did nothing for my child. They just make big gas bubbles into little gas bubbles but doesn't do anything else. Also my son was born with GERD. He spits ups all the time and it causes really bad pain. Basically he would have heartburn all the time. I did a lot of research online and then took him to the GI specialist and sure enough that's what he had. His formula was changed 4 times. You can always try Enfamil Prosobee Soy. Powder is harder on baby's digestive system. That's why babies are given the liquid stuff in the hospital but it is more expensive. I think it taste a little better too. Sure smells different! Make sure you are burping for a while. We had to burp my son for 30min after every feeding to get those gases out and he still sleeps on an incline because of his GERD. My advice to you is to keep insisting that your child in not doing well and make the ped. do something to help. They don't have to deal with your baby outside of the office so they don't see what you are going through. And if you still aren't getting the help just look for a GI specialist that can give you more clear answers. That's thier speciality. Sometimes I think pediatians don't know anything it's so disappointing! Hope this help. I wish you the best and keep looking for some answers for your little angel.

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A.B.

answers from Las Vegas on

for one you should always stick to one formula at least for 2 weeks for it to kick in. I always had great luck with nestle goodstart supreme and I gave my children gripe water, you can find it usually in the infant aisle if not try in the pharmacy. Good Luck and congrats!

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