We check out the best sleeping position for a gassy baby. And we share hints and tips to help your little one (and you!) get a good night’s rest.
Too much gas is no fun for your baby — nor for you! So how can you relieve their misery?
And what’s the best sleeping position for a gassy baby?
In this article: 📝
- Why do babies get gas?
- Why is gas worse at night for babies?
- In what position should a gassy baby sleep?
- Does sleeping on their tummy help baby gas?
- How can I relieve my baby’s gas at night?
- Best sleeping position for a gassy baby: the bottom line
Why do babies get gas?
It’s completely normal for babies to have gas.
And if you need to hear this right now, it doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong.
It happens because your little one’s digestive system is still developing.
In the womb, they were getting all their nutrients through the placenta.
Milk is a whole new ball game!
Their systems don’t always break it down fully.
And that can lead to gas.
Another culprit is swallowing air while feeding.
A baby’s stomach is tiny, so even a little air can cause discomfort.
It’s usually fairly easy to tell if your little one has gas.
They may cry until they’re red in the face, squirm, grunt, and pull their legs up towards their tummy.
Their tummy can sometimes look swollen too.
They may also spit up more when they’re feeding.
And may even stop feeding, even if they’re not full.
Why is gas worse at night for babies?
So why do you have to cope with a gassy newborn at night than during the day?
This might relate to more frequent daytime feeding.
Any food that isn’t completely digested will lead to gas.
And if it’s not expelled, it can build up with each feed.
But no one’s really sure.
Babies with colic also seem to hit peak crying time between 6 pm and midnight.
And while we don’t know its exact nature, it does appear that there’s a relationship between gas and colic.
In what position should a gassy baby sleep?
The best sleeping position for babies with gas is on their backs.
It reduces the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and suffocation.
So it’s a big deal.
Unfortunately, it won’t help with gas — but there are other things that will.
We’ll take you through them in a moment.
Does sleeping on their tummy help baby gas?
Lying on their tummies can help relieve babies’ gas.
But that doesn’t mean sleeping this way is a good idea because of the risks of asphyxiation and SIDS.
But supervised tummy time can be great!
The pressure can help break up those gas bubbles and get things moving.
Lie them down 30 minutes after their feed, so they’re less likely to spit up.
How can I relieve my baby’s gas at night?
So, besides tummy time, how do you help a gassy baby sleep?
Burping during and after feeding will release trapped air.
And if your little one is too polite to burp, don’t despair! Check out our tips on how to encourage them.
Feeding more slowly also means they’re less likely to gulp down air.
Frequent feeds mean that they won’t get over-hungry.
And if you’re using a bottle, try a slow-flow nipple to slow the process down.
If you’re breastfeeding and have an oversupply of milk, slow feeding can be trickier.
It’s a good idea to ask your healthcare provider for advice.
You don’t have to struggle through this alone.
Holding your baby in a more upright position during feeding can help too, as can a gentle tummy massage.
And try laying them on their back and gently cycling their legs as if they were riding a bike.
This can be amazingly effective at getting things moving.
If your baby is on formula, a different formulation could be an option too.
Best sleeping position for a gassy baby: the bottom line
The best sleeping position for a gassy baby is the same as for any other — on their back.
True, it won’t help with the gas, but it’s the safest option.
And there are many other things you can try to ease your little one’s discomfort.
But try not to worry if the problem isn’t instantly solved.
With every day that passes, your baby’s digestive system is maturing.
And very soon, that painful gas will be a thing of the past.