I’ve seen the word ‘gas’ many times in the books and websites I’ve been reading about babies, but it’s usually connected to colic. Since not all babies are colicky, I skipped reading up about gas…but you shouldn’t. Gas is more than colicky baby. It’s projectile poop and a phobia of opening up a diaper, until you learn to deal with it.
Some time in the 2nd week or so, your little angel will stop having sticky poops and start having seedy and liquid poop. Hurray for that! However, you’ll start to hear farts from the baby, and you’ll realize that there are dry farts, and wet sounding farts that have poop with them. Kind of gross, but okay. At some point, you’ll realize that the baby farts when you change her, and that fart sometimes comes with a fountain of poop. Welcome to the new pits of diaper hell.
Phase 1: projectile poop, easily dislodged gas
It took us a few days, but we figured out how to deal with the projectile poop Russian roulette. When a baby is sleeping soundly and not moving, the built-up gas in her tummy is trapped. When she awakens and starts to move, the gas gets dislodged, increasing the chances of having your precious little one fart-poop on you when you change her diaper. It takes a while for the gas to come out, which is an issue in the middle of the night when you want to get back to bed ASAP. Our easy solution is to feed the baby before changing her diaper: this buys you 10-20 min of farting time. It doesn’t work 100%, but it does save you 9 out of 10 times.
Phase 2: gas issues get worse
As our baby got a couple of weeks older, this feed-before-diapering trick seemed to stop working. It was taking longer for the gas to come out, sometimes not at all. This is when you can revert to diapering before feeding if you prefer (I prefer not to have a damp diaper on me, in case it leaks). This is also when you start having to worry about colic.
The definition for colic is at least 3 hours of crying, although there is no evidence that colic is due to gas. I can’t deal with more than a few minutes of crying. In our case, I know that she is crying due to gas because her belly is clearly bloated, and she quietens down right after a massive fart (or two).
There is the non-medicated route to deal with this: tummy massages, and bicycling the baby’s legs. These have worked slightly to calm her down. There is also gripe water, and then medicines like simethicone that helps form gas bubbles in her system for easier expelling. I’m going to try these out because I can’t bicycle her forever in the middle of the night.
The nurse said that gas issues tend to resolve themselves by 3 months. It doesn’t sound like a long time, but as a sleep deprived new parent, 3 months is forever.