How to reduce infant gas

  • When feeding your baby, ensure that he is lying with a straight spine and that their whole body is in the same direction. In other words, if breast feeding, the baby should not be lying on his back with his head turned towards your breast. This can make swallowing very difficult, and can cause additional gas build up in their system. Use a feeding cushion to help you position your baby correctly. A new feeding cushion has just been launched in South Africa and we hope to have it listed on our site shortly, so keep checking back!


  • Burp your baby frequently during feeding. The Chiropractic profession recommends gentle but firm upward stroking to help your baby pass wind. They suggest that patting can cause the diaphragm to stiffen which prevents the gas from escaping.



  • Try eliminating dairy from your own diet, to ensure that the baby is not reacting to cow's milk protein in your breastmilk. If there is no difference in symptoms after 1 week, go back to a dairy-containing diet. Consult your healthcare practitioner if you are considering any other eliminations from your diet. See the section on Food allergies and Intolerances for more information.


  • Consult with your Health Care Practitioner about a change in formula, if a lactose intolerance, or milk allergy, is suspected or diagnosed.


  • Get advice from your doctor or a Lactation Consultant on how to manage an over active milk ejection reflex when feeding.


  • Get advice from a Lactation Consultant on how to ensure you do not have a fore and hind milk imbalance, which could be causing your baby to experience digestive discomfort.


  • Try a new type of Anti-Colic bottle which reduces the amount of air your baby swallows while feeding.


  • Give your baby a warm bath, which will relax him and hopefully release the trapped air.


  • Tummy time, not directly after a meal, not only helps with your baby’s development, but can also help your baby to pass gas.


  • Perform a bicycling action with your baby’s legs. Lie her on her back and gentle cycle your baby’s legs in the air, as if riding a bicycle. This can help your baby to pass wind. Never force your baby, and stop if your baby looks to be in any form of discomfort.


The information in this article was reviewed for medical accuracy by, Paediatrician and Allergy Specialist, Dr Claudia Gray (MBChB (UCT), MRCPCH (London), MScClin Pharm(Surrey), DipPaedNutrition (UK), PostgradDipAllergy (Southampton), Certified Paediatric Allergologist (SA))

Dr Gray works at the allergy clinic at the Red Cross Children's Hospital in Cape Town, and has a private practice at Vincent Pallotti Hospital in Cape Town, contact 021 531 8013.