Tummyache techniques: Helping your baby

book coverExcerpted from the best-selling book, Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect and Communicate With Your Baby by Tracy Hogg, Ballantine Books, 2001. Used by permission.

Food management is the best way to avoid gas pains, but at some point your baby probably will have a tummyache. Here are the strategies I’ve found most effective:

  • The best way to burp any baby, especially one with gas, is to rub upward on the left side (where her stomach is) using the heel of your palm. If after five minutes baby hasn’t given you a burp, put her down. If she starts to pant, squirm, roll her eyes and make an expression that resembles a smile, she has gas. Pick her up, making sure her arms are over your shoulder and her legs straight down and try burping her again.
  • While your baby is lying on his back, pull his legs up and gently do a bicycling motion.
  • Lay your baby across your forearm, facedown and use your palm to put gentle pressure on her tummy.
  • Make a cummerbund by folding a receiving blanket into a four-or five-inch band and wrap it snugly around your baby’s middle, but not tight enough to cut off her circulation (if she goes blue, it’s too snug).
  • To help your baby expel the gas, hold him against you and pat his bottom. This gives him a focus point so that he knows where to push.
  • Massage her tummy in a backward C motion (not a circle) so that you trace the colon: left to right, down and then right to left.

Every baby is unique! Interested in learning more about your baby? Take the Know-Your-Baby Quiz.

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