Mayo Clinic: Our 3-month-old is on formula and gets really
fussy sometimes after she eats. It seems like she’s in pain.
When we give her the over-the-counter gas drops, it usually
seems to make her feel better. Are there any risks from giving
her the gas drops every day? Is there anything else we should
be doing for her?
and your baby are not alone. Fussiness is common and can be a
normal part of infant behavior. In general, there’s no harm
in giving your baby gas drops if they seem to help. It’s
likely her frequent fussiness will fade over time without
gas drops usually contain simethicone, a medicine designed to
relieve painful symptoms associated with having too much gas
in the stomach and intestines. Simethicone is generally a safe
medication for babies. It could cause loose stools, but that
is uncommon. The typical dose for simethicone is 20
milligrams, up to four times a day. It is safe to use every
day. If gas drops make your baby feel better, you can continue
choose gas drops, however, check the ingredient information,
and avoid drops that contain sodium benzoate or benzoic acid.
These substances can be harmful to babies in large quantities.
Fortunately, they are not included in most gas drops intended
your case, gas drops may be useful for infant fussiness. To
date, though, research studies have not found simethicone to
be very effective at relieving infant colic. Though your
question doesn’t mention colic, it’s possible that some of
your baby’s fussiness might be related to that condition,
rather than feeding.
colic is defined as a baby crying for more than three hours a
day, more than three days a week, for a period of three weeks
or longer in an otherwise healthy infant. This crying occurs
for no apparent reason, despite the baby being well-fed and in
a clean diaper. The amount of daily crying usually increases
after birth, reaching a peak around six weeks, before
gradually starting to improve. Although colic can be quite
distressing for babies and their parents, it usually doesn’t
require medical care.
cases of colic or other frequent fussiness, parents worry that
their baby might not be on the right formula. Usually, healthy
babies do well on standard infant formulas. Some formulas are
marketed to ease fussiness and spit up. There is little
evidence that they are helpful or necessary in most cases. The
nutrition in these formulas is similar to standard formulas,
and both are safe for babies. Of course, breast-fed babies can
be fussy, too, and moms sometimes wonder if making personal
dietary changes might be helpful. However, evidence is limited
regarding avoidance of any particular foods.
has been some new research indicating that probiotics could be
helpful for infant colic. Unfortunately, other studies have
shown mixed results, so more research is needed. Probiotics
are not routinely recommended for fussiness, but some parents
try them anyway. I would recommend talking to your baby’s
health care provider if this is something you would like to
babies may swallow extra air during feedings, leading to
discomfort afterward. To help avoid this, feed the baby in a
more upright position, and pause regularly for burping.
Experimenting with various nipples or bottles may be helpful,
as every baby is different. Moving the baby’s legs in a
bicycling motion sometimes can help, too. Giving your baby a
warm bath or lightly rubbing her stomach when she seems
uncomfortable also can be soothing.
cases, colic and other forms of fussiness slowly disappear
with time and can be managed with self-care. You should visit
your baby’s health care provider if you have concerns about
her growth or weight gain. An evaluation is also a good idea
if your baby seems to be constipated. Although they typically
are not medical emergencies, if you notice blood in your baby’s
stool, if she is vomiting, or if she has prolonged or
excessive crying that is different than usual, seek prompt