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trapped wind in 3 month old

(30 Posts)
ionesmum Sun 26-May-02 15:17:24

help! My three-month old has been suffering from trapped wind for five weeks. I thought it had lessened but last night was as bad as ever. It started after a cold gave her a tummy upset. She arches her back, draws in her knees and then straightens them, and I can feel the bubbles of air in her tummy and her muscles trying to push them through. She doesn't cry all the time, but as the pain seems to come in waves she screams as each pain comes. It tends to be worse in the early hours of the morning.

She is formula-fed and SMA suggested trying their lactose-free milk, but this has to be done under medical supervision and my g.p. pooh-poohed this idea, saying "that it is just colic and she will grow out of it"! The h.v. only suggested gripe water, which had no effect and is a nightmare to give to dd who doesn't like anything that isn't milk (not even water, or watered-down formula- another h.v. suggestion.) We have started weaning on advice of h.v. but so far have only had small meals of baby rice.

The only way that I can stop the pain for dd is to lay her across my tummy and let her sleep there. Sometimes I fall asleep too, I try to keep awake but am so tired, but am well aware this is dangerous. Last night dd slept on me for 4 hours.I also think that this wind problem has contributed to her tiredness by day and so her inability to rectify her day/night confusion (which some of you have been kind enough to help with!) I am at my wits end, I am sick of seeing my little one in such pain and being fobbed off. I am sure that we could crack her sleep problem if it wasn't for this.

Thanks in advance for your help, I only found mumsnet this week and this is my third request for help!

mears Sun 26-May-02 17:21:00

Have you tried Infacol? You give it prior to feeds and it helps get the wind to come up or go down in one go. If you have tried that then another remedy is homeopathic colicynth granules. You put a pinch of granules on the tongue every 5 mins until the colic passes. Have you got any info on baby massage? That can be really helpful.
Is she on gold cap or white cap SMA? Babies can have more colic when taking casein feeds ( white cap). Be careful about the solids because that can make colic worse. I still think she is a bit young to be weaning ( as a midwife ). Perhaps you should leave the rice for a few days and see if that helps. You had said she seemed to be getting better.

Enid Sun 26-May-02 17:41:04

Ionesmum, I know you are following the advice of your hv, but I think you should stop giving her baby rice for a while. IMO, 3 months is far too young to wean, esp. as she is showing signs of intestinal discomfort.

My dd did get a bit windy on SMA, I switched to aptimil first and she had no more problems.

Art Sun 26-May-02 18:22:28

Have you tried walking her around in the 'tiger in the tree' positon? It will basically have the same effect as laying her across your tummy, but we found it soothed ds fairly quickly. Lie her along your arm with her head by the crook of your elbow and her bottom by your hand. With the free hand you can cup her tummy and gently massage it if you like.
Another suggestion - try giving a teaspoon of boiled water halfway thru the feed.

I agree with Enid, maybe leave the rice for a bit and see if it makes a difference.

I know it is awful to see your child in pain and it often seems to be at night when you feel most alone - but it is only a phase and hopefully once her system matures a little she will grow out of it.

lou33 Sun 26-May-02 20:12:28

I would agree that it seems a bit early to be giving rice, and this could be a reason for her painful tummy. I also hate it when doctors use colic as a blanket for whenever they can't be bothered to find an answer for the pain. If she has colic then imo there has to be a reason for it, whether it is the wrong milk, too early baby rice etc. Too many so called medical professionals say "oh it's colic" in the same sense as saying "oh you have blue eyes", like that's that and nothing can be done about it, instead of helping to find the cause.

I would try changing her milk first, to a normal formula alternative to start with then maybe a non dairy one if that doesn't work, and cut out the rice for a bit. Colief apparently is very good too. Keep a note of when you feed and when she starts hurting. Does she have any diarrhoea as well?

I had 3 out of my 4 children labelled as suffering with colic when in fact they were not able to tolerate the dairy formulas. In a matter of days after changing to non dairy they were like different children. Good luck in solving this.

ionesmum Sun 26-May-02 22:55:41

Thanks for this. Dd has been on Colief from week 2 but we stopped it recently as it semmed not to be having any effect. Infacol didn't work either. I am trying one of those baths shaped like a bucket as that is supposed to help.

I have never heard of aptimil first, I will speak to my hv about it. I really am in two minds about the weaning thing, she has only been on rice since Thursday and was feeding like mad previous to this. She has five feeds of 7-8 oz and had started to demand 3a.m. feeds again, but I wasn't sure about starting to wean so early and had rung my g.p. to ask him what he thought (but he didn't return my call!) The problem is that I am so new to this, it's hard not to take the word of the professionals (i.e. hv.)

Mears, you must despair of me. I am such an amateur! Dd was on SMA white when this problem began, and she was also constipated. My hv wanted me to keep her on it but I changed back to Gold (which was the advice given to me by SMA) and this helped hugely, her nappies went back to normal instantly. I have tried massaging her tummy before a feed with a baby masage oil including lavender and chammomile but it had no effect, perhaps I was doing it wrong.

I will try the "tiger in the tree" thing, and will leave out the rice for a day or two to see what happens. The rice can't be the original cause of the problem as she's had it for so long but it may not be helping, I agree. I will also see about trying her on another milk, and will try a non-dairy one if that doesn't work, even if I have to stamp my feet to get it! And I will keep a feed/ tummy ache diary.

Thank you all so much once again. I'll keep you posted!

mears Sun 26-May-02 23:39:52

Ionesmum - a milk that might be worth trying is Cow & Gate Omneo Comfort. It is a first infant milk for " babies with sesitive digestive systems"
Mothercare and other stores also stocks a different type of feeding bottle that reduces the air that babies take in when feeding - I've forgotten the name of it but it is claimed that babies have reduced incidence of ear infections and colic etc. because the negative pressure caused by sucking a teat does not happen. There is a tube up the centre of the bottle to prevent the pressure and allows the baby to control the milk flow. I have seen it demontrated and it seems to work well for breastfed babies getting EBM. If the name comes back to me I'll let you know.

mears Sun 26-May-02 23:58:35

Found it - it used to be called the Lindam feeding system but it is now called Dr. Bronw's natural flow system.
Here is a link to see what they look like - I have definately seen them in Mothercare.

mears Sun 26-May-02 23:59:11

That is Dr. Brown's natural Flow system.

EmmaM Mon 27-May-02 08:30:36

I found good old fashioned gripe water helped with our ds. I also found that after a trip to the osteopath our son's digestion seemed to improve.

aloha Mon 27-May-02 09:25:02

I agree that your dd seems a bit too young to wean. The World Health Organisation suggest 6months as the youngest age. I started my ds at 4months and wish I had waited, it made no difference at all to his sleeping and seemed to make him uncomfortable, also he gets a bit of excema now and I wonder if it is connected. Is she getting enough sleep by day? I don't think you are doing anything wrong, BTW, all babies are different and things that work for one don't work for another. It's not your fault! If pressure on the tummy seems to help have you tried swaddling? My ds hated it but he also hated being on his tummy so maybe it will work for your dd. A dummy really helped & soothed my ds when he was uncomfortable with his tummy - apparently the sucking produces natural painkilling hormones in a baby. Might be worth a try. Good luck to you and the mite.

Bron Mon 27-May-02 09:40:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tetley Mon 27-May-02 11:22:09

Another vote for cranial osteopathy. Ds was a nightmare for his first few weeks of life! Would spend from 8pm to 2am screaming. The osteopathy really seemed to sort him out - although it took about 6 sessions. Was well worth the money though. The osteopath said that in some areas of the country all newborns get a session f.o.c. Not in our region though unfortunately. I have no. 2 child due later in the year, and will definately take him/her to be checked out.

Enid Mon 27-May-02 11:35:44

Another vote for cranial osteopathy.

Sorry, I keep bleating on about this, but please stop the rice and let her drink more milk. She's too young to start dropping milk feeds for solids. 40oz of milk at 3 months seems quite normal to me. dd had five milk feeds a day at that age, last one at about 11pm, first at 7am. She was breastfed so it was a bit different I suppose, but each feed took about 30 mins and she'd take both breasts, so I think she got plenty at each feed.

Its not unusual for 3 month old babies to wake in the night, I doubt very much that you would solve that by giving her solids.

ionesmum Mon 27-May-02 21:18:07

Thanks once again for so much advice. I spoke to the h.v. this morning and she still insists that we keep on weaning dd, now moving her onto fruit and veg. Surely this is the last thing a sensitive tummy needs? (H.v. also suggests gripe water and colief.)

I have talked about this with dh and we have decided to leave off the solids for now, and consider changing milk at the end of the week if there is no improvement. This raises another problem though. I still want to be guided by one of our health professionals in this. Do I talk to h.v. again and question her judgement, talk to another h.v. or talk to one of the at our practise?(Despite this I have a good relationship with our h.v. and some of her advice has been first-rate.)

Thanks for the cranial osteopathy recommendations, we will see if we can get dd an appointment. Dd already has a dummy, she has always been a very sucky baby. The dummy does help to soothe her and she chews on it like mad every time she has a spasm of pain. She doesn't like being swaddled though, unfortunately! The special bottles sound worth a try, too, as dd gulps down her feeds very quickly, we currently use Avent bottles.

The "tiger in the tree" position helped a bit last night as it got us an extra hour's sleep (very welcome!) I'm not sure about the bucket bath thing but I did find it easier to bath dd single-handed in it so not a total waste of time!

Thank you all for your comments re.weaning too soon, it has helped me to be clearer in my own mind about what I think is right for dd.

Thank you all for all your other advice, it is so good of you to take the trouble to help my little one. I will let you know how we get on!

lou33 Mon 27-May-02 21:30:58

Personally I would not listen to the health visitor regarding starting your baby on fruit or veg, I think it's much too young. Even if she was over 4 months old and coping with the rice I would leave it a good few weeks before upping her variety of foods. You have to remember that health visitors are only people giving you advice, and that you have the option to take it up or disregard it. If you feel that dd would be bettre off waiting then that is what you should do, because even if you are new to all this , you are her mum and still know her best. And the health visitor is not up at all hours with her is she!

My first baby suffered from the same problems you describe, so I changed her from SMA to Wysoy, and it worked in days. So armed with this information I went to the doctor, described her symptoms and how much better she was and got her a regular prescription for it until she was about 3.. Number two was fine, but number 3 was the same as 1. Again another prescription on a repeat basis until he was 1 then he was fine. Baby number 4 is the most seriously affected of all though, he has dairy soya and wheat allergies, so is on Neocate, which is a very elemental non dairy/soya formula, only available on prescription. He is 15 months old now, but I can still remember the crying and the agony he was in, along with weeks of sleepless nights until we got him on the right diet.
On a side note, there is a lot more sugar in non dairy formulas to make them taste better, so make sure teeth are cleaned properly when they come through!
Good luck, I really hope this improves for you.

mears Mon 27-May-02 22:25:12

GPs do not know very much about infant feeding and weaning. Your HV should not be advising weaning as it is well known babies should delay solids until 4 if not 6 months. You could tell your HV that you are aware of the health benefits to your baby of not starting weaning just now and could she give you advice regarding this. If she can't, could she recommend a colleague who could.
In this way you are making it clear the advice you need without saying you do not want her advice at all. She is not professionally updated if she is advising weaning now.

tiktok Tue 28-May-02 00:39:12

I'd agree with the advice not to wean - but gosh, it must be confusing with people telling you something else. There are babies who need something other than milk very early but these are usually babies with metabolic disorders who are not thriving (and I take it she is). The WHO 6 mth guidelines are for breastfed babies, BTW, and it may well be that formula fed babies need solids sooner than this, but four months is soon enough for most.

Has anyone talked to you about relactating? This may not be an option for you, and if you didn't breastfeed or else stopped very soon, it would need a lot of time and a baby who was either good at remembering what to do or who is co-operative enough to tolerate being put to the breast a lot even though there is nothing there. If you want to know more, just ask!

Tillysmummy Tue 28-May-02 08:07:55

My dd began weaning at 14 weeks because she was soo hungry. On the 99th centile at birth and still there, she is an incredibly long baby and simply wasn't getting enough.

One other thing, she also was quite a possiter and I think that sometimes it helps to have not so much fluid (especially rich milk) and a little solid to reduce wind.

I agree that where possible weaning should be delayed but it's not always the case and is not always possible. My dd is in very good health and is a very happy little baby now and was as soon as she started getting some solid food.

Ionesmum, I found camomile drops helped and also there is a homeopathic treatment available from health shops called windy pops. This also helped a lot.

One other thing, are you sure it is colic ? My dd was diagnosed with colic when she was 6 weeks. It wasn't colic. She was overtired. Admittedly she had bad wind and the doctors were convinced it was colic, however as soon as she had slept she would be fine. We had a pattern, at 6.30 every evening she would just scream and draw her legs up etc, etc and be in a real state and was impossible to calm. Eventually she would fall asleep out of exhaustion and then would wake up fine, no pain (but still a little wind) and would eat and then go to sleep again. Basically she was tired. What would happen was the more tired she got the more she would scream when she farted and it was a vicious circle, however when she wasn't over tired the wind never bothered her.

It may well be colic that your dd has but I just thought I would let you know about this because I think any excessive crying without a known reason is diagnosed as colic these days.

Azzie Tue 28-May-02 09:41:14

Ionesmum, this sounds very like the situation I had with ds (my first baby). It scared us rigid at first, especially the drawn up knees etc - it looked like he was in real pain, and we were convinced we were doing something terribly wrong. I got more and more stressed, and more and more tired. I was breastfeeding him, and it felt as though that, which was supposed to be good for him, was causing him all this trouble. In my exhausted state it almost felt as though I was harming him.

One day my very sensible hv came round just after he'd had a feed and saw what he did. She told me very firmly that it was colic, not anything I was doing wrong, which helped a bit. We tried everything to solve the problem, but I'm sorry to tell you that nothing really worked. In the end as he got a bit older he developed his muscles etc, grew stronger, and started to be able to move around himself a bit more to relieve the pain of the trapped wind, and eventually the problem subsided when he was about 4 months or a bit older (can't remember exactly).

I think my point is that it may be awful now, and you may not find anything that helps, but it will pass - everybody tells you this, and I well remember that when you're going through it it can be hard to believe. Just hang in there!

On the weaning front, I'd back off it. My ds was a big baby and lots of people said he'd need food early. What actually happened was that it became very clear when he needed to start weaning - he started waking hungry in the middle of the night after weeks of sleeping through, and was clearly ready for something more. I think he was about 4.5 months.

Tillysmummy Tue 28-May-02 09:44:41

What Azzie says is absolutely right. My dd went from waking once in the night for a feed to waking every hour. You'll soon know when solids are needed, they tell you.

ionesmum Tue 28-May-02 12:23:57

Thank you again for so much useful advice.Dd is on the 50th centile for weight and the 75th for height and is gaining weight at the right rate just to keep her on these lines. I think that when she was waking for a night feed having dropped them that she may have been going through a growth spurt. She certainly wasn't waking every hour!

Tiktok, I would love to be able to breastfeed dd but she never really got the hang of it the first time around and ended up very distressed and fustrated. I don't think I could face the thought of it all going wrong again, but thanks for the offer of help.

Anyway, last night was much better! Dd had her last feed at midnight and went to sleep in her crib at one - and didn't wake again until six, with her windy/colic problem. I gave her a cuddle, rubbed her tummy and pumped her legs gently for 20 mins, and she went back to sleep. I decided that if she didn't stay settled I would feed her, and the next thing I knew it was nine o'clock and I had to wake her for a feed! So we have had loads of sleep and feel much better. I know that this isn't going to help dd's day/night confusion or her lack of routine, but I think that will come once her tummy is better.

I will definitely talk to our hv as you have suggested , Mears, particularly as dh's family have a history of asthma and hayfever. I will also buy some Windypops, and if dd doesn't stay better by the end of the week we will try a different milk.

Thank you all so much once again, from a very grateful mum, dad and dd!

Bugsy2 Tue 28-May-02 15:19:24

Ionesmum, I'm a bit late to this discussion but I just wanted to offer you my every sympathy. Our ds had evil colic and we tried everything. We took him to aromatherapy massage, diffused dill seed oil, used infacol and dentinox colic drops, gave him gripe water, took him to a highly recommended cranial osteopath four times and I am really sorry to say that nothing worked. Ds was fed breast milk and Aptimil and he doesn't (and therefore didn't) have lactose intolerence.
I am sure that some of the colic was overtiredness and our inability to comfort him. Laying him on his tummy and patting his back did help to a certain degree and I was assured by the health visitor that he was very unlikely to die of SIDS if he fall asleep like this. She told me that tummy sleeping was only one of many causal factors in SIDS and that the risk was minimal - so please don't worry if you fall asleep too.
At about 11/12 weeks the colic started to tail off and by 16 weeks he really didn't have it at all.
I really hope that your baby will get over it soon and it doesn't completely exhaust you in the meantime.

Bron Tue 28-May-02 21:13:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gaga Wed 29-May-02 12:05:19

I eventually resorted to looking at my own diet (if you are breastfeeding).Caffeine and chocolate contributed to my dd's colic. As soon as I cut them out the colic stopped.I had tried all the gripe water and infacol solutions - even infant massage and was at my wits end.I used the book Infant Massage by Vimala Mclure. It has a good massage for colic and reccommends looking at your diet. Hope this helps.

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