When a newborn has gas pains, the sooner a parent figures this out, the better for the newborn. This way, steps can be taken to relieve the gas and hopefully alleviate the pain. It isn't always easy, especially for a new parent, to determine which symptoms are indications a newborn has gas pains. The information below is not meant to be a complete diagnostic guide, but may help parents find some of the answers they need.
Not all crying is an indication of gas or gas pains. Because newborn babies cannot talk, crying is the most common form of communication for a variety of their needs. They will learn to use it as a means of communication. Generally, sharp and piercing cries will indicate pain, but not all babies are the same. If you notice such a cry after feeding, this may be one of the varied indications your newborn has gas pains.
A baby can be cranky for several reasons. Before deciding it's one of the indications your newborn has gas pains, consider other reasons. Is the baby sleepy, hungry, or in need of a diaper change? Does the baby want to be held, swaddled, or given a pacifier? If none of those apply and the crankiness cannot be soothed with conventional methods, your newborn may have gas pains.
Pay attention to your baby's movements. Some newborns will draw their legs in toward the chest and then push them straight out when gas pains are present. Although, some infants do this for other reasons as well. Another common movement that may be related to gas pains is clenched fists. If your baby is doing one or both, these are possible indications your newborn has gas pains.
When newborns are experiencing gas pains, they may refuse the breast or bottle. Refusing to feed does not always indicate gas pains, but it can. The baby may also just be tired, not hungry, or need to burp but is not necessarily in pain.
If a baby is having a tough time sleeping, it may be one indicator of gas pains. But, babies can remain awake for a variety of reasons. Pay attention to other cues, like those above as well.
-- Note that the author is not a licensed medical professional. The above is provided for informational purposes. Always consult a licensed medical professional for any advice pertaining to health matters.