My baby is two weeks old and has had an enormous amount of gas since birth. Our pediatrician suggested we put him on a soy formula and we have, but it does not seem to have helped his gas production. What could be causing this and how do we handle it? It makes him very fussy and irritable.
Gas is trapped air within the stomach or intestine. It can be produced there when a certain food or formula is not being properly digested, or it can be swallowed from the outside, as happens when a baby sucks inefficiently or swallows air as he cries.
A change in formula assumes it is the former problem. If changing to soy already hasn't helped, (and if he is gaining weight and thriving in every other way) then consider the latter situation. Does your baby cry a lot? Then expect some gas afterwards. Does he eat ravenously and gulp a lot of air as he does? Then try to anticipate his hunger (as best you can) and burp him more frequently, after an ounce or two or 5 minutes on the breast. Sometimes changing the type of nipple helps to even a baby's sucking. The shorter, squat nipples of the Playtex nursing system often help.
There are two other things for you to consider. The first is whether the fussiness he has is the cause or the result of his gas. A baby who has colic, for example, will have the fussiness first and then gas from the all his crying. The second is that if you are breast feeding, certain foods that you eat can affect gas production, such as cabbage, asparagus, brussel sprouts and the like.
Hope this gives you some food for thought.