Developing a Sleep Routine with a Gassy Baby

A gassy baby can be challenging, but here are a few techniques that may help with developing a sleep routine and providing relief.

I can remember coming home from the hospital in New York City with my beautiful baby boy. He was fast asleep in his car seat. He slept well for about the first five weeks.

Then, as if someone turned on a switch, he kicked into a turbo-gassy baby.

As a registered nurse, I knew it made sense because around 6-8 weeks their digestive systems are "organizing". Everyone reminded me this is a phase that babies outgrow.

None of that helped much when it was happening, though.

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As he became more awake and aware, my sweet bundle of joy would achieve levels of fussiness that I didn't even know existed. We are talking full blown fits of screaming, and I just wanted to make my gassy baby feel better while feeling desperate to develop a sleep routine.

I was exhausted.
I needed relief.
And I just wanted help.

I began fielding advice, researching options, and tried almost everything for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

I finally found a few techniques that not only provided some relief to my gassy baby, but also helped us develop our sleep routine.

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Warm bath

My gassy boy learned to love a nice, calm, soothing bath. I would lay a washcloth soaked in the warm water over his tummy and play soft music in the background.

On particularly rough days, I would put him in a warm water bath before feeding, to calm his little tummy. I didn't use soap to avoid drying out his skin, but the warm water provided a calming opportunity if he was particularly riled up.

Infant Massage 

My son received a baby massage every day from the time he was six weeks old through his first birthday. It helped him, relaxed me, and gave us an opportunity to reconnect. It worked wonders and became our special time together.

I always followed the same infant massage routine, so he learned cues that encourage sleep. I used the same baby blanket, in the same room, every day. Since he was very gassy, he despised being on his back; I'm sure the pressure hurt, so I'd often turn him onto his left side to promote comfort. It also helps the digestive track empty. Making eye contact with lights dimmed, I would speak in a calm voice or sing songs while rubbing his soft skin with lotion.

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Leg pumping

Once he was more relaxed after a massage, I would slowly begin to pump his legs. I also did this during the day, but I had to wait until way after feeding, so he didn't spit up. My routine was like a mantra. Right leg, left leg, both legs, and a circular rubbing motion on his back.

While we all know that babies go through varying degrees of fussiness, and yes, they do outgrow it sooner or later, it's still okay to say that dealing with a gassy baby is a struggle.

It can be easy to forget about ourselves while we strive to make it all better. Early motherhood is challenging, but taking care of yourself will ultimately help you recuperate and rest better as well. Grabbing that three-minute shower, a cup of tea, or redirecting attention towards a magazine for a quick break is essential. It's so true when they say that the days are long but the years are short.

Since every baby is different, what has worked for you and your gassy baby?

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This post provides content and discussion related to health, wellness, and related subjects.  The words and other content provided in this blog including links, should not be considered medical advice and should not be construed as such. Any health/wellness information should not be considered an alternative or replacement for information given to you by a licensed physician. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with a licensed physi­cian.

For more help getting your Baby on a Babywise sleep schedule, you can read more articles on Baby Sleep here on

Linda Scruggs

Linda Scruggs

Linda Scruggs RN, BSN serves as a resource for parents in the digital space, creating helpful health and wellness content. She has specialized for over 12 years in reproductive medicine, and family and women's health as a nurse. A mom of two young children, her work can be seen on her own blog via her site,, as a contributor to The Huffington Post, and created the patient education program in one of the top fertility centers in the country. Linda is all about empowerment in motherhood and would love to connect.

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