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Gas Relief for Babies: 4 Movements to Prevent and Relieve Gas

gas relief for babies massage

The arrival of a baby is a magical and special moment for the whole family, but it can also be a challenging time for parents, especially first-timers. One of the most common challenges is discomfort caused by gas and constipation in babies, and for this, there are some techniques that can help you, such as massages for gas relief.

Gas can be a concern for parents, as it can cause discomfort, crying, and many sleepless nights. Keep reading to understand what can cause gas in babies and learn a simple massage to prevent and relieve it.

Why do Babies Have Gas?

In general, gas is a normal result of the digestive process. In babies, this occurs because the digestive system is still developing and they can have some difficulties eliminating gas, which causes discomfort and colic.

Some Possible Causes of Gas in Babies

Other factors can contribute to the accumulation of gas in the intestines. Below, we list 10 possible causes of gas in babies:

  1. Swallowing air during feedings
  2. Use of pacifiers
  3. Lactose intolerance
  4. Introduction of new foods into the diet
  5. Gastroesophageal reflux
  6. Constipation
  7. Use of infant formulas
  8. Colic
  9. Change in the baby’s position (from lying down to sitting, for example);
  10. Emotional factors (such as maternal stress and anxiety, which can affect the baby’s digestion)

Gas Relief for Babies

Massages are a simple and effective way of alleviating a baby’s discomfort. They help stimulate the digestive system by increasing the flow of blood and oxygen to the abdominal region, and promoting the elimination of accumulated gas.

Download the Kinedu app to join baby massage classes!

Next, we will teach you how to do a massage that provides gas relief for babies.

How to do a baby belly massage to relieve gas

Before starting the massage on your baby’s belly, it is important to remember that you can only do this massage if your baby is older than forty days. This applies for full term babies, but if your baby was born prematurely, wait until they reach this corrected age, or ask your healthcare provider if this is safe.

Usually, you can use 100% natural, cold–pressed vegetable oil, but it is always important to talk to your pediatrician or healthcare provider about this first, so that they can indicate the safest lotion or oil for your baby. 


It is important to choose a time of day when your baby is active, willing, and excited to do a new activity. Often, the massage is done for the first time at a time when the baby is already tired or fussy, which may not be as effective. It is worth remembering that the massage is a new experience for your baby, and they need to feel safe and calm in order to enjoy it.

In this massage, all movements are done starting two fingers above the navel, and downwards.

Gas relief massage for babies: step-by-step

These are the steps to give your baby a belly massage for gas relief:

  1. The first movement of the massage is sliding the hand horizontally, down the baby’s belly, alternating the right and left hand.
  2. The second movement is to hold the baby’s legs up with the left hand, while using the right forearm to massage the belly downward, starting two fingers above the navel and sliding down towards the legs.
  3. The third movement is to draw a question mark or a half circle around the navel, using two fingers or the whole hand, always clockwise, from left to right.
  4. Finally, the fourth movement is the so-called “bicycle motion”. In this movement, you should grab your baby’s legs from behind the knees and bring both knees towards the belly, pressing softly when you reach the belly, and go back and forth with both legs.

Belly massage is a simple and effective technique for gas relief in babies, which can be done at home by parents. The movement should be gentle and delicate, and can be done for about 10 minutes, twice a day.

If your baby seems uncomfortable, fussy or hungry, feel free to interrupt the massage and continue it at another time, or even the next day, when your baby is in a better mood.

Small massages can make a big difference for your little one, providing a moment of relaxation and comfort and creating a special bond between you. In addition, the massage can help improve digestion, relieve colic and gas, and reduce stress and tension.

It is important to remember that each baby is unique and may react differently to each of these factors, and that identifying the exact cause of gas can help with treatment and symptom relief. If your baby has frequent or intense gas, it is important to consult a pediatrician.

To learn other massages you can do with your baby, download the Kinedu app and get access to videos and live classes on this and other important topics for parents!

Gabriella Demarque is a psychologist, doula, and facilitator of groups and courses for parents and caregivers. With a postgraduate degree in Psychoanalysis in Parenthood and Perinatology, she is also qualified in Yoga with Babies, Developmental Baby Massage and Assisting Developmental Delay, Psychology of Motherhood, Shantala, and Ofurô Bath.

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