Congratulations on your new baby and this is a question that you should ask your Early Childhood Nurse about. As an infant massage instructor I’m also unable to really comment on gripe water, so I’d ask your ECN about that too.
Baby’s digestive tracts are immature but there are many fabulous containment holds and abdominal strokes you can use in infant massage which can help relax your baby and also stimulate her digestive system.
But at just one week of age, I’d be simply holding my baby in the “football” hold, which is where your baby lies prone over your forearm with her chin resting in your hand and her legs either side of your elbow. This hold is a comforting hold and helps as it places a gentle pressure on the belly.
You can also try these two abdominal strokes:
Hands of the clock
Imagine there is a clock face on your baby’s tummy. With your right hand, make clockwise circles around the stomach. Now with your left hand, bring in a crescent from 10 o’clock to 5 o’clock. Keep both hands moving to make continuous clockwise circles.
I love you
Using your index finger and middle fingers, stroke a big letter “I” from your baby’s left hip down his or her descending colon, and say: “I”.
Then draw an upside down “L” across the transverse and down the descending colon, as you say: “Love”.
Lastly, draw an upside down “U” up the ascending colon to you baby’s right hip, across the transverse to your baby’s left hip and then down the descending colon, saying: “You”.
Now put it all together as you tell your baby” “I… love… you…”
This practice involves tracing your baby’s colon, so to stroke DOWN your baby’s descending colon, you will be stroking down your baby’s left-hand side, to stroke UP your baby’s ascending colon, you will be tracing up your baby’s right side.
And move from your baby’s right to left side when you trace the TRANSVERSE colon.
To finish, rest your hands on your baby’s abdomen, encouraging your baby to release any tension in their tummy. Then, when you are ready, pick up your baby for a kiss and cuddle…
Good luck! All the best, Katie