Mother and Baby

Baby burping: 6 ways to wind your baby

Section: Baby Health

Every mum knows a windy baby is a grumpy baby! Avoid the tears by finding the right baby burping technique to settle your little one.

Your baby’s digestive system can give you endless worries in the early days. But there is a way to work out what’s making them uncomfortable – and how to get them happy again.

If your baby gets air trapped in her tummy, they’ll feel uncomfortable and unable to settle.

"For some babies, wind can be incredibly painful and upsetting," says parenting expert Fi Star-Stone.

"It can take time and patience to soothe them and dislodge the wind, but after every feed, you should ensure you get 3-4 big burps.

"You can do this in several ways but it's really about finding out what works for you and your baby."

How to wind your baby:

There are several different ways to wind your little one. Get the technique right and it could provide instant relief for your little one….

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1) The classic rub

Sit your baby on your lap facing to the side or facing forward. Support your baby with one arm under his tummy and your hand supporting his chin. Lean him forward slightly and rub his back up and down quite quickly with your free hand.
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2) Pat a back

Gently pat your baby's back while they are sitting in the position mentioned above. "Patting can help to dislodge stubborn wind," says Fi. "But be careful not to pat your baby too hard!"
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3) The arm lift

Childcare expert Fi Star-Stone says, "One of the best ways of helping my little ones stubborn wind was to lift them gently under their arms then gently rock them side to side." Make sure you’re careful to support your baby's head though.
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4) Tummy-time burping  

  Lay your baby tummy-down on your lap supporting her head with your hand.

"Ensure she is safe and secure and not in danger of rolling off your lap – then use your free hand to rub her back gently up and down or in circular motions," says Fi. 

"Lots of little ones like this technique but be warned – it can bring up a sicky burp after a feed as there is pressure on their tummy."
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5) Baby massage 

Massage is a great baby calmer and can help your bond to grow stronger. What’s more, it’s pretty easy once you know what to do. Your newborn will be in the mood for a massage around 45 minutes after a nap and feed.  

As you build confidence, try ‘soothing strokes’, where you move your hands from just above his belly button towards his hips, one after the other, to help move wind through the bowel.  

Fi says, "A baby massage is a great way of soothing your little one and dislodging their wind.

"Some medicines, like Infacol are also hugely helpful if given to your baby before a feed. It helps your little one bring up their wind by making their wind bubbles bigger and therefore easier to pass." 
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6) Baby still uncomfortable?

"If your little one’s stubborn wind is still leaving you wanting to tear your hair out, there are plenty of other tricks you can try."

"Elevating the head end of the cot when putting your baby down for a nap after a feed can really help windy babies," says Fi.

"Winding during, as opposed to after, a feed (especially for bottle-fed babies) can help as well.

"Sit them upright half way through a feed and try to burp them, then continue to feed. If you are bottle feeding – try to use anti-colic bottles."

Causes of trapped wind in babies

Wind is caused by excess air getting trapped in the tummy and often occurs when your baby accidentally swallows mouthfuls of air when feeding or gulps it in while crying.

This can make her feel full even if she hasn’t had enough to eat.

Symptoms of trapped wind 

Common signs your baby has trapped wind include her squirming or crying during a feed or looking pained or uncomfortable when you put her down afterwards.

Trapped wind remedies 

Breastfed babies are less prone to trapped wind because they have greater control over milk flow.

But she may still suffer if she feeds quickly or your milk is fast-flowing. 

To reduce the chances of wind when bottle feeding, keep your baby in an upright position as she eats.

Tilt the bottle so the milk completely covers the hole too – this will help prevent any air getting in. 

If your baby’s feeding well and seems happy, don’t stop to wind her – she might get upset and gulp in air as she cries.

Wait for a natural break to try. 
It’s useful to gently stretch your baby out when winding.

Good positions to adopt include holding her over your shoulder with her bottom supported, sitting her upright or laying her face down on your lap.

Meet the expert: Fi Star-Stone is a qualified parenting advisor with over 24 years working with children and families. Her qualifications include a Degree in Childhood and Youth studies, an NNEB in Nursery nursing, and a Diploma in Childhood studies. Her bestselling book ‘The Baby Bedtime Book’ has been helping families to give their little ones the gift of happy sleep.

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