Tips for a windy or gassy Baby
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Wind and feeding
Some babies are quite happy to suck away and complete their feed in one go and rarely need burping, while other babies may require burping during feeds. Breastfed babies tend to have less of a problem because their feeds are smaller, they can control the flow of milk more easily, and they tend to be fed in a more upright position.
Signs that your baby has wind /gas
You might notice your baby refuses to suckle anymore and cries a lot, and the cry is more of a painful cry than a normal cry. Baby’s belly will seem bloated and tight and you might notice him forming fists because of his discomfort. Your little bub may also seem distressed and pull his knees up to his belly while he’s crying, especially if you try to lay him down afterwards. Your baby could have diarrhoea or constipation as well which could be causing the wind/gas.
What’s causing my baby’s wind?
Wind/gas can be caused by swallowing air when feeding, crying or simply breathing. The air fills your baby’s tummy, which can make them feel uncomfortable and full before they’ve had enough milk to drink. A newborn bub can take in a lot of air through their mouth while feeding. This is why it is so important to burp your baby every 5-10 minutes during a feed. A crying baby can tend to gulp air as well, and the extra air can cause wind and cramping for your little one.
How do I burp my baby?
If your baby is feeding happily, let them be. You can burp during natural breaks in the feed, during a change of breast and at the end of their feed. Now if you think they have a little gas/wind still stuck inside their tummy and haven’t settled back into the feed, then try and burp baby. Every mum has their own favourite method that they find works best for their baby but here are some suggestions that we have found that worked:
- Place your baby over your shoulder with their bottom supported by your arm on that side. As your baby is in an upright, stretched out posture, this a good ‘burping position’. Pat or rub their back gently with your other hand.
- Sit your baby upright on your lap, encircling them with your arm. Allow your baby to lean forward slightly, so that their tummy rests against your arm. This position will gently compress their abdomen which may help to bring up the wind. Pat or rub their back gently with your other hand.
- Another variation is to sit baby on your lap, supporting baby under the bottom with one hand and the chin with the other hand. Lean baby forward slightly, so baby is resting on your top hand. Gently lift baby up and down with your knee, gently jiggling the bubbles up to the top of your baby’s tummy. Stop bouncing and try rubbing your hand up your baby’s back, awaiting the burp to come up.
- Place your baby face down on your lap. Hold them firmly with one hand and pat or rub their back gently with the other.
- Place your baby on her back and take baby’s legs and gently cycle them forwards and backwards towards her tummy. Gently massage baby’s tummy, from the bottom up and then lift baby up into a sitting position, and wait for the burp to appear. This should be done while supporting baby’s head. At the end of your feeding session, cuddle your baby close and you may just get a sleepy burp in response!
When in doubt don’t be afraid to burp your little one a bit more often, because air that exits as gas has a longer journey through the intestinal tract and it can be more painful for your baby. Be a little extra vigilant about burping your bub during and after a feed to see if you can keep some of the gas at bay. Finally, just remember when you are feeding your baby try and position them so their head is higher than their stomach. It will help allow the liquid to sink to the bottom while the bubbles will rise to the top. If you can keep the bubbles up high, the natural and easiest way for them to exit is as a burp.
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