Babies tend to take in a lot of extra air through their mouths during activities such as feeding, sucking on a dummy, or crying. This sucked in air can cause gas or wind to build up in the tummy. Some babies pass the wind very easily, either by burping or flatulence, others seem to struggle and become uncomfortable. If a baby has wind you may notice them squirming, wiggling, pulling up their legs, and behaving in a fussy way.
How to relieve wind
You can prevent wind from building up by helping your baby get rid of air before it travels too far down the digestive tract by burping. It is recommended to burp your baby after every 2-3 ounces of formula or when you switch breasts during breastfeeding. If your baby seems especially windy you may need to increase the amount of burping time. And don’t forget to always encourage your baby to burp at the end of a feeding.
When you are feeding your baby keep them positioned as upright as possible and if your baby is drinking from a bottle, make sure the teat is always completely full of milk by keeping it tilted at least at a 30-degree angle.
Ensure your baby’s mouth has a good seal on a bottle or nipple to prevent too much air from getting in.
Burping is the best way to bring up wind but remember this may also bring up some feed so keep a muslin cloth handy.
To relieve wind:
Many people wind their babies by placing them on a shoulder, and rubbing their back quite firmly. This often works well because this position keeps babies back nice and straight.
Some babies, however, find it easier to burp when they have some pressure on their tummy – so try lying them down on your lap, keeping them well supported and, rubbing their back with circular motions.
Another popular winding position is sitting baby upright on your lap, facing away from you. Use one hand to hold their chin up, to keep their spine straight, and use your other hand to rub their back.
Other things to try:
- Place your baby on their back and move their legs as if they are riding a bicycle to release wind.
- Place your baby on all fours (or as close as possible) and massage their tummy.
- Place your baby in a warm bath.
- You could also try switching the nipple on the baby’s bottle. Sometimes the nipples let out too much milk and that give a lot of gas or they let out too little milk and the baby is really sucking furiously gulping too much air when they do so.
If these don’t relieve your baby’s wind, talk to your healthcare provider about gas-relieving medicines, there is nothing worse than seeing your baby in pain.