How to Wind a Baby

How to Wind a Baby: Illustrated Techniques and Positions

Last Updated on November 7, 2021

We all know how uncomfortable it is when your baby has trapped wind in their tummy. They may be crying, making funny noises, farting and even vomiting. One of the best things you can do to help them feel better is to burp them or give them a gentle back rub until they release the gas that caused the discomfort. But how do I burp my baby exactly? Well, don’t worry because we’re here with 4 illustrated ways including super tips to help soothe your restless babe and get rid of those pesky trapped gasses!

What causes trapped wind in babies?

remove trapped wind

A trapped wind occurs when air gets trapped in the baby’s tummy and causes discomfort but it is perfectly normal. The most common reason for trapped gas in the digestive system is swallowed air which usually happens when babies feed themselves.

While breastfed babies get the trapped air due to poor posture during breastfeeding, bottle-fed babies mostly get it from the air bottle itself. While in the process of bottle feeding, baby feed himself the baby formula by sucking hard and accidentally take in too much air. The older baby get, the quicker they will swallow and get more air bubbles at the same time. When moms bottle feed their babies, they can choose the anti-colic bottle so that less air gets trapped in the baby’s tummy.

Trapped wind can also be trigged by:

  • General digestive difficulties (such as colic):
  • Diet and food allergies: If your baby is having food that they are allergic to, the trapped wind may be caused by an immune reaction. It is not rare when some breastfed babies dont like or even react badly to some specific type of formula.
  • Feeding routine and habits: While breastfeeding, some moms tend to feed their little ones too long on one breast and as a result, babies find it hard to get more milk they need. Eventually, they get as much air as breast milk when they are sucking. Switch breasts so that the feeding time is easier for them. Overfeeding and hunger also make your baby feel uncomfortable

Why should you burp your baby?

Expert advice is that burping your baby frequently can help them digest their formula or breast milk more easily. The long-term benefits of winding your baby is to reduce the risk of colic and reflux which can lead to spit-up and vomiting episodes. It is so important to burp the newborn because it can prevent them from choking. Reducing the amount of gas in their belly not only make baby less cranky or fussy but also make your day easier.

When should you wind your baby?

There is no one-size-fits all answer to this question. All babies are different and baby’s cues should be heeded accordingly. However, these are signs that they have a lot of trapped wind in their belly.

  • Your baby is upset and crying excessively, farting (passing gas) and may even vomit
  • They make a lot of noise while moving their bowels
  • Their tummy protruding out wards

It is best to wind baby just after feeding. Sometimes, your baby may need a little burping break while feeding as well, especially after first 10 minutes. Another good time is before or after naps (not when baby falls asleep) and during play time. If you start burping too early, it won’t be as effective so wait until they are really fussy or uncomfortable.

How to wind your baby?

Burping your baby could be complicated because there are various way to do it, especially if you are first-time moms. Here are 4 most effective and common burping positions which are highly recommend by healthcare professional.

1. Shoulder hold

shoulder hold burping

To help babies burp, shoulder hold is the most traditional way. All you need to do is to hold your baby upright over your shoulder, gently pat your baby’s back with your free hand, and rub in a circular motion. Make sure to put a muslin cloth over your shoulder because a little milk could come out from baby’s throat area when they burp.

2. Leg sit

leg sit burping

Sitting on your lap or one of you legs in particular is another easy burping positions to do. First, one hand of yours is going to support baby’s chin and jaw. It should form the C-shape and the palm is mainly on baby’s tummy. Though moving your baby forwards slightly but there is a no worry about the baby’s head as that C-shape hand supporting the head’s weight. The other hand is going to gently rub and pat your baby’s back. This position is so effective that you may hear the baby burping even when your baby is still sitting on you lap. Once the baby can burp, you would feel more relieve.

3. Lap sit

lap sit burping

Move your baby’s body gently to the center of your lap. Just like the Leg sit, your baby is still sitting on your lap and you will also support the chain with the C-shape of one hand around baby’s throat area. The difference here is the other hand supporting her back and head by putting your palm on baby’s shoulder area.

You should start to rotate your baby in four different points. For example, forwards, right, backwards and left. The movement of the baby’s body at the right angle generally makes trapped wind move along. Another option is that you can gently move your baby in circular motion because you baby could find that rhythmic movement more relaxing. Burping could be expected then. Only do this for few rounds to avoid dizziness even when you have heard you baby burping. Your baby could burp later, just be more patient.

4. Lap lie

lap lie burping

The fourth position for burping is to lie your baby flat across your lap. One arm of your holding baby chest and head by putting the palm under baby’s arm. Now the baby is on our lap facing the floor. To burp your baby, you should gently rub or pat her back with your free hand. The baby probably enjoys this position most because you are pretty much gently massaging her.

In this burping position, baby has her legs free and can move around as the chin and jaw are leaning on the mother’s lap. This allow the baby to wind easily. A little bit of milk are also expected when burping especially after the feed or when you don’t burp your baby for a while.

In short, to burp your baby, there could be many ways that work as long as you gently rub or pat her. If you are not sure what to do yet, you can ask for direct instruction from you health visitor. They will give you their the tips and experiences so that you could be more confident to burp your baby.

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