Most babies can ‘burp’ louder than Shrek, and pass wind so loud that everyone will look at dad or the dog! Both breast and bottle fed babies can be windy, though it is less likely with breastfeeding.
Babies swallow air when they are feeding – and crying. Too much air and he gets what we call “wind”/"gas" which can make him uncomfortable, cause him to cry and pull his legs up to his chest. (This is not colic, which is persistent daily crying over a number of hours which winding will not alleviate)
With good feeding technique it is possible to reduce the amount of air – and therefore wind – that your baby takes in. When breastfeeding ensure your baby is latching on in such a way that he is not taking in to much air. Seek advice if you baby seems to be constantly windy, or you may need to look at your own diet. When bottle-feeding try keeping him in a more upright position- so that the air rises above the milk - and check that the teat and neck of the bottle are filled with milk when you are feeding. There should be no air visible.
Babies usually need to be winded after each feed until they can sit up themselves. You can try and wind before you switch breasts when feeding yourself, or after a few ounces if you are bottle-feeding. Try and keep him as upright as possiblefor a few minutes following a feed. Sometimes if your baby has settled or slept without being winded he may wake up crying. Pick him up and he may air his grievances from both ends.
- To wind a baby there should be a straight line between the stomach and mouth. One good way is to sit the baby up with her head extended (by placing your hand under her jawbone) and a hand on her back to keep it straight. There is no necessity to rub, thought some people find this can have a comforting effect.
- Another option is to lay her against your shoulder. Aim to get her tummy flat against you by stroking down her back and legs to straighten out her body. A few light pats usually is enough to produce results.
- It is always a good idea to place a bib, towel or muslin square on your shoulder, or under the baby’s chin, as you are winding in case baby possets (vomits a little).
“Always wind… but if the wind is not up in 10 minutes chances are it's not coming. You don’t need to walk the floor all night waiting for it. “
“Hold baby in a semi-upright position when you are bottle-feeding, and stop half-way to wind.”
“I breastfed on both babies. The first was a permanent bag of wind. I cannot recall the second bringing up wind even after she went on to formula.”
“Mums - wear white and light coloured clothes when feeding. It doesn’t show up the little pukes and possets as much!”