What’s causing my baby’s wind?

Wind is caused by swallowing air when feeding, crying or simply breathing. The air fills your baby’s tummy, which can make them feel uncomfortable and quite full up before they’ve had enough milk to drink.

black mum with baby

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 winding in between feeds. Breastfed babies tend to have less of a problem because their feeds are smaller and they can control the flow of milk more easily. They tend to be fed in a more upright position too.

But even breastfed babies can get wind – there are no hard and fast rules! You might notice your baby refuses to suckle any more and cries or looks a bit pained – especially if you try to lay them down afterwards.

How do I wind my baby?

If your baby is feeding happily, leave them be. You can wind them if they turn their head away for a natural break in the feed, during a change-over of breast and at the end of their feed. Every mum has their own favourite method that they find works best for their baby but here are some suggestions:

  • 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 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 with your other hand.
  • Place your baby face down on your lap. Hold them firmly with one hand and pat or rub their back gently with the other.

At the end of your feeding session, cuddle your baby close and you may get a sleepy burp in response!

If you're not sure about your baby's symptoms and they are less than a year old, you may find our Baby Symptom Checker useful for practical tips and advice for next steps.

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