What’s causing my baby’s wind?
Newborn 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.
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 to wind a 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 and ideas about the best way to wind a 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 them close and you may get a sleepy burp in response!
If your baby is struggling to bring up wind or they seem unsettled or upset after milk feeds, ask your health visitor for advice. You may also find our Baby Symptom Checker useful, with its practical tips and advice for little ones under the age of one year.
Breastfeeding is best for babies and provides many benefits. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, you eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast and bottle-feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of your own breast milk, and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. The social and financial implications of using an infant milk should be considered. Improper use of an infant milk or inappropriate foods or feeding methods may present a health hazard. If you use an infant milk, you should follow manufacturer’s instructions for use carefully – failure to follow the instructions may make your baby ill. Always consult your doctor, midwife or health visitor for advice about feeding your baby.