Winding techniques with babies

When a baby has wind it can be very distressing for other family members and very disruptive if you are out and about.Wind in babies tends to be more of a problem in the very early days when babies are very tiny and their digestive systems and other bits and bobs are all still so small.No two babies are the same when it comes to wind, the degree to which this is or isn’t a problem and how you as parents manage it all differ. What works for your baby might not work for your friends baby or indeed a subsequent baby of your own.All my children have winded very differently. It was a real problem with my first and she used to struggle and be in a lot of discomfort. She would confuse needing to burp with being hungry, as would I and it used to be a vicious circle.With my second it was much more straightforward. He was easier to breastfeed and didn’t have the same latching problems which seemed to mean that wind was not such an issue, even in the early days.With my third baby, the breastfeeding was fairly straightforward again. He did suffer with wind but was easy to wind. It rarely got trapped for very long.With my forth baby it was a huge problem in the early days. To the point that I had begun to wonder if it was colic. He fed well but just seemed to really suffer with wind, the main problem being that no matter what position I tried to wind him in, it just would not come.This meant that for several weeks it was a real problem and there was more crying than was necessary as he is otherwise a very happy and content baby.

So what is the best way to approach this then?My feeling is that you need to have a list of different things in your head to try. You might find one things that works really well all the time or you might find that you have to change between a couple of different techniques depending on the severity of the wind or the age of your baby.Here is my list of things to try:

  • place your baby up on your shoulder, quite high up so their tummy is resting on your shoulder and pat their back gently but firmly
  • do the same as above but instead of patting try pushing your hand firmly upwards from the bottom of their back
  • do the same as above but instead of patting or pushing just hold your baby and bounce rhythmically
  • lay your baby face down on your forearm and pat or rub their back
  • lay your baby across your knee and pat or rub their back
  • lay you baby on their back and gentle rub their tummy in a clockwise motion – then pick them up and place them over your shoulder
  • place your baby in a sling or baby carrier and bounce gently – you can also pat or rub their backs like this as well
  • hold your baby outwards with your hand around their tummy and one hand under their seat and bounce
  • do as above but lean your baby slightly forward and rub their back gently with the hand that was previously under their seat
  • give your baby a warm bath and follow with a gentle massage
  • if you are breastfeeding sometimes feeding your baby (if they will feed) and then repeating the above will bring up the wind
  • if none of these things work you can try Infacol, Colief or gripe water but always read the label
  • if you are still struggling check with your health visitor to see if there could be another problem

Sometimes it seems as if this stage will never end but like all stages of parenthood it does end and it will get easier so try not to get too distressed. Brilliant blog posts on Mums' Days
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