Article

Winding – why & how

It seems inconceivable that something as innocuous as a bubble of air can cause such consternation in the household of a newborn. And yet it does – to varying degrees, winds or gas make babies feel somewhat uncomfortable and are a hassle for new parents as they try to chase down those elusive burps.

When your newborn feeds she will take in a bit of air as she gulps the milk down. It occurs in both breast and bottle-fed babies and seems to be more related to the individual baby than to the method of feeding. Some babies gulp more than others and may even battle to co-ordinate their ‘suck, swallow and breath’, which results in more air being swallowed. On top of this variation, babies also bring up the winds with differing ease. Some babies bring up the winds so easily that they may even burp whilst still on the nipple or just as their position is adjusted. Other babies are a whole lot harder to wind.

You may wonder how important it is to burp your baby. The answer is that while the wind sits in the oesophagus or upper stomach, your baby may be a little uncomfortable or feel like they are finished the feed and refuse to feed further until the wind is brought up. In this case, your baby will stop feeding or pull off the breast and may even arch her back. This would be the time to give her a break and wind her.

However, if time has passed (5 minutes) and no wind is brought up, it is not advisable to ‘chase’ that wind. Many a parent will moan about their niggly baby who needs to be winded for 40 minutes before producing a large burp after a period of crying. In this case, the wind has most likely been produced through swallowing of air whilst crying as opposed to during the last feed. An over-tired and over stimulated baby who has been handled and ‘burped’ for 40 minutes will be crying and uncomfortable but not due to the evasive wind, but rather all the handling.

Winding positions are very variable and really specific to your baby. The two most popular positions are:
[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][list-ul type=”arrow”]
[li-row]Over the shoulder – Lift your baby to your shoulder and stretch out her back – even arch it slightly as you press her to your shoulder. Then with slow and firm strokes up her back, coax the wind from her tummy. Every now and then, give a few pats (not to hard but also not too soft), then resume with the slow firm upward strokes.[/li-row]
[li-row]Sitting with hand under chin – Lift your baby into a seated position on your lap. Place one hand under her chin, so that her chin or neck rests on the ‘V’ space between your thumb and forefinger. With your other hand, firmly stroke up her back, creating a straight, even slightly arched back. This allows the wind to be brought up more easily.[/li-row]
[/list-ul]

So the top tips for winding are
[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][list-ul type=”arrow”]
[li-row]If your baby comes off the nipple and refuses to feed during a feed, try winding her before resuming the feed.[/li-row]
[li-row]Find the position that your baby responds best to and use this position first before trying the next position.[/li-row]
[li-row]Only wind your baby for 5 minutes and then abandon the burp to come another way and time.[/li-row]
[/list-ul]

Finally, don’t be too anxious about winding your baby. Like teething, winds probably get too much credit for creating a niggly baby and may best be handled in a calmer more matter of fact way.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Join our newsletter

Get access to our best parenting tips and tricks.