Advice on helping baby to bring up wind after a feed with information on burping positions, trapped wind relief and remedies.
Many babies are able to bring up wind themselves either by burping or hiccuping after a feed. However, if a baby swallows excess air whilst feeding, bubbles can become trapped in their digestive system. If the air bubbles are too large for baby to pass easily they can cause discomfort. While trapped wind is not harmful, it can be distressing for both the baby and for the parents; for this reason it is often best to help baby bring up wind after a feed.
If your baby does need help bringing up wind there are three commonly used positions that may help relieve discomfort.
- Probably the most commonly used position is with baby held upright over your shoulder - you should use one arm to hold the baby against you and the other to rub or pat their back.
- Another commonly used position is with baby sitting upright on your lap - you should lean baby slightly forward and support their chin with one hand and rub or pat their back with the other.
- Lying your baby on their tummy over your knees can also help to relieve wind - again you should use one arm to support baby on your lap and the other to rub or pat their back
You should try a combination of all 3 methods to find one that best helps baby to pass wind. Bear in mind that if after a couple of minutes of back rubbing and changing positions baby hasn't brought up any wind, unless they are showing signs of discomfort (such as grimacing or pulling their legs in towards their tummy) it may be that they simply don't need to bring up any wind. Additionally, babies often bring up milk when burped so it is best to place a cloth over your shoulder or on your lap to protect your clothes.
If your baby consistently finds it difficult to bring up wind after a feed you may find that gentle leg cycling or massaging baby's tummy helps to break up air bubbles and relieve discomfort; alternatively anti-colic remedies are available from most chemists.