Information on the possible causes of trapped wind plus advice on burping your baby and cures such as gripe water that can help to settle baby's stomach.
Wind is caused by excess air becoming trapped in baby's tummy. However, although it can be incredibly uncomfortable for baby, it isn't dangerous or harmful to them. Some babies suffer with severe wind whilst others don't suffer at all, it really varies from baby to baby.
Although baby takes in air through normal breathing or crying, it is during feeding when air can become trapped, this is because excess air is swallowed as baby sucks. Air bubbles then travel through baby's digestive system and cause discomfort if they are too large for baby to easily pass.
Breast fed babies tend to have fewer problems with painful wind than those that are bottle fed. This is because milk is presented at a much slower rate and so baby has more control over swallowing speed and consequently takes fewer gasps of air between mouthfuls.
To reduce wind when bottle feeding your baby you should ensure that the bottle is sufficiently tilted so that the milk completely covers the opening of the teat - this will prevent baby from taking gulps of air with the milk. Special wind-reducing bottles that provide a more controlled flow of milk are available and can be a useful investment for a bottle fed baby who suffers with wind.
Other tips for trying to reduce win include feeding baby in an upright position, giving baby smaller feeds more often, avoiding lying baby down flat on their backs straight after a feed and taking feeding breaks to help baby bring up any wind, massaging baby's tummy area can also help. Additionally, some find that gripe water sooths baby's uncomfortable tummy.
If your baby consistently finds it difficult to bring up wind after a feed and becomes particularly distressed then your baby may suffer with colic. There are several anti-colic treatments available which are designed to break the painful air bubbles in baby's tummy down into smaller bubbles that are more easily passed through burps or hiccups. Although these treatments tend to be available from chemists, you should always consult your healthcare provider first if you are concerned.
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