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Baby wind - the causes

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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If your baby is breastfed they can still get wind, i should know! I had a very windy baby but found that the older he got the easier it was for him to bring the wind up. I would burp him after the first breast (so long as he let me!) and then again after the second and the best position i found was sitting him on my knee with one hand to support him under his chin and the other to rub and pat his back. I would almost "stretch" the wind out (nothing bad here!) by straightening his back and airway too. Initially i tried using an anti colic aid though he really didn't like the tast and after a few weeks of using i kept forgetting and found it wasn't needed any more. It's all trial and error though i'm afraid, all babies differ. I didn't find altering what i ate made any difference to the problem either even though i had midwives advise me to leave off the "cheese and apple". With regard to baby poo below - i found my little one whilst being soley breastfed could go for 2 weeks without one! Sounds real bad but with breast milk there is very litttle waste. Bottle fed babies are different and i think the 2-3 days could spell a problem. Breast fed ones there isn't too much too much of a problem really though if you're very concerned and baby seems uncofortable i should see your midwife/GP.
by Happymummy123 1st Nov 2010, 11:12am
a baby will have wind no matter what the mother eats its all to do with the baby sucking in air as he feeds. id pop into the local pharmacy if i were you ask if there is something you can give to baby to help make him more regular before it starts causing him or her discomfort.
by katiesmum 21st Jan 2010, 9:21am
another thing what if your baby doesn't poo for 2 days are 3 is that a problem?
by sech 28th May 2009, 9:21am
I was told that what the breast feeding mother eats determines whether the baby will have winds or not... SURELY NOT? how can the elements in baked beans, for example, that cause us adults the have winds be in the milk and cause the baby to have winds? can some one explain this theory... I'm tired of my wife saying she can't eat this and that because it causes winds in baby!
by WhosYourDaddy 1st Dec 2008, 9:27am