8 Ways To Wind Your Baby

8 Ways To Wind Your Baby

Posted by Kerry Nevins on

When it comes to caring for and feeding your baby, winding them is essential. This is because it helps your baby to release any trapped air/wind that may be causing them discomfort. However, with so many different winding methods out there we know just how overwhelming it can be to find the right solution for your baby. In this blog post, we’ll discuss 8 ways to wind your baby that will keep them comfortable, healthy and happy.

What's the best position to wind my baby?

Support your baby's head and neck and stroke or pat their back gently. Make sure their tummy and back are upright (not curled up). Burping your little one doesn't have to take long; a few minutes should be enough although some babies may need a considerable amount of burping. Burping your baby can be done in a variety of ways. Try them all and find which one works best for you – or combine them.

1. Sitting Up

Sitting your baby up is an effective way to wind your baby, and can be especially helpful for babies that are prone to silent reflux or tend to swallow a lot of air when they’re feeding. Here’s a step by step guide on how to burp your baby sitting upright:

  • Set your baby upright on your lap, making sure that their back is straight and that their head is supported.
  • Keep one hand on your baby’s chest while the other is placed on their chin.
  • As you support their head with your hand under their chin, gently lean your baby forward.
  • Gently pat or rub your baby’s back until they burp.

2. The Classic Rub

Place your baby on your lap with their back to you. Place your palm flat against their chest and support their chin and jaw (don't put pressure on their throat). Gently stroke or pat your baby's back with your free hand as you lean them forward slightly.

3. Over your shoulder

Often regarded as one of the most popular baby winding methods is holding your baby over your shoulder. Very simple and extremely effective, here’s how to make sure you’re doing it right:

  • Rest your baby’s chin on your shoulder as you hold them upright
  • Place one hand on your baby’s bottom for support, and the other hand on their back as you gently pat or rub the area.
  • Continue the patting or rubbing motions until your baby burps.

Baby over shoulder

4. Lying across your lap

Another effective method of winding your baby is lying them tummy down across your lap. This is especially helpful for babies who have difficulty burping when upright, simply follow these three steps:

  • Place your baby tummy down across your lap, laying them so the side of their head rests against one of your legs.
  • Place one hand for support on your baby’s head, while the other gently pats or rubs their back.
  • Continue the patting or rubbing motions until your baby burps.

5. Tummy Time Winding

Lay your baby tummy-down on your lap supporting their head with your hand. Ensure your baby is safe and secure and not in danger of rolling off your lap - the babocush cushion is the perfect product for this, as the 5 point harness keeps your baby safe and secure while in the tummy time position. A lot of parents like this technique, but it can bring up a sicky burp after a feed as there is pressure on the tummy so have a muslin cloth to hand to catch any spills.

Tummy time is the perfect way to not only wind your baby, but to give them some exercise as they work on strengthening both their back and neck muscles.

  • Start by placing your baby on their tummy on top of a firm surface, this can either be a play mat, blanket or the babocush cushion.
  • Use your hands to support your baby’s head, or use a rolled-up towel or blanket to support them under their chest.
  • As you gently pat or rub your baby’s back, encourage them to lift their head and look around the room.
  • Continue the patting or rubbing motions until your baby burps.

baby tummy time

6. Baby Massage

Massage is a great baby calmer and can help your bond to grow stronger. What’s more, it’s pretty easy once you know what to do. Your newborn will be in the mood for a massage around 45 minutes after a nap and feed. As you build confidence, try soothing strokes, where you move your hand from just above their belly button towards their hips, one after the other, to help move wind through the bowel. Here’s how to wind your baby with gentle massage on their tummy:

  • Place your baby on their back on top of a soft surface, this could be a bed or changing mat.
  • Using just your fingertips, gently massage your baby’s tummy using circular motions. It’s best to start at their belly button and move outwards.
  • Continue this motion for a few minutes.
  • Make sure to pause occasionally, to see if your baby burps.

7. The Arm Lift

One of the best ways to help ease your little one's stubborn gas is to lift them gently under their arms and rock them gently from side to side. Make sure you support your baby’s head in the process. 

8. Bouncing

Gently bouncing your baby on your lap can also be an effective method to release trapped air and promote digestion, as this movement can help to move air bubbles and bring your baby instant relief. Here’s how:

  • Support your baby’s head with your hand as you hold them close to your chest.
  • Gently bounce your baby up and down, or gently sway them from side to side.
  • Continue these movements until your baby burps.

smiling baby

Causes of trapped wind in babies

Excess air becomes trapped in the tummy, causing wind. This can happen when your baby swallows mouthfuls of air when nursing or gulps it in while sobbing. Even if your little one hasn't had enough to eat, trapped wind can make them feel full.

Trapped wind remedies

Because they have more control over milk flow, breastfed newborns are less likely to get trapped wind. However, if your baby feeds quickly or if your milk flows quickly, they may still suffer from trapped wind.

When bottle feeding, keep your baby more upright to decrease the risk of wind. Tilt the bottle so that the milk completely covers the end of the teat - this will help keep air out. Stop winding your baby if they are feeding well and appear happy; your baby can become upset and gulp air as they cry. When winding, it's a good idea to gently encourage your baby to stretch and straighten their arms and legs. Holding them over your shoulder with their bottom supported and sitting them upright are good postures to adopt.

newborn and mother

Related blogs: 

  • Guide On How To Burp Your Baby
  • Tips and Methods for Easing Your Baby's Trapped Wind
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