What Is Wind In Babies?
All babies have wind, which is essentially air bubbles in their stomach. It's only when these air bubbles become caught in the stomach as a result of inhaling a lot of air at once that it becomes painful (usually through feeding or gulping).
How Does Baby Massage Help?
Babies can take in a lot of air when they cry or eat. The air in the bowel might become clogged and stuck. When there are a few air bubbles in there, they can combine to produce a large pocket of air, which causes newborns to have an uncomfortable hard belly and tummy ache, which is typically accompanied by bringing their legs up towards their abdomen in an attempt to expel and shift the air.
Baby Tummy Massage For Gas
According to Vimala McClure's book "Newborn Massage: A Handbook for Loving Parents" here are some recommended baby massage techniques:
- Consider your baby's stomach as a clock face. Begin at 7 or 8 o'clock and proceed in a half moon shape from left to right, softly pushing and sliding your hands clockwise. One hand moves in front of the other.
- Gently press in at the rib cage with the long, broad pinky-side of your hands horizontally over your baby's belly and slide down the length of your baby's tummy. One hand moves in front of the other.
- Above the belly button, place your two thumbs flat across your baby's belly. Slide the thumbs away from each other while gently pressing in.
- Trace the letter I starting on the right side of your baby's belly button. Trace the letter L sideways across and down the right side of the baby's belly, beginning at the top left corner. Finish with an inverted U shape, tracing up from the bottom left corner of the baby's belly button, over the chest above the belly button, and down the right side. Don't forget to tell your baby how much you adore them during this time as well!
- Moonwalking. Starting just above the belly button on the left side, gently walk and slide your pointer and middle fingers across the baby's torso to the right side.
Practicing The Strokes
Make sure you're in a good mood and not anxious! Before you begin, take a few deep breaths. Make a shaky motion with your arms and hands. To soothe and relax your baby, ask them if they'd like a massage.
- Bring your baby closer to you so that they can see you and feel secure.
- Use a sing-song voice and lots of praise and encouragement.
- Begin softly and gently on the tummy, feeling the baby's stomach for hardness or softness. Sink your fingers a little deeper if you feel comfortable doing so. Always keep an eye out for your baby's signs to see if you need to take a break.
When To Practice & How Often
If you can, do it twice a day as a preventative measure to ensure that the air bubbles don't stay together and form those hard pockets of air. This could be once in the morning and once in the afternoon (remember to leave 45 minutes between feeding). This will assist in getting as many air bubbles going through the intestine as possible during the day.