As adults, we all know how uncomfortable it can get if you have trapped wind. Babies are no exception; in fact, because they are still learning to digest, they might become very uncomfortable and in pain if they are unable to release gas. Read our blog for more ways you can help calm your gassy baby.
How do babies get trapped wind?
Both bottle and breastfed babies can get trapped wind, but in general, it’s thought that breastfed babies experience it less. This is thought to be because breastfed babies swallow less air when breastfeeding.
Gas is also produced naturally by our bodies as a by-product of food digestion. Some of us, babies included, produce more gas than others. When either of these things happens, we can experience the symptoms of trapped wind.
How do I know if my baby has trapped wind?
The typical symptoms include;
- Stomach cramps
- Pains and difficulty burping
- Excessive flatulence
Tips to ease your baby’s trapped wind
Although it’s not completely avoidable, first let’s think about how to prevent your baby from getting trapped wind in the first place.
Burp during feeds
If your baby seems uncomfortable during a feed, pulls away or is crying out and wriggling then this is a good time to burp them. You can also do this if you switch breasts or break off during a bottle feed. Some babies take in more air than others when feeding, whether they are breast or bottle fed.
There are four ways to wind your baby:
- Gently stroke or pat their backs while holding them on your shoulder.
- Place them on your lap and gently stroke or pat their back, supporting their head with your hand under their chin.
- Place your infant on your lap, stomach down, and rub his or her back at the same time to bring comfort and reassurance.
- Allowing your infant to relax in a warm bath or gently massaging their abdomen in a circular clockwise motion will provide relief while also assisting in the release of stored wind.
Baby massage is also a great way to get rid of trapped wind. The wind is moved through the digestive system by massaging the stomach. Babies may find it challenging to deal with the trapped wind due to their immaturity. It's also great for getting rid of pain. The hormone oxytocin is released when you massage your baby, which means they don't feel the stomach pains as much as a parent's calming comforting touch does.
It not only relieves the symptoms of blocked wind in babies, but it also helps the digestive tract mature through a process known as myelination. It enhances your baby's brain-to-body communication, and the more you massage him or her, the better he or she will be at dealing with wind.
It’s not always possible to hold and burp our baby’s 24/7, so if your baby suffers particularly with wind or colicky symptoms, it can be difficult to settle them. But, this can mean you never have your hands free. Not ideal if you're a busy parent!
The babocush is designed to help ease symptoms of trapped wind and colic. By positioning your baby comfortably and securely on the babocush instead of laying them onto their back after feeding and burping, you can help to soothe and settle your baby. Find out more about the benefits of the babocush, including colic and reflux relief as well as easing trapped wind.
Encourage your baby to relax
If your baby is agitated, try to relax your baby by singing or talking. If you’re standing up, gently bouncing up and down at the knees can also help your baby to release wind.
Related: Helping your baby relax and settle
Night time burping
If your baby often falls asleep after feeding but wakes up with trapped wind later, try sitting them up for a little while when they fall asleep. This will encourage the release of trapped air or gas before it travels further down the digestive system. Patting their back gently at the same time will also help.
We hope these simple but effective tips help to ease your baby’s trapped wind. Remember, trapped wind should generally be no cause for concern, but if you’re worried about excessive or constant trapped wind, consult your GP or paediatrician.Related: Tips and Methods for Easing Your Baby's Trapped Wind