to help your windy baby
Health

How to help your windy baby

Some babies need very little assistance to release wind, while others need a little bit more help. We look at the causes of wind and how to  to help your windy baby.

Babies can be very windy individuals. And for some infants, trapped wind can be very uncomfortable. We take a look at the causes of gas and why it causes pain and discomfort, and more importantly how you can relieve your little one’s symptoms.

What causes wind in babies? 

Wind is simply the air that becomes trapped in your baby’s stomach and they need someone else’s help to get rid of it. There are many different ways that air can get into your baby’s digestive system from taking in too much air during a feed or even crying can cause air to become trapped.

How do I know if my baby is suffering from trapped wind? 

Your baby might draw his legs up to his chest and thrash around after a feed. He might also break off in discomfort halfway through a feed.

How to help your baby

Feeds – your baby can swallow air with her milk when he feeds. Breastfed babies don’t tend to have as many issues with wind as bottle-fed bbies. This is because they can control the flow of milk and they suck at a slower pace at the breast. Breastfeeds are normally smaller and more frequent than bottle feeds. Breastfed babies still need to be burped frequently, particularly if they are fast feeders or if you have a fast milk flow.

how to help your windy baby

Use a fast-flow teat if you’re bottle-feeding – holes in bottle teats that are too small may cause your baby to swallow air as they feed.

Keeping your baby as upright as possible also helps to reduce wind.

Gentle stomach or back rubs or a warm bath may also help to relieve wind.

Simeticone drops: Simeticone drops are a supplement that can be added to your baby’s bottle or breast milk before a feed. The drops are designed to help release bubbles of trapped air in your baby’s digestive system.

Always burp your baby after a feed.

Babies have trouble bringing up wind because their immature digestive systems allow air to travel further into her tummy, which makes it harder for it to come out. This is why it is important to always burp your baby after a feed, although you may have to experiment with different positions before he finally lets out a burp. Some babies hiccup and this helps to get rid of wind so if your baby hasn’t’ burped after a couple of minutes it probably means he doesn’t’ mean to. However, if he seems to be in discomfort, keep trying.

Mum’s tip

My little girl has terrible trouble getting her wind up. 

I started baby massage and found it brilliant for bringing up her wind. If that doesn’t work try some gripe water.

Gillian burke 

Burping positions 

1. Sit upright and hold your baby against your chest with her chin on your shoulder while you support her bottom with one hand. Gently pat your baby’s back with your other hand.

2. Hold your baby sitting up, in your lap or across your knee. Support your baby’s chest and head with one hand holding your baby’s chin in the palm of your hand. Rest the heel of your hand on your baby’s chest making sure that you are holding your baby’s chin and not the throat. Pat your baby’s back gently with your other hand.

3. Lay your baby on your lap on her stomach. Make sure that her head is supported and that it’s higher than her chest. Gently pat her back.

Keep your baby as upright as possible during a feed, whether breast or bottle fed, and if bottle fed always make sure the milk is covering the full area of the teat to avoid any extra air getting in which can be gulped down.

If you find your baby struggles a little to get up wind here are a few tips you can try from www.breastfeeding.ie

  • Walking with your baby in your arms or in a baby sling, the upright position gently helps to relax them.
  • Put a gentle little bump or bounce in your walk.
  • Skin-to-skin contact may relax baby and wind may break more easily.
  • Try the ‘magic baby hold’ – this gets best results when done by the dad, grandfather or uncles. Baby’s back is held against dad’s tummy, with baby tummy resting on dad’s crossed arms. Baby’s legs and arms gently fall either side of dad’s arms. Baby will love this position.
  • Try again to feed baby, breastmilk actually contains some natural elements, which act like a pain relief for baby which may help with wind discomfort.

More you might like

Unwrap that wind
Common baby stomach troubles
Coping with persistent crying

Ask Sarah

Q I’ve heard a lot about the Paleo diet and as I am very interested in reducing the amount of processed foods and grain based meals my family eats, we are considering following this diet. From what I read it seems to be a back-to-basics type of eating. Is a Paleo diet safe for children? My kids are aged seven and nine.

A The Paleo diet is one of the most fashionable diets around at the moment. It is also known as the ‘caveman diet’ and is based on cutting out processed foods, starchy foods like bread and potatoes and eating more meat, vegetables and fruit.
As fad diets go, it is not the worst but there are some good and bad sides to it. Reducing the amount of processed foods we eat is always a good idea and by doing that you will usually reduce the amount of fat, salt and sugar you eat, which is a good thing! The problem with the Paleo diet is that it also cuts out dairy (on the basis that cavemen didn’t drink milk) and this means that the diet is very low in calcium. For this reason it is really not suitable for children who do need a lot of calcium for growing bones. How did cavemen manage without dairy? They ate a lot more food than we do (up to 10,000 calories per day compared to the 2,000 most of us eat). By eating that amount of food they were able to pick up just enough calcium from green vegetables and seeds. To put it in perspective, you would need to eat 16 servings of broccoli a day to get all the calcium you need. This is easier to do if you eat 10,000 calories per day rather than 2,000.
The other problem with the paleo diet is that it is not entirely based in science. Many of the Paleo diets out there say you should not eat wheat, even though we know that cavemen did in fact eat wheat and other grains. These diets also don’t recommend that you eat blubber and the big lumps of fat that were also a large part of the caveman diet!
A final problem is that many Paleo diets encourage people to cut out beans and lentils and to get their protein from meat and fish instead. Many studies over the last few years are clear that eating too much animal protein is linked with more cancer and heart disease. Eating some vegetarian meals based on beans and lentils is a great way to get your protein without always going for meat.
Is this a diet we should follow? I think there is a lot we can learn from the Paleo diets. We could all do with eating less salt, sugar and processed foods and adding in more nuts and seeds as well as more vegetables. However, I think following a strict Paleo diet could lead to low levels of calcium and vitamin D and so it is not suitable for children or teens and adults would need to think about a calcium supplement.

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ASK JESSICA

Q. I’m would like to start an exercise programme that will benefit my emotional health as much as my physical health, but I don’t know which type of class would be best. Should I consider choosing from yoga, pilates, tai chi, or could you recommend a class, please?

A It’s great that you have decided to get into exercise. The benefits to you are going to be great. You’ll sleep better, have more energy, better skin, reduced stressed, not to mention all the amazing physical benefits of your clothes fitting better, and looking healthy, trim and toned! My advice to you would be to try them all. Even if some don’t offer pay-as-you-go sessions, if you get in touch directly with the instructor, they will almost always let you try it out first to see if it’s for you. All of the above things that you mentioned are great for mental health, so it really will be a personal preference as to which you go for. On top of the classes you mention, all forms of exercise will give you great mental rewards so consider the not so obvious interval training sessions, bootcamp, and circuits too, as you will also feel on top of the world after a class like that.