Newborns have it pretty good – eat, sleep, cuddle, poop, repeat. But this fun and fancy-free lifestyle can be put on hold when they’re full of wind.
Wind is something that affects all babies at some time or another and usually comes from swallowing air while they are feeding or while they are crying. The air bubbles get trapped in their tiny tummies, but babies are too little to get rid of this air themselves. Throw in an immature digestive tract that’s still getting used to all that milk and it’s a recipe for gassy disaster. Wind will resolve in time, as your newborn grows and develops, but until then it’s up to parents to help get those air bubbles out.
We asked the Mum’s Grapevine community for their suggestions on helping bub bubble out the back door, so prepare for a tootin’ good party with these tried and tested tips to relieve a windy baby.
A simple massage may be all it takes to alleviate built-up gas. Rub your little one’s tummy in a circular motion, clockwise from the right side, under the ribs and down the left side following the large intestine – helping the gas bubbles move along the digestive system.
Find the sweet spot
You can also try massaging in a certain spot. Rub in a circular motion just below the rib cage on bub’s left side. As the video above shows, the pressure to this area seems to magically help bub let the gas pass.
Burp mid feed
If bub is having trouble in the trumpeting department, make it part of their routine to gently pat their back and burp them more frequently throughout a feed. Offer a gentle rub and pat before you change breasts or mid-bottle too. Big burps now mean less pain later.
Better out than in, after all. Especially when it comes to baby gases.
Pedal to pass gas
Known as the bicycle leg, this simple technique can work wonders for wind build up. Start by placing bub down on their back on a soft but firm surface. Hold baby’s feet and pump them back and forth in a gentle pedalling motion.
Next, bend baby’s legs towards their chest. This is hopefully when you will hear the sweet sound of success. Repeat the two motions a few more times and throughout the day (but not straight after a feed).
Test out other techniques
Bicycle kicks not breaking wind? There are a few other baby thunderbolt-brewing exercises you can try to get those little bottoms popping. But remember, always be gentle with little ones.
Toes to nose – Hold bub’s ankles and stretch those little legs straight parallel to the floor. Then lift feet up to their nose (or the nearest point). Repeat.
Toes to shoulders – Hold the ankles and gently stretch baby’s legs straight. Then lift the feet gently up to one shoulder and back down. Repeat, bringing bub’s legs to the other shoulder.
Toes to hips – Start with the same ankle hold and stretched out legs. Then bring both legs to one side, and then to the other (basically rolling bub’s bum from side to side).
Frog kick the fart out
Another way to use movement to get things moving down there is with the frog kick exercise. Start the same as above, with bub on the floor, and hold the lower legs.
Move baby’s legs in a clockwise rotation from chest, to right hips, to knees, to left hips, to chest. Next, slightly stretch the legs upright (so baby’s toes are pointing to the ceiling) and lift their bottom off the floor. Finish by bending their knees and bringing them to their chest (pretty much like the backwards breaststroke).
You may notice the belly aches come and go but seem to be worse when bub is lying flat. Try keeping your infant upright to help the wind get down and out. Babywearing is a great option for this as it allows bub to sleep (and close to you) in an upright position.
Hopefully wearing bub during the day can help alleviate gas and lead to a more comfortable night. Fingers crossed.
Is there anything a soothing warm bath can’t cure? Warm water may help relax those little tummies and aid in soothing the pain that cramps can cause. Just have a few extra towels on hand, in case the warm water relaxes those bitsy bowels as well as that belly.
The thing about infants is that there is no one fix that’s guaranteed to work. Every baby is different, from what helps them sleep to what may help the fart. But hopefully, you’ll find success with one of our handy solutions.
Once your little one has mastered the fine art of farting (and finding much humour in doing so), it’s time to tackle the next baby problem – cradle cap. Check out our foolproof guide for parents about how to get rid of cradle cap.