Winding your baby – how and why to do it

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Why do babies need winding?

When you baby feeds little air bubbles are taken into the stomach and they cause discomfort. Your baby may feel full or grizzly. By winding your baby these air bubbles are released and your baby will have more room in its tummy as well as feeling much more comfortable.

Winding can also help if your baby has colic, brings up milk after feeds or has acid reflux. Some babies suffer more form these effects than others and will need burping more often.

Bottle or breast – which needs more winding?

Breastfed babies tend to need less winding than those fed from a bottle. This is because bottle feeding tends to cause more air to be swallowed. If you are bottle feeding you may want to try using a special “anti colic” bottle though these don’t work for all babies. In general though, make sure the bottle is the right size and that the hole in the teat is also correct so that milk does not flow too quickly.

Tips for winding

If your baby needs winding they will nearly always appear uncomfortable. If they wriggle or do not want to feed even though they are hungry, they may need winding. After feeding it is a good idea to wind as they may well want to sleep. Winding will help to make them feel well and comfortable.

By 6 months they should no longer need winding and will be able to burp without help if they swallow air.

Keep a towel near as often babies bring up milk along with air. It’s always good to be able to wipe up mess as it happens and this prevents skin rashes and other problems caused by regurgitated milk and food.

Try to keep your baby as upright as possible when feeding, to minimize winding in the first place.

There are a number of methods you can use to wind your baby including :-

  • On your chest.
  • Sitting in your lap
  • Face down across your lap

Always support the head and gently pat or rub your baby’s back with the other hand until air is released.

If patting doesn’t work a warm bath may help or a gentle tummy massage.

If the problem persists make sure you seek medical advice. A baby with colic or who isn’t feeding due to wind can go on to have more health complications.

Help from your partner

Winding is an excellent way to involve your partner and can be part of the bonding process. Let him wind baby during feeding so that even if your are breastfeeding he has a chance to hold and care for his baby.

Happy baby!

Winding is a necessary part of caring for your baby. Like all aspects of having a baby you will quickly find what works best for you and soon will not even notice you are doing it. A comfortable and loved baby is a happy baby: and a happy baby is one of the most beautiful and precious things you will ever have!

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