I was recently asked about how to help a baby with trapped wind of the bottom variety. I covered this topic on my Facebook page in the summer but thought I would revisit it and expand to have something I can point people to without repeating myself!

Babyzang #1 suffered terribly with bottom wind and despite trying some over-the-counter medicines (more on that later) it took a great deal of experimentation before we realised how best to help him get that wind out.

DISCLAIMER

I am an accredited antenatal educator but I am not qualified in any way to teach baby massage. My qualifications in this area are by being a mother and I am just telling you what worked for my son. All babies are different and there are many different reasons why they cry and why the have trapped wind. This worked for us. It can’t hurt to try.

How do I know it is bottom wind?

It is really tricky to understand what a baby’s crying means but looking at their body movements can sometimes give you a hint. If your baby pulls their legs to their chest when crying that indicates they need burping. However, if they stretch and straighten their legs  and arch their back when crying, it can indicate they need to fart.

Before you start

Remember babies are quite delicate creatures so whenever doing any of these techniques be SLOW and GENTLE. A newborn will not be able to stretch their legs straight so NEVER FORCE YOUR BABY INTO ANY POSITION. As they get older and get used to the actions then you may find you can help them get more deeply into a pose. Think of it like a yoga class – you should never do anything that causes strain or discomfort. If in doubt, don’t do it.

Fart Expulsion Exercises for Babies

Each of these movements is done with the baby lying flat on their back on a soft but firm surface. A bed is too soft, better on a carpeted floor with a few blankets or towels for cushioning. You can do it with baby clothed or naked (best done without oil) but I would keep the nappy on!

Hold the baby’s ankles gently, and always start by stretching the legs out straight parallel to the floor with feet together, to create a bit of space in the abdomen. Don’t force this bit – newborn babies WILL NOT get their legs straight – just go with however far they will gently go.

Repeat each exercise a few times then try another one. Mix it up a bit. If it is working, you will know because the the wind will start blowing!

Row, Row, Row your Boat (Toes to Nose)

  • Hold ankles.
  • Stretch legs straight parallel to floor
  • Lift feet and take toes to the baby’s nose (or nearest point)
  • Put feet back down

Jack & Jill (Toes to shoulders – either side, both one side then other)

Birthzang Fart Expulsion Technique

  • Hold ankles.
  • Stretch legs straight parallel to floor
  • Lift feet and take both feet to left shoulder
  • put feet back down
  • lift both feet to right shoulder
  • put feet back down
  • Slightly part legs and lift each foot to each shoulder
  • Put feet back down

I’m a Little Teapot (Toes to Hips)

Birthzang Fart Expulsion Technique Birthzang Fart Expulsion Technique

  • Hold ankles.
  • Stretch legs straight parallel to floor
  • Lift feet so legs at right angles to body
  • Take feet to one side towards floor, then the other, basically rolling baby’s bum from side to side
  • Put feet back down
  • You can also gently hold the opposite shoulder to get a small twist – be very careful if you do this.

Grand Old Duke of York (Knees to chest – straight, then both each side, then each shoulder)

  • Hold ankles.
  • Stretch legs straight parallel to floor
  • Hold the lower legs (calves), lift knees to chest
  • put knees back down
  • Separate legs, lift each knee to each shoulder
  • put knees back down
  • Lift both knees to left shoulder
  • put knees back down
  • lift knees to right shoulders
  • put knees back down
  • Lift knees to right angles and move both knees to left hip, then right hip
  • put knees down

Round & Round the Garden (Rotate knees, and repeat with lift)

Birthzang Fart Expulsion Technique Birthzang Fart Expulsion Technique Birthzang Fart Expulsion Technique

  • Hold ankles
  • Stretch legs straight parallel to floor
  • Hold the lower legs (calves), lift and do a clockwise rotation from chest, to right  hips, to knees, to left hips, to chest.
  • put knees back down
  • Then slightly stretch legs and as you lift to right angles slightly lift bum off floor by gently pulling the legs
  • bend knees as you lower bum as knees get to chest.
  • put legs back down

Daisy, Daisy (Bicycle)

  • Hold ankles
  • Stretch legs straight parallel to floor
  • Hold the lower legs (calves), lift each foot alternately and do “bicycle” action as if they are pedalling a bike
  • You can also do “Grand Old Duke of York” style marching here, with alternate knees to chest
  • Put legs back down

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom, We’re Going to the Moon (Diagonal stretch)

Birthzang Fart Expulsion Technique

  • Hold baby’s wrists
  • lift their arms above head back to the floor
  • then back to their sides.
  • Take opposite arm above to floor, and ankle and stretch gently diagonally
  • take arm back in back in and swap sides

We found certain exercises helped really well and some did nothing. And for Babyzang #2 it was a completely different set. The philosophy is that by opening and squishing the abdomen and the bowel, then you help the air to come out. You go clockwise because the large intestine (at the end) goes in a roughly clockwise position.

Once we found our set of exercises we would do them every day for about 15 minutes, whether he seemed to need them or not!

Good luck and do leave a comment to let us know if it worked for you!