How to wind a baby … Birthzang’s Amazing Baby Burp Technique!
How to wind a baby is one of the first questions about handy baby techniques my mums ask, and many have enjoyed the benefits of Birthzang’s Amazing Baby Fart Expulsion Technique for years. I love helping mums with a very upset baby who needs to release trapped wind and there is no surprise that it is the most read blog post and on my website and now an online course!
But burping babies such as the “tiger in the tree” hold or position is just as much of a challenge, and while we here at Birthzang can’t really claim to have invented how to wind a baby, it is always helpful to have a good summary of all the different ways you can try to burp your baby.
I know someone who doesn’t believe in colic at all and thinks that all any parent needs to do is learn how to burp a baby. I’m not sure I completely agree with this simplistic view, but I do think that trapped wind can be much worse than we realise.
First things first
How to wind a baby… general rule of thumb is that burps are usually required during or at the end of every feed, whether your baby is breast or bottle fed. Some may need more burping than others.
There are basically 3 elements to consider and it is usually a combination of mixing one of each element and see what works for you…Oh, and before I forget, it is a good idea to liberally drape yourself with a muslin square in case the baby has a little bit of vomit with their burp! but before you start…
Trapped fart or gas?
I have seen and heard from my clients the massive benefits of Birthzang’s Amazing Fart Expulsion Technique for years, helping hundreds of Mothers with a very upset baby, who needs to release trapped gas, there is no surprise that it is the most read blog post on my website!
The technique is 100% natural and super fast to use, as it is using a combination of baby massage and our own secret technique.
The technique is a series of exercises designed to help your baby get rid of all their trapped gas. Often one or two of the exercises really hit the nail on the head (as it were), but just as often different things work on different days.
The full technique works by a system of 10 exercises that help to open up the babies body, get the air moving, and then squeeze it all out. The amazing thing is that the results are instant! Very often your baby will see a reduction in pain with every fart expelled, and can be completely settled by the time you have worked through all of them.
If you want to learn the technique that is helping babies to release trapped farts, just pop on over to my online course page and check out the free trial.
It’s like having a different child. I do the exercises 3 times a day and it has become more play than urgently needed as she is farting happily in her sleep and going to the toilet more regularly rather than the epic build up we had before.
As the Wind Blows…Birthzang’s Amazing Baby Fart Expulsion Technique!
1. Using your baby’s body position to help them burp
Different positions work for different babies. Sometimes you need to use a combination and this may well change as your baby’s body gets stronger and more able to hold themselves up. Overall, burps are just trapped air, and
Overall, burps are just trapped air, and air is lighter than the body so wants to travel up. Therefore upright positions are usually better at helping the air gather together to come out. If you use more horizontal positions keep bringing baby upright from time to time to encourage the air to rise.
Baby over shoulder
Hold your baby so their head is facing over your shoulder. You can vary the position higher and lower but I think the best height is where the baby’s stomach is pressed against your shoulder. This can sometimes feel like the baby is too high but don’t worry they will just flop over and have a look over at what is going on behind you.
Baby across knees
This gives their tummy a good massage and can help get the burps out. If you are feeling really confident you can try rolling their body up and down your legs – this is best done sat on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Again, one to avoid for very new babies.
Baby sitting on your lap – facing away
Quite little babies will need their heads supported under their chin in this position. With stronger ones you can lift up their arms to get a good stretch in their abdomen, and then lower their arms down. Another movement in this position is rocking them backwards and forwards, so they are leaning over their legs and then back, rotation and also body twist.
Baby sitting on your lap – facing to side
Good movements here are rotation, forwards/backwards rocking and stretching the chest by lifting the arms. Take care with patting and massage to ensure you have a good hold of your baby with the other hand.
Baby sitting on your hip – facing away
You can do this standing up resting the baby’s bum on your hip, with them facing away from you with one arm supporting under their tummy. Smaller babies with weak necks might find this uncomfortable to use judgement with newborns.
Tiger in the Tree position
This can be done most comfortably whilst standing, but could be done sitting with a small baby. Standing holding the baby face down with their body across to yours, resting over your arm, with their head supported by the crook of your elbow (if very tiny) or chest resting over your forearm. The other hand comes up through their legs and meets the other hand so they are cradled in your arms. This can be readily adjusted to suit the size of your baby. Make sure their tummy rests on your forearm as it is the pressure that feels nice. You can sway them, bounce them or just rock gently. I wouldn’t recommend massage in this position as you do need both arms to support the baby.
Lay them on their tummy
You can just lay them flat on their tummy on the floor or bed (no bedding). This naturally puts pressure on their belly, and this position also stretches out the abdomen. Often burps can come out of their own accord here. Of course, some babies loathe tummy time (Babyzang 1 would scream the moment I put him on his tummy!).
2. Baby’s Movements in a Position
Some movement can be done in certain positions but not others so just try and see what works.What we really want to aim for is some kind of movement in their body to encourage air bubbles to come together to form bigger air bubbles and travel up to the mouth.
Stretch their body
Best done by putting one hand under their chin and the other on the small of their back. gently lift the chin and with the other hand keep their back nice and straight.
Lift arms above head
This also stretches the body but should only be done with babies who can support their own necks. Lift the arms by their upper arms if quite small, or wrists if a bit bigger. The aim is to get a straight back here.
Rocking forwards & backwards
This is really a movement for the sitting positions. Holding the baby with a stretched body also helps. Bend them at the hips forwards over their legs, then lean them back – about 45 deg each way should be fine.
Rotate their body
Again one for sitting positions, rotate their bodies gently in a circular motion. You can change directions but do a good few rounds one way before swapping over. Hold their shoulders or torso and rotate their head and shoulders in a clockwise position.
Twist their body
To be done from sitting, best facing out. Hold their shoulders under their arms and gently twist their upper body to one side, then the other, keeping their hips and legs facing forwards. Be very gentle here and this is probably not a good idea for newborn or floppy babies who can’t support their heads.
Jiggle their body
Sometimes a gentle jiggle can help get the burps moving. BE VERY CAFEFUL not to shake the baby here – we are talking about micro-movements.
3. Massaging baby to get them to burp
While your baby is in any of the positions above, you can try using these massage techniques.
Pat their back
I would say this is going to be most effective as it helps to jolt any trapped air up the oesophagus. You can pat anywhere on the torso and can he helpful to pat in a circular motion, or from the bottom to the shoulders – again encouraging the air to travel up. Make sure you are gentle here, and a rhythmic pat is soothing for the babies. Pat with the whole hand and fingers to get a good distribution of weight.
Rubbing their back
You can rub in a circular motion, or up and down. This can be quite gentle or quite vigorous depending on what your baby likes – don’t worry, they will let you know if they don’t like it!
Rubbing their tummy clockwise
It is a good idea to go clockwise as the large intestine is positioned in a circle in the abdomen and moves food along in a clockwise position. If we can stimulate the large intestine to pass any food or gas, then whatever is in the small intestine will come down more quickly. Nothing to get stressed about though – no harm in trying anticlockwise!
Think about your diet (if you are breastfeeding)
Some women find that babies can digest breastmilk better if they avoid certain foods, such as spicy food or dairy. You can also drink fennel tea and that is supposed to help aid your baby’s digestion.
Eleanor Hayes, Birthzang
Birth coach, yoga teacher & all-round good egg
I founded Birthzang after having an incredible birth experience that enlightened me that with the right tools and skills at her fingertips, any woman can have a positive birth experience.
I discovered my passion for providing parents with practical and non-fluffy information about how to cope with pregnancy, labour, birth, and parenthood.
If all else fails…
There are medicines and remedies you can get to help babies bring up wind. Some have age restrictions and really should be used only as a last resort. Many of them are given to baby just before a feed and help to encourage the tiny air bubbles to join into bigger ones which are easier to burp. Most of these medicines have a lot of sugar or flavour in though and can affect the way your baby feeds and so are best avoided if you can manage without.
Here are a list of some to try
- Cold fennel tea
- Gripe water (after 4 weeks old)
- Colief (for lactose intolerance – and good for farts too)
Remember if your baby is really suffering from colic and trapped burps then there could be something else going on, such as silent reflux or lactose intolerance. If you are concerned go to your GP – follow your instincts here: you know if there is something wrong.
The benefits of postnatal yoga Many women when pregnant attend a pregnancy yoga class: to keep toned, to stay flexible, to prepare their bodies for labour and birth, and also to meet other mums in their area. But once the baby is born it can be easy to...read more
Do You Have a Fretful Baby in the Evenings? Did your baby start life happy and content but then started to get fretful in the evenings and cry a lot? They burp well, but in the evenings they screw up their face and scream with a really hard tummy.You have come to...read more