Relieving Trapped Wind In Babies

Photo of adorable baby crawling
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Wind pains is one of the most common problems in newborn babies. At the beginning, my baby would cry at night and I would just think it is always for no apparent reason (which is not far from the truth sometimes!), but, my mother suggested the baby has got wind, that is when I actually started making a link between their wind and them waking up. This is not a new problem and all babies will have it because their digestive system is still developing and learning how to digest food.

Here are a few things I tried and researched to try and get rid of wind in my baby and the pain that comes with it.

First, the basics: Burping and excess air


I won't spend much time on this one but I think despite being told about it already, sometimes I was just tired and thought it would be better if my daughter fell asleep already not to do it to avoid her waking up. I was wrong, burping did not wake her up, and, it helps prevent her getting bloated.

Your baby might also be swallowing a lot of air while breast feeding (you can notice them gulping sometimes). A simple tips is to try and change their position to make it more upright or sit them on your lap if they can sit. If they are bottle-feeding, make sure you get a bottle with small/few holes for a slow flow of milk.

If the problem seems to be a lot of reflux, changing the position can also help with this. Try a pillow under the mattress they sleep on so the upper part of their body is slightly higher than the lower. Remember, no pillows in the crib. Also, consult with a doctor if that is an issue.

 

Tummy time:


This is the easiest way to help your newborn baby with flatulence,  wind and constipation. You can encourage tummy time by making sure the environment is safe and that there are plenty of toys available to entertain them. It is also good for their development as they will later start rolling over then crawling as they build up their muscle strength.

Photo of a mother carrying a newborn
Photo by Tracey Shaw on Pexels

 

Exercises and massage


The simplest is what is called the bicycle exercise. You basically get your baby lying on their back and gently bend each thigh towards their tummy. You can also massage their tummy as in this video:

 


Is it the food? 


When you start introducing foods, there are usually foods that will cause more wind and gas problems than others. It is much easier to start noticing the effects of different foods early on because as you start, it is generally one thing at a time. 


Heat packs


I have not actually tried those but I know people swear by it so you might as well give it a go.


Medications:


Please get some advice on this from a health care professional or ask a doctor. There are different over the counter medications available for trapped wind but please make sure you check if it is suitable for their age, the dosage, etc. I have tried gripe water for wind with my daughter because everyone was telling me how good it is. Unfortunately, it did not work for her. What did work to some extent, was Infacol. It is not a magic cure but I noticed it helped relieve her wind pain sometimes. However, during my research, I found studies that found that Simethicone (the active ingredient in Infacol) was not effective in relieving trapped wind.


If  non of this works and you think this is still a problem, it is worth seeing your doctor/GP/family practitioner to get more advice.


Common Questions And Answers:


Can the food I eat make my baby gassy?

No. This used to be the traditional advice but not anymore, I could not really find any evidence to support that. Studies show that as long as you are eating a moderately healthy diet, there is no need to avoid certain foods. The only exceptions are: alcohol, caffeine and some fish (see the next question).

Even caffeine, only very small amounts of it pass into breast milk (unless you are excessively drinking, for example more than 1-2 cups/day). Even if the mother has wind, wind does not pass into breast milk. Some moms worry about this a lot and end up limiting their diet, which does not help. Remember that it happens in all babies.


Can I eat fish while breastfeeding?

Yes. According to the British Nutrition Foundation, you do not need to restrict your fish or tuna intake except the following (this is an excerpt from their website):

  • Don’t eat more than one portion of shark, swordfish or marlin a week (this advice is the same for all adults).
  • Don’t eat more than two portions a week of oily fish.

What about you? What works for your baby? Please let me know in the comments below if you have any questions, suggestions or ideas.

Thank you.

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