Winding Your Baby
Winding Your Baby
Winding or burping a baby is a skill that you have to pick up quite quickly if you want a peaceful nights rest. All babies respond differently to different winding techniques but there are one or two tricks and tips you can try when it comes to getting that ‘big belch’. To start off it is necessary to understand the working parts involved.
Your Baby’s Tummy is not just a Bag
The stomach is not round as you can see from the pic. It is more bean shaped with a dome at the top and the esophagus entering at an angle. This is important to know because now we can see why, even if baby is upright during winding, that air can be trapped above the connection to the esophagus.
Have you ever wondered why baby tends to burp after the nappy change during a feed? Or why when baby has been fussing in the cot after a feed she burps when you pick her up? It is because you have changed baby’s position to horizontal and back to vertical again allowing the air trapped in the dome to be released. No matter how hard you tap a baby on its back whilst burping you will not remove this excess air that is the cause of frustration to many parents.
Change baby’s positioning.
From what we have just read you can see that it is important to change baby’s positioning during winding. I recommend 5 minutes upright and then put baby on her back (slightly raised) and lightly bicycle the legs for 10 seconds, then upright again (to shoulder or lap). This may cause a slight amount of regurgitation but it is better than being up all night.
Make Sure the Pipes are Straight.
It is virtually impossible to wind a baby when she is bent over double on your lap. Think about yourself trying to stifle a burp? You bend your torso and flex your head. This is the same position we hold babies in when winding and it works the same way. Try holding the head up by the chin and placing your other hand on baby’s back to straighten her spine and ‘pump’ slightly with that hand instead of patting or tapping.
Bounce Bounce Bounce
Having baby upright is all good and well but we need a way of getting the bubbles to the surface of the milk in her tummy. Slight bouncing of your leg (heel up and down) is enough to help these tiny bubbles make their way through the feed and coalesce at the top into the ‘big belch’. Be careful of not bouncing to vigorously especially with reflux babies
Take Your Time
It has been stated that you have up to 20 minutes to burp your baby. 20 minutes is a long time, don’t give up before this even if you get one or two burps. 20 minutes now might mean 3-4 hours of peace later.
Break the Feed
Sometimes the amount of wind consumed in a whole feed is too much for baby to process. Try breaking the feed into 4 or 6 mini feeds with burping in between (these winding sessions should last 4-5 minutes if that)
Try Winding Before the Feed
Babies take in air during grumbling or crying. Trying to feed a baby who is already full of air will cause problems. Try winding a little before a feed to make sure the tummy is clear
I hope these tips will help at your next feeding sessions.