Wind is air that your baby has swallowed when they were feeding, crying or yawning. Wind is common from the newborn stage to about 3 months, as your baby’s digestive system matures.
Common signs of trapped wind include:
- squirming or crying during a feed
- looking uncomfortable and in pain if laid down after feeds
Some babies need a little more help than others to release wind. To wind your baby, hold them in an upright position against your shoulder. Massage their back.
When your baby gets wind
Every baby is different and over time you will get to know your baby’s cues.
Sometimes the wind builds up from the day’s feeds. This is common when babies are unsettled during feeding time in the late afternoon or evening.
Most babies will experience this time of being unsettled. Some suffer worse than others. It usually begins around 2 to 4 weeks old and may last for 6 weeks.
Tips for winding
Watch a video on how to wind your baby.
- Skin-to-skin contact may relax your baby and wind may break more easily.
- Hold your baby up against your shoulder after a feed and massage their back.
- After feeding, keep your baby in an upright position.
- Walk with your baby in your arms or in a baby sling. The upright position gently helps to relax them. Put a gentle little bump or bounce in your walk.
- Try the "magic baby hold". Hold your baby's back against your tummy. Their tummy should rest on your crossed arms. Their legs and arms should gently fall either side of your arms.
- Respond as quickly and appropriately as possible to your baby crying. Give them comfort by feeding, holding, rocking, singing or another method. Leaving a baby to cry will cause more air to be swallowed and will make their wind worse.
- Make sure your baby is positioned and attached well to your breast. Ask your public health nurse or lactation consultant to observe a breastfeed if you need help.
- Hand expressing a small amount of milk before feeding can help to slow down the flow of milk.
Formula feeding tips
- Wind your baby often during and after each feed, this may help ease the build-up of wind.
- Reduce the flow of feed from the bottle or try a different teat size.
- Tilt the bottle so the teat and the neck of the bottle are constantly full of milk.
- When your baby pauses, tilt the bottle down or remove the teat. This allows your baby to rest for a moment.
- Don’t let your baby suck on the bottle when the feed is finished or when only milk bubbles are left.
- Let your baby’s bottle stand until all the air bubbles produced by shaking have settled.
- Hold your baby a little more upright, rather than lying them flat while you are feeding them their bottle.
- If you are considering changing your baby's infant formula milk, discuss it with your public health nurse first. Avoid chopping and changing between brands or types of formula. Frequently changing can cause your baby to become more unsettled.