Wind in babies occurs when air bubbles become trapped in their tummy and they struggle to release it. Babies often swallow air while they are feeding. As their digestive tract is still developing, it can struggle to process all the milk.

As your newborn grows and develops this windy problem, which can also occur from crying or yawning, will resolve itself but until then, parents need to help bub release the trapped air.

Wind is common from the newborn stage to about three months.

Common signs of trapped wind include squirming or crying during a feed, or looking uncomfortable by arching their back and lifting their legs up while laying down after a feed. They might then burp or fart the air out ad will then instantly feel calmer.

How can I help my baby with trapped wind?

  • Massage bub’s belly: Massage tummy in a circular motion to alleviate built-up gas and gently cycle their legs
  • Keep them upright: Sit baby upright while feeding and afterwards lift them up to look over your shoulder. Hold your baby so their body is facing yours with their chin resting on your shoulder. Support baby’s bottom with one hand.
  • Tummy time: Try some supervised tummy time on the floor or on your lap can help baby to pass wind.

Babies can often swallow air bubbles while breastfeeding.

What is colic?

According to Health Direct, colic is excessive, frequent crying in a baby who appears to be otherwise healthy and well fed. Colic is very common, affecting about one in five babies, but it is still poorly understood.

Crying is normal in babies. At six-to-eight weeks, babies normally cry for a couple of hours day. But babies with colic cry inconsolably for more than three hours on more than three days of the week. The crying is often worse in the evenings.

The cause or causes of colic are unknown, but theories include indigestion, trapped wind or a temporary gut sensitivity to certain proteins and sugars found in milk.

Colic usually begins within the first few weeks of life and peaks at around six to eight weeks. It often stops by the time the baby is four months old, and by six months at the latest.

You may also notice that your baby’s face becomes flushed, and they may clench their fists, lift their knees up or arch their back.

Babies with colic usually don’t have any underlying medical condition but seeing them distressed is upsetting. If you think your baby has colic, see your doctor who can advise you on what treatments are available.

Comfort your baby when their crying and try to keep calm.

There is no evidence that gripe water, a product available over the counter, or other commercially available colic treatments can improve colic in babies. These aren’t recommended as a way to deal with colic because they don’t work and/or haven’t been thoroughly tested in young babies.

A baby with colic may cry inconsolably for more than three hours on more than three days of the week.

What is reflux?

According to the Australian Breastfeeding Association, reflux happens when some stomach contents (eg breastmilk) pass from the stomach back up into a baby’s oesophagus (muscular tube that leads from the mouth to the stomach), and sometimes spits back out.

If a baby with reflux is otherwise happy and putting on weight well, this is called ‘simple reflux’. It doesn’t hurt the baby and it usually stops by itself as the baby grows.

It often helps to feed a baby with reflux in a more upright position and try offering more frequent smaller feeds.

If you think your baby has reflux, please chat to your doctor and seek further advice.