Cramps & winds sorted

Just a lit­tle bit of wind trapped in his gut can cause your new­born much dis­com­fort. What can you do to help?

Your Baby & Toddler - - Contents -

WHILE HE’S FEED­ING, ei­ther on the breast or bot­tle, your baby swal­lows a bit of air that then gets trapped and causes dis­com­fort, burp­ing, flat­u­lence, cramps and even cry­ing.

Some ba­bies suf­fer se­verely from wind, while oth­ers hardly suf­fer at all. If your baby is suf­fer­ing from wind, he will prob­a­bly stop suck­ling. This is be­cause the trapped air is mak­ing him feel full be­fore he has ac­tu­ally drunk enough milk to sat­isfy his ap­petite. He could even cry, have a pained ex­pres­sion on his face, or squirm and gri­mace if you try to lay him down af­ter a feed. Luck­ily you can help make your baby more com­fort­able.


Po­si­tion is im­por­tant. Whether you’re bot­tle- or breast­feed­ing, keep your baby’s head higher than his stom­ach. This way the milk sinks to the bot­tom of the stom­ach while the air goes to the top so it’s eas­ier to burp out. AF­TER FEED­ING Wind your baby to get rid of any trapped air. There are many po­si­tions you can try, so ex­per­i­ment to find which works best: • Over the shoul­der. Place your baby over your shoul­der, with his bum sup­ported by your arm. Pat or rub his back gen­tly with your other hand. This is of­ten the eas­i­est po­si­tion to use as your baby is stretched out and up­right. • Sit­ting up. Sit with your baby on your lap so he leans for­ward with his hand sup­ported on your hand as you hold his far shoul­der. Pat or rub his back. • Face down on your lap. Place your baby face down on your lap. Hold him firmly with one hand while you gen­tly pat or rub his back.

Give your baby some time with this – he may need a few min­utes be­fore he’s able to burp prop­erly so per­se­vere. Other ac­tiv­i­ties that help are tummy time and cy­cling baby’s legs (lie him on his back or gen­tly pump his legs as if he were rid­ing a bike). Wind­ing is also a great way for your baby and his dad to bond. WHEN IS WIND A PROB­LEM? Some­times winds and ab­dom­i­nal cramp­ing could be a sign of gas­troin­testi­nal prob­lems. If your baby has any of the fol­low­ing symp­toms have him checked out by a doc­tor: • Diar­rhoea or con­sti­pa­tion: Although th­ese are both quite com­mon in ba­bies, they could in­di­cate an un­der­ly­ing is­sue. A big clue for this would be a change in your baby’s stools – sud­denly chang­ing con­sis­tency or fre­quency (meaning he is ei­ther hav­ing a lot more or a lot less). Re­mem­ber that new­borns can go a few days with­out soil­ing their nap­pies and they make what may sound like grunt­ing noises as a mat­ter of course, so the most re­li­able in­di­ca­tion of con­sti­pa­tion right now are small, hard, round stool that look a lot like pel­lets. • Emo­tional changes: If your baby is usu­ally calm and con­tent and sud­denly be­comes frac­tious and won’t eat or sleep, some­thing else could be up. Have a look at the box above on colic. If you think your baby may have colic, al­ways get him checked out by your doc­tor to rule out any other causes of cry­ing or a change in be­hav­iour. Many ex­perts say that true colic is ac­tu­ally a very rare thing. • Other symp­toms: Fever in a new­born or blood in the stool are sure signs of a prob­lem and need to be checked out.

Most of the time, a baby’s winds are noth­ing to worry about. Ex­per­i­ment with ways to get rid of it and find out what works best to soothe your baby. YB

Te­la­ment Pae­di­atric Colic Drops (R118,99 for 30ml) and Gripe Wa­ter (R37,99 for 150ml) bring re­lief for pain and winds. Get it at all large re­tail­ers and baby stores.

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