Wind and Hiccups in Newborns
PHOTOGRAPHY Kirsty Stone @thesearethegoldendays
As babies feed, they often swallow small amounts of air which comes up in the form of a burp later on. Some babies require help to bring up their burps, while others don’t need any assistance at all. You only need to spend a minute or two winding your baby; if nothing comes up and your baby seems happy, you can leave it be.
During a feed, if your baby wants to stop sooner than usual it can be helpful to take them off the breast, sit them up on your lap with one hand supporting the front of their body and the other hand gently patting or rubbing their back. Often they simply need to bring up wind before they can continue feeding. Some parents also find it helpful to burp their baby between switching sides.
If your pēpi squirms or grunts when you lay them down or wakes up after a few minutes of being put to sleep in their bed, they may have a burp lurking. Another useful technique is to place them over your shoulder as you rub their back… just make sure you lay down a muslin wrap or burp cloth between baby and your clothes, in case of a spill!
Wind is often blamed for unsettledness in babies but it is normal for newborns to cry and fuss; it’s how they communicate when they need something.
If your pēpi had the hiccups in utero, you may find they’re just as common once your baby is born. There’s no need to find a special treatment for hiccups; they’re a natural occurrence. You haven’t done anything to cause them and they will stop on their own. Hiccups shouldn’t cause your baby distress but they can, however, be a little inconvenient when you’re trying to settle your baby to sleep and the hiccups are stopping them from nodding off. If that’s the case, you can try offering your baby the breast as swallowing milk may help.