Winding is a technique used to help young babies expel intakes of air that are caused by feeding or crying. These pockets of air are known as wind, and can cause the baby a great deal of discomfort if the air remains trapped inside the stomach.
Every mother has their own way of winding their newborn, but there are several accepted techniques that can help the baby to burp up the wind - or pass it from other end! Either way is effective, although most babies will respond to winding with a resounding burp.
Techniques include placing the baby over the shoulder with the bottom supported. The free hand should then rub the back in a circular or upwards motion, or softly pat the back. As with any technique, a gentle hand is essential but a little pressure is helpful.
Some babies respond to winding by lying flat. To wind a baby in this position, the infant should lie across the lap with their head gently supported. The back - or tummy - should then be rubbed in a circular motion.
Sitting the baby up is another effective technique. The baby should be seated on the lap with their head supported by one hand. The other hand should again rub or pat the baby's back until the wind comes up.
Signs that your baby needs winding include the baby withdrawing from its feed; crying; and grimacing or squirming. A mother will also quickly learn how and when her baby needs to be winded.