Ask The Expert… On Burping Your Baby!

Burping Your Baby

As Nottingham’s specialist newborn baby photographer, I see many new parents struggling to burp their babies.  Problems can occur when wind gets trapped and feeding descends into continual clusters lasting sometimes hours as your baby tries to self sooth by sucking. This cycle of frequent feeding followed by extended periods of inconsolable crying leaves parents exhausted and babies very unsettled.

I know because this was my own experience with my baby.  I was that first time parent with a baby who couldn’t bring up wind, who cried constantly, who was unsettled all of the time.  I completely understand when I see so many exhausted parents struggling with this issue and not knowing where to turn for help.  So I decided to write this blog with some of my best tips as a Mum of a colicky, windy baby and as a newborn baby photographer with over 10 years experience.

What Is Wind?

Wind is simply the name used for the air that is swallowed during feeding or crying that can become trapped in a newborn baby’s body.  This trapped air is removed by burping your baby, which helps to make them more comfortable and settled.

For some babies (the NHS states as many as 1 in 5) symptoms of colic, where babies cry for long periods of time on a frequent basis, may develop.  This a condition which can last up to 3 or 4 months. Information on colic can be found here

If you are worried or concerned about your baby always seek help from a medical professional.  It could be your GP, Midwife, Health Visitor, Pharmacist or 111.

How Do I Know It’s Wind?

Signs that you baby may have wind;

  1. Crying
  2. Back Arching
  3. Drawing legs up
  4. Pain coming in waves

Sometimes parents are worried about harming their babies when they wind them, sometimes parents don’t realise that their baby still has wind, even though they may have already burped!

The NHS has some great guidance on the best winding positions and how to correctly wind your baby here:

Whichever winding position you choose always make sure that your baby’s head and neck are carefully supported at all times.
My baby always preferred the over the lap method and I also found that walking up and down stairs with him upright against my chest worked as well.
If you still don’t feel confident please ask for help from your Midwife or Health Visitor who can demonstrate the correct pressure and positions.
black and white image of Dad and baby in the shoulder burping position at Fairy Nuff Photography newborn photoshoot

Baby Burping Tips

What can you do to help minimise wind for your newborn baby?

  • Try to keep your baby as upright as possible when feeding
  • If bottle feeding make sure the teat is full of milk so you aren’t adding extra air when feeding.  There are many types of teat and bottles on the market so you may have to experiment to find the one that suits your baby.
  • For breastfeeding Mums; see if your baby is more windy after you have eaten certain foods as your diet may have an effect on your baby.
  • If breastfeeding ensure your baby is latched on properly.  This NHS website has great advice and videos to show correct positioning and tips for breastfeeding.
  • A warm bath can help ease tummy pain.

Massaging Baby To Ease Wind

One of the things that the NHS recommends to soothe babies suffering with wind and colic is the use of massage techniques (

To get the best results and learn the correct techniques I would always recommend seeing a qualified baby massage teacher, who has been correctly trained. Luckily for you I happen to know a fantastic baby massage expert, Estelle from Bay Tree Holistics, who is here to share some easy tips on massages you can do at home to help ease the pain of wind and colic in your little ones.

This website also has a great picture guide on different baby massage techniques if you feel confident enough to try it yourself.

Estelle’s Top Easy Massage Tips!

The most important things to remember are;

1. Always leave 30 minutes after a small feed and an hour after a full feed before trying to massage your baby.

2. Always massage clockwise to go in the direction of the baby’s digestive system, as this helps to expel the trapped gases within your baby. Working naturally with the flow of your baby’s digestive system.

white clock on a wall
diagram showing the direction of baby massage


To warm up the tummy area use a soothing belly rub, which is one hand after the other, running from the rib cage down over the tummy in a continuous motion.

Then using your baby’s belly button as a centre, with a flat hand in a clockwise motion move your hand round in a circle applying light pressure, releasing the pressure at the lowest point where the bladder is. Use a continuous rhythm, to help this you can sing the nursery rhyme ’round and round the garden’, as the singing keeps the rhythm steady and babies love to hear their parent’s voice, which is the most comforting sound for them.

Estelle assures me that your baby won’t care if you can sing in tune or not!

To ensure that trapped wind doesn’t become an issue you can perform these tummy massage techniques a few times through the course of the day (or night)! These techniques are also ideal for using at your newborn photography session, if you baby begins to suffer with wind and tummy pain.

Sleepy baby with a bear hat at a newborn photography session with Fairy Nuff Photography Nottingham
Close up of a happy smiling baby at a newborn baby photoshoot with Fairy Nuff Photography, Nottingham

So I hope the advice and links help you.  The good news is that this doesn’t last forever, even if it does feel that way!  Most babies will grow out of this by 12-16 weeks old.  So just breathe, follow my tips and know that this too shall pass.

I share lots of other tips and tricks for settling babies with parents during their newborn baby photoshoot.  It is all part of the service!

Newborn photography sessions can be booked from the 20 week scan point and early booking is recommended to ensure you have a session booked when your baby arrives.

It’s easy to book – just message me via the website at




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