From being fed to getting the diaper changed, your newborn baby is completely dependent on your. And one task from the list of the various tasks which you have to do for your baby, is burping them after they are fed. Burping is an important part after feeding your baby as it helps to get rid of some of the air that babies tend to swallow during feeding. Not being burped and swallowing too much air can make your baby spit up, or seem cranky and gassy.
Read More: 12 Awesome Home Treatments for Diaper Rash
All You Need to Know about Baby Burping
What is A Burp?
A burp is the release of gas bubbles up the esophagus and through the mouth. Some burps, called wet burps or erps, may bring up some of the stomach content, so using a burp cloth is always considered helpful.
Why Babies Need To Burp?
You may not know the specific reason for your baby’s discomfort. It can be difficult to make out whether your baby is crying and acting fussy due to hunger, or because they are wet, or bored, or if it is due to gas. So the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends all the mothers to burp their children regularly, even if they do not show any signs of discomfort or release of gas when you burp them.
How Does Gas Get Into Baby’s Belly?
There are three main ways babies get gas in their bellies:
Babies inevitably swallow some air, when they are nursing or drinking from a bottle, which goes down into their stomach through milk or formula. This air forms into gas bubbles which causes discomfort. If the mother has more milk or fast let down, or if the baby is hungry and wants to eat fast, then they tend to swallow more air. Some physicians also believe that this tends to happen more with bottle-fed babies who eat faster.
The digestive tract produces gas in the large intestine by breaking down undigested food. This includes food which the child consumes, and that the mother consumes and passes on in her breast milk. So the mother should make a note, not to consume food that contains carbohydrates. Some foods which should be avoided are Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, cauliflower, onion, and garlic. Also avoid sugar candies and gum, fruit drinks and soda.
Allergic reaction or food intolerance
Your baby can have intolerance to certain foods that you consume. It can lead to the production of more gas in your baby’s stomach. So keep a check on your diet, and the reactions of your baby while you feed them breast milk or formula.
When To Burp Your Baby?
You need to burp your baby every time you feed them. This will jelp to relieve the gas from the stomach. Also burp them when you switch your breast or in between the breaks they take while feeding. Sometimes your baby might act fussy or squirm or wiggle a lot during feeding or after, it may be due to the uncomforted feeling they might have inside their belly. If your baby falls asleep without burping, keep a check if they are sleeping with content or waking up frequently. It is better to burp them regularly to avoid any kind of gas formation. Once they grow up, they learn to suck milk more efficiently without swallowing as much air, and you will also become a pro in understanding when your baby needs to burp.
How To Burp Your Baby?
The most common way of burping a baby is by placing them on the shoulder and tapping on their back gently. Apart from this there are other ways which you may try and use the best one which works for your baby.
Place the baby with their upper belly against your collar bone. Pat their back while applying slight pressure with your collar bone. Or use the heel of your hand to gently rub on their back.
Sit the baby on your lap, while placing the heel of your hand on the ribcage, apply slight pressure and pat their back.
Sling the baby over your arm and gently pat the back while pacing the room.
Sit the baby on your lap and place the heal of your hand against their tummy, while their chin rests on top of your hand. Lean the baby forward and pat their back gently.
Place the baby with their stomach on your knee and gently pat the back.
Bend the baby’s knees up against their chest and rub or pat their back.
Place the baby on your lap, press the heel of your hand against the baby’s belly, place your fingers on either side of their chin and rub the back gently with your thumb and forefinger.
The old-school burp:
Hold the baby on your lap and bend them slightly forward at the waist, pat their back slowly and gently while rotating their body back and forth from the waist. Do this in all directions, front, back and sides.
Dance out the burp:
Hold the baby carefully between your two arms, in a sitting position on your knee, rock top half of the baby’s body slowly left to right, and back in a rhythmic motion. Bounce your knees as you do so.
Bounce out the burp:
This is best done using a bouncing ball. Hold your baby close to your chest with one hand on the rear and the other supporting their head and neck. Sit on the ball and start bouncing up and down.
Massage out the burp:
Lay the baby stomach-down and their head tilted to one side. Place gentle pressure on their spine while sliding one hand to their shoulder and the other hand on the spine as your massage.
Lay the baby on their back, and gently cycle their legs towards the chest, like peddling a bicycle.
Wear your baby in a sling bag and do your regular errands or walk at the same time. The bouncing helps the gas escape.
How Long Does Burping Take?
Burping usually takes a minute or two. Sometimes your baby might burp soon after they are fed, and sometimes you need to wait for a long time for them to burp. Use the patting technique and wait for them to burp. It can happen that your baby might fall asleep before burping, and this can cause discomfort for them while sleeping. So keep a note to burp them before they are asleep. If the baby falls asleep while feeding, then stop it and burp them and feed them again. This will help prevent your baby from swallowing too much air.
What If Your Baby Won’t Burp?
Sometimes even after you’ve tried all the ways to burp your baby, your baby might not burp and continue to be uncomfortable. In such cases try taking the precautions which will avoid your baby from swallowing too much air.
- If you are breast-feeding your baby then keep a check on the food that you are taking. Try avoiding the foods that might cause any discomfort for the baby when they are fed. Try eliminating dairy foods and see if it works for your baby.
- When you mix formula into the bottle you do it by shaking, which probably will incorporate tiny air bubbles in the bottle itself, and your baby might swallow that air through the formula. So try swirling the formula instead of shaking, or wait for the formula to rest after shaking so that the air bubble move out.
- Use feeding bottles that are shaped to harbor as little air as possible. Some bottles have disposable liners, vents and straw like systems which keep the baby from swallowing air.
When To Worry About Burping?
Burps, toots and spit ups are normal in babies. But if your baby has projectile vomiting after feeding or frequently in a day, then consult a pediatrician. If your notice other symptoms such as temperature over 100.4 degrees, or diarrhea, or bloody stools, then you should immediately reach to the doctor.
When Should You Stop Burping Your Baby?
As your baby grows up, their digestive system becomes more mature and burping is not needed after that. You might probably stop burping them after they reach for about 6 months, when they start eating solid food. But if you still notice that your baby is uncomfortable then continue burping them until you feel that they don’t need it anymore.