Last updated January 20th, 2021
Is your little one giving you a tough time and makes you spend hours to soothe him, yet you can not calm him down or put an end to his crying cycle? Similarly, your baby might be unable to sleep at night properly; if this is the case, then there is a high possibility that your baby has gas that he cannot pass through. In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know regarding burping your baby and some handy tips that might help you and your baby.
Burping a baby can take seconds or hours; it depends on your baby. If your baby cries despite changing his diaper, cuddling him, swaddling him, and feeding him, then air may be trapped inside his little body. Babies have underdeveloped sphincter muscles, making them unable to burp on their own. For 4 to 9 months, you have to help your baby burp after feedings by holding them over your shoulder, laying them on your chest, putting them on their hip or tummy, laying them across the lap, or sitting them on your lap. These methods are proven to help many parents; they might help you with your baby too. Each baby is different, so it’s best to try every technique to determine which one works out for your baby.
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Why Is It Important To Burp My Baby?
No matter if you breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby, babies swallow some amount of the air that is trapped in their body, making them uncomfortable, gassy, and cranky. And according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, continued fussing will cause the baby to swallow even more air, which will only increase the discomfort and may make him spit-up.
Newborn babies are unable to burp on their own due to their underdeveloped sphincter in the esophagus. To release the trapped air, you have to help your baby burp.
Where Does The Gas Come From In My Baby?
While feeding, babies tend to swallow air. If you are breastfeeding your baby, then it is because you have a fast letdown or your milk production is faster, causing your baby to swallow a lot of air.
On the other hand, if you’re bottle-feeding your baby, she is swallowing air either because you are using an anti-colic bottle or using a large nipple.
Our digestive systems have bacteria that digest the food we eat. And there is a particular food that creates gas when digested by the bacteria.
Yes, your newborn does not eat food, but if he is breastfeeding and you are eating food that generates gas, then you must know that whatever you eat is passed on to your baby through the breastmilk.
Your baby may have a food allergy, causing that specific food to be absorbed improperly and is then broken down by gas-forming bacterias. If your baby is on breastmilk, it is something in your diet that he is allergic to.
However, if your baby is on formula feed, then he might be allergic to one or more ingredients in the formula milk.
How Do I Help My Baby Burp?
It is important to hold your baby partially upright to release the gas or air trapped in your baby’s body. It will prompt the air bubbles to move upward from the stomach to the throat and then out of the mouth. Here are a few techniques to help your baby take a burp. Each baby is different, hence try each method and find out which one is most effective for your baby.
Technique 1: Over Your Shoulder
- Hold the baby upright and lean them against your upper chest. Make sure that your baby’s head is on the top of your shoulder. Support your baby by placing one hand under your baby’s hip.
- Use an open palm to pat your baby’s back between the shoulder blades gently yet firmly.
- You can also use your palm to rub your baby’s upper back in a circular motion.
Technique 2: Lying On Your Chest
- If your baby is sleeping and you do not want to disturb him, then slowly lift him to your chest. Put one arm on your baby’s back while the other arm under his hips.
- Refrain from changing his position; if he is curled up, then let him be.
- Rub your baby’s back in a circular motion using the hand that is on his back. Or you can gently pat his back.
Technique 3: Over The Hip Or Belly
- Put your baby’s tummy down over his hip or belly. Make sure his nose is not blocked, and he can breathe properly.
- Gently pat or rub their back in an upward circular motion.
Technique 4: Laying Across Your Lap
- Rest your baby across your thighs by keeping him on his tummy.
- Raise their upper body slightly by putting one arm under the baby’s chin.
- Use your other hand to pat or rub your baby’s back in a circular motion.
Technique 5: Sitting On Your Lap
- Make your baby sit on your lap, facing away from you.
- Slightly lean forward your baby’s body.
- Use one arm to support your baby’s body while using the other hand to pat or rub your baby’s back in a circular motion.
Some Important Tips Regarding Burping Your Newborn
My baby boy gave me a very tough time. He used to cry for hours no matter how much I tried to soothe him. After every feed, I would dedicate hours to make him burp, but he was very stubborn.
Later, my friend Elizebeth told me a few tricks, and honestly, these tips helped me make my baby burp much easier.
- Always remember to keep an extra cloth, napkin, or bib between your baby’s mouth and your clothes while making your baby burp.
- Usually, babies burp by gentle pat or rub, but if your baby is stubborn like mine, then you need to tap him with your open palm firmly.
- Your newborn’s stomach is located on the left side; hence always focus on patting the left side of your baby’s back.
- While feeding, as soon as you notice that your little one is getting fussy, try burping your baby. This will help to let the air trapped pass-through your baby.
- If your baby doesn’t burp within 5 minutes, lie him down to let the air bubble move around. After some time, try burping your baby again.
- If your baby is not burping, then don’t get worried. Sometimes there’s no trapped air for your baby to release.
How Long Will It Take To Make My Baby Burp?
Every baby is different; some might take a burp as soon as they come in an upright position, while others may take a few minutes and help your baby with patting or providing tummy pressure.
In the early days of motherhood, I used to make my little one sleep while feeding. But he wouldn’t take a burp, and if I tried for a long time, he would wake up and start his crying spell for an hour before sleeping again. Then my mother guided me to stop feeding him as soon as the baby gets. Then I should make him take a burp and then allow him to sleep in his crib. This tip helped me in many ways; my baby was no longer fussy, and he started sleeping for longer hours without facing any discomfort.
However, after trying all the burping techniques and all the tips and tricks, if your little one still cries for hours and is uncomfortable, then it is time that you consult your pediatrician.
When Can I Stop Burping My Baby?
If you have a newborn, then get ready to get numerous feeding and burping sessions. This might go on for a few months as it takes babies to adjust and understand the world around them.
By the time your little one learns to sit, which is typically from 6 to 9 months, you will notice that your baby eats happily and burps on his own. “When a baby can sit up well by himself, it’s okay to stop burping,” Fisher says. But every baby is different; however, you will understand that when it is time that you can stop burping your baby.
Burping a baby never seemed a challenging task until I became a mother. However, babies take time to adjust to everything around them. I can understand how difficult it is to tackle a crying baby, but what can a baby do? Crying is their way of conveying the message that air is within the baby, making it very uncomfortable for them.
Try the tips and techniques I have shared in these articles. They helped me a lot; I hope they help you out too. However, if you have any more questions, you can ask them in the comments section below. You are also free to share any suggestions or anything related to burping a baby in the comments section below.