Baby burping is a great relief for parents because it means good health for your little one (and much fewer chances of spit-ups). My first baby wasn’t easy to burp and had me trying for an hour at least. Taking an hour to burp is certainly not feasible for busy mommies, who have tons of things to do around the house. So, I had to find a way of getting my baby burp early and I did. I know you want to know these tips and tricks as much as I did back then, which is why I have put together a primer for all your queries regarding burping. I hope this helps you save some time for yourself.
Burping your baby is a crucial part of your baby’s feeding regime, and it can be defined as a release of trapped gas bubbles up the esophagus, and out of the mouth. Burping will help your baby get rid of the air that he swallowed during feeding. There is another way to get those trapped air bubbles out, but burping works the best for your baby. Burps can be wet at times and may carry some of the food from the stomach. This is why pediatricians suggest burping your baby using a burp cloth. If you choose not to burp your baby after each feeding, your baby will either spit up the milk or formula or become gassy, making them uneasy all day. Sometimes gas also fills up the baby’s stomach and makes them fuller earlier during feedings. Most of the babies fuss or get cranky during feeding because they swallow too much air during their feedings, which goes for both bottle feeding and breastfeeding. Your baby is a sweet little angel who is not equipped with the skills to burp himself, which is why he needs your help and time to burp. There are various methods to burp your baby: over the shoulder, face down on lap, and sitting up with all being equally effective.
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Why is burping necessary for the baby?
Your baby can inhale air during feeding from the bottle, breastfeeding, and sometimes due to crying. These trapped air bubbles in the stomach can make your baby feel full or tense all day. The only way babies can communicate their discomfort is through crying, so you will find your baby crying mostly if you did not burp him after meals.
This is why the American Academy of Pediatricians recommends parents burping their baby after every meal, even if they are not getting fussy or crying. Burping is a safe and healthy way to keep your little one well-fed and happy.
How does your baby get gas?
Through swallowed air
Most babies unconsciously inhale air during nursing or drinking formula from a bottle. These air bubbles go down and get trapped with the milk or formula. Babies who eat from a bottle tend to get gassier due to fast eating.
But babies who breastfeed also tend to get gassy if their mother has a lot of milk has a fast letdown, or sometimes when the baby is very hungry and tries to drink fast.
Babies have bacteria in their large intestine just like adults, these bacteria breakdown certain foods creating gas in your baby. It is not just the food that the baby eats, but also the food taken by the mother that passes on in her milk, that can be the cause of gas.
According to the National Institutes of Health, foods that have a greater proportion of carbohydrates, resulting in more gas.
Some of the main cause of gas are veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts) beans, gums, and candies along with sodas, and juices.
As a result of allergic or food reaction
Some of the babies that develop food allergies might get gassier. This includes the food that are being taken by the breastfeeding mother, or the type of formula you are feeding your baby.
Dairy products are often the main cause of gas in babies, and adults so watch out for that one!
What are the best baby burping techniques?
Among all baby burping techniques, here are the best ones that have been used worldwide by the mommies and are effective for even the babies that have a hard time burping.
Over the shoulder burping technique
In this technique, put your baby over your shoulder and pat him on the back gently to help him release any trapped air inside his stomach. Do not forget to use a burping cloth because your baby might have a wet burp, and you wouldn’t want that to happen on your clothes.
In this technique, mothers place the baby over the shoulder such that, her breast is against the tummy of the baby. This puts some pressure on the baby’s tummy and makes it easier for him to burp.
Dads should also put the baby over the shoulder such that their shoulder is on the baby’s tummy, applying some pressure. Either way, make sure that you do not bounce him during the process.
Laying on belly burping technique
In this technique, sit on the couch or a chair with feet touching the ground. Now lay your baby on your legs such that, his head is tilted on one leg and tummy on the other.
This way you are not only applying extra pressure on your baby’s tummy but are also supporting his head. After that, gently rub your baby’s back in a circular motion.
For older babies, parents tend to lay them on their side, place the baby face-down over their hip to aid in burping.
Sitting up burping technique
In this technique, help your baby sit upright, lean her forward a little, and use one hand to support her head and chest, and the other to pat her back gently. This technique also helps you teach your baby a new posture along with burping healthily.
When should you burp your baby?
According to the American Academy of pediatricians, mothers should burp their little ones after every feeding or during feeding breaks. Most of the time burping your baby before switching to the other breast helps a lot, but if your baby feeds mostly on one breast then burp them during the middle, meaning if your baby’s feeding time is almost 20 minutes then burp them at 10 minutes.
For babies who use non-vented bottles or bottles that cause more air to build for feeding, the AAP recommends mothers to burp their baby every 2-3 ounces of milk for up to 6 months.
It is best to burp your baby during and right after feeding and not when they are falling asleep. As soon as they are done bring them to the burping position that works best for them.
How long should you burp your baby?
Most of the pediatricians recommend burping your baby till 4-9 months. But we have other recommendations as some babies might develop the ability to burp on their own before the recommended timeline.
- If your little one looks uneasy or is crying, burp him.
- If she learns to burp without help then stop helping her burp.
- If your baby has started sitting up on his own and for more time, then he should be able to develop burping skills on his own.
Should I be worried if my baby is not burping much?
It’s completely normal if your baby is not burping as much as you think he should, because burping depends on the amount of air sucked in during feeding and the diet of the breastfeeding mother.
As long as your baby is growing healthy and does not seem fussy, burping is not a big deal.
Burping does not require any mastery, it’s as easy as any other task involving your baby, and you will get a hang of it in no time. Remember burping is as important as feeding because your baby won’t feed if he’s uneasy or gassy.
Your baby will need your assistance in burping for up to 4-6 months, and then he will develop the skill himself, and save you the trouble.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, happy baby burping!
Hajira is a certified editor, an experienced and thoughtful writer, and a mother of two. Her deliberate passion for writing convinced her to become a writer along with her mom duties. Driven by her passion for writing, she takes pride in providing the best possible. She aims to incite and provoke enthusiasm in her readers.