Every parent wants to do what’s best for their baby. And as new parents, there’s a lot to learn at the beginning, which can feel daunting and overwhelming, there’s always something new to learn every day.
If you left the hospital where you’ve had all the care and now you are on your own to figure it out. Uncertain if you’ve all the answers, well, nobody has all the answers; we’re still figuring it out day by day. Your baby spends most of his time laying down, and gas build-up is normal as your baby has a little movement.
He needs help with burping, not because he is unable to but because it’s difficult to expel air laying on back 24/7, and a decent burp from your baby is a relief as he gets rid of the air that was stuck inside his little belly.
Nobody likes to see their baby uncomfortable, but unfortunately, all parents have to experience this often. Around 70% of the babies are affected by gas discomfort.
This could be either due to excessive feeding, or your baby inhales a lot of air during feeding. Often times it could also be due to an immature Gastrointestinal system. Your baby’s GI system is still learning how to process stool and pass gas.
This happens with preterm babies, usually in the first 4 months, because the GI tract is still developing and learning patterns to process food and flatulence.
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Burp your baby after every feeding
It’s pretty common for babies to swallow air while drinking milk. To avoid this, you can make sure they have a good latch to minimize gulping air when they flang lips over the nipple. You should burp your baby before changing sides, along with a few gentle tapping on the back.
If you are bottle-feeding, you should make sure that you are using the correct nipple size for their age. Always position their body a little upright with support under their head while feeding.
Although babies need to burp before and after feeding, sometimes it can be a struggle to help that trapped air get out. Burp your baby after every 2 to 3 ounces or stop halfway, do a gentle tap on the back, and then continue with the other half.
Bottle feeding techniques
Take a look at the following techniques to help reduce excessive gas buildup in your baby’s tummy.
- Feed your baby at an upright angle to help retain milk in the stomach.
- Hold your baby in an upright position for 15 to 20 minutes after feeding.
- Try different types of bottles to understand which bottle is best to minimize winding air and decreasing reflux.
- Follow the natural signs; if your baby is distracted while feeding, hold on and burp him for a minute to release pressure.
- Give your baby small feeding intervals (usually every 2-3 oz).
MOM! Look what you are eating
It would help to look at your diet when you’re breastfeeding. If you’ve eaten certain types of foods like carbohydrates, soda, fast food that induce gas build up in your system, you may notice that your baby will burp more than usual.
Changing what you eat can also help relieve discomfort with gas.
Adjusting your baby to milk formulas could be a hard task. You need to consult a pediatrician to help understand what would be best for your baby. Oftentimes parents struggle with finding the perfect milk formula for their baby.
But don’t worry! If your baby is gaining normal weight and has regular peeing and pooping, then he is healthy. Just keep in mind babies under the age of six months need 2 to 3 ounces of milk per pound of total body weight, not more or less than that.
Your pediatrician would be able to confirm and adjust this based on your own baby.
Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when milk mixed with acid backs up in the baby’s esophagus, which causes spit ups. This leads to slow weight gain, breathing problems, and a fussy baby.
Babies usually outgrow gastroesophageal reflux after 6 to 12 months. Most babies that suffer from GE reflux are perfectly healthy.
- When cradling your baby, hold your baby in an upright position.
- While working, use a front pack to hold your baby in a straight upright position.
- Put your baby on his tummy and raise one knee so that his head is higher than the lower limb.
Burps and colic infection
You should never underestimate the power of burping as it may help reduce colic or excessive buildup of gas, which could cause discomfort to your baby. The number of times you burp your baby is more important than the length of the time.
Frequency is better because it will help move out more of the trapped gas bubbles inside his tummy.
Effective positions to help burp your baby
Burping your baby during feeding is essential; if your baby doesn’t burp, you can try the following positions.
- Hold your baby upright at a 45° angle.
- Hold your baby over the shoulder and gently tap on the back.
- Sit your baby in an upright position, slightly lean forward, hold his chin in a cupping position and rub or pat at the back.
- Lay your baby on his stomach and gently tap, pat, or rub the back.
Ways to burp a sleeping baby
Sometimes newborns fall asleep during feeding. Parents are often concerned because this can cause a problem; if the baby has gulped air during feeding, it needs to be cleared through burping.
There are several tips for burping your newborn.
- Lean your baby’s head over your shoulder and gently rub the back in circular motion or tap.
- Lift the baby towards your chest and rub the back in a small circular motion.
- Put your baby on your tummy in a way that head is elevated, tap the back gently between shoulder blades.
Position to avoid during burping
It is evidently frustrating for new parents to help their baby relieve gas pressure inside their stomach. Burping is something that your baby learns over time, although he needs assistance during the first few months when his digestive system is still immature and learning to process different physiological processes.
- Never feed your baby in a reclined position.
- Don’t curl the back of your baby while holding him in an upright position. The wrinkles on the tummy indicate that the back is curled.
- Don’t lay your baby flat on his back while feeding; it can cause GE.
- Do not bend your baby or lean forward as it puts more pressure on his stomach.
- Try different burping positions.
- Burp your baby regularly, don’t wait until they are in discomfort.
- Don’t feed you your baby either too fast or too slow as it may lead to inhaling excess air.
How do you tell if your baby is gassy?
Always notice the natural signs; your baby could be grunting or spitting up. If your baby has excessive gas build-up, then you may notice that their belly is swelled and tight with gas.
What causes the gas to be trapped in babies?
Gulping excessive air during feeding leads to trapped gas. Whether bottle-fed or breastfed, you should regularly burp your baby to relieve pressure.
How long does burping take?
Usually, it takes a minute or two for the baby to burp. There are some babies who are hard to burp you could use different mentioned positions and techniques.
When can you stop burping a baby?
Baby’s start to burp on their own around 6 to 8 months, so when you notice that your baby is burping before you burp him, then you can stop burping your baby.
When should you burp your breastfed baby?
It has been seen that many babies who are breastfed do not need as much burping as compared to bottle-fed babies. But if you have a strong letdown of milk, then it’s likely that your baby could have taken in lots of air.
You can always burp your baby when switching from one breast to another and after feeding.
How often should you burp your baby?
You should burp your baby during every feeding; burping your baby 4 to 5 times a day is more than enough to help relieve gas.
New parents are often concerned with what’s going on in their baby stomach, is he gassy? Is he grunting?
When babies feed they swallow a lot of air, you may want to burp your baby midway through each feeding. Burping is a great technique to help relieve gas and prevent colic.
If the baby hasn’t been burped, the swallowed air can cause spitting up. Burping your baby isn’t that hard; you could use simple safe positions and techniques to release pressure.