Burping is an essential part of feeding. It helps in getting rid of excessive gas in your baby’s stomach. When your baby feeds from your breast, they tend to swallow air. Consequently, they may experience gassiness if you don’t burp them. Before putting your baby down to sleep, it is essential to burp them to ensure they sleep well.
So, what is the best way to burp a baby? Typically, there are different techniques for burping a baby. Thus, take time to identify what works for your baby.
The best ways to Burp Your Baby
The best way to burp your baby is to pat them gently on the back using your hand. As you do this, ensure your baby has a towel or bib on their chin. There are different positions you can use to burp your baby. Find the most comfortable position for your baby.
- Holding your baby in an upright position: This is one of the most common positions used by parents. All you have to do is hold your baby upright and place their head and neck on your shoulder. Use a towel to cover your shoulder so that you don’t get your clothes messy. Once you hold your baby in this position, wrap one hand around their bottom to support them and use the other to pat them gently on the back. It would be best to sit on a rocking chair as you do this.
- Hold your baby on your knee or lap: Place your baby on your lap, then use one hand to support their chest and the other to support their back. Pat them gently on the back. Be careful not to choke your baby as you rest your hand on their chest.
- Lay your baby on your lap on their belly: The other position for burping your baby is to place them on their belly. Let them lie on your lap on their stomach. Then, pat their back gently to encourage burping. Note that your baby may spit out more than you expect due to the pressure applied to their stomach.
At times, it is also advisable to burp your baby in between feedings. When babies experience gassiness in the middle of feeding, they may not want to feed again. So, if you notice that your baby is becoming fussy when feeding, try burping them. From there, you can continue feeding them. Try different burping positions on your baby to find what works for them.
After feeding your baby, ensure they stay upright to prevent any spit-ups. When you lay your baby on their backs immediately after feeding, they might end up spitting or even vomiting. Additionally, it is essential to burp your baby before they go to sleep. Failure to do so would cause discomfort.
If your baby wakes up in the middle of the night due to gassiness, burp them and cuddle them back to sleep. All in all, burping is an important part of feeding your baby. Fortunately, you won’t have to burp your baby often when they grow up.
Burping a sleeping baby, 5 best positions
When a baby starts getting full, they feel relaxed. Hence, it is expected that they start falling asleep. But before putting them down, you have to burp them. Burping a sleeping baby is no different from burping a baby who’s awake. However, you have to be extra careful to ensure you don’t disrupt your baby’s sleep. Let’s look at some of the best positions for burping a sleeping baby.
- Change breast sides
If you want to burp your baby before they sleep, consider burping them every time you change sides. As you switch from one breast to another, let your baby sit upright and burp. Pat their back gently and rest your hand on their chest gently to encourage burping.
Doing this creates more room for breastmilk and prevents spitting. By the time they fall asleep completely, your baby won’t be having too much gas in their stomachs.
- Hold your baby on your shoulder
Another way to burp a sleeping baby is to hold them upright and let their headrest on your shoulder. Place a towel over your shoulder to prevent messiness and support your baby by wrapping your arm around their bottom. Then, gently pat your baby’s back using your arm.
Babies find this position comfortable; hence it is more likely that they will continue sleeping afterward.
- Place your baby’s head on your chest
Instead of holding your baby on your shoulder, you can place their head on your chest while they are still upright. Do this while sitting on a rocking chair or comfortable couch. As you hold your baby like this, pat them gently on their backs to encourage burping.
Babies in this position tend to curl their legs, and this fosters burping. Also, this position is comfortable. Hence, your baby won’t wake up while they’re asleep.
- Place your newborn across your arm
Rocking your baby on your arm is also a great way to burp a sleeping baby. Once you finish feeding your baby, lay them on their stomachs across your arm. Let their headrest on the elbow’s crook. This position applies pressure to the stomach, hence encouraging burping.
As you hold them in this position, pat them on their backs gently. This position works best for newborns since they fit perfectly across your arm.
- Lay on your knees
You can also burp your baby by placing them across your lap or knees. Lay your baby on their stomach and pat them gently on their back. You can sway them to make them more comfortable. This position applies pressure on the stomach; thus, it encourages burping.
Why does a baby burp so much?
Burping is essential since it reduces gassiness in babies. When babies feed, they tend to swallow gas. This can cause gas and bloat in babies. To reduce this gas, you need to burp your baby. Failure to burp your baby leads to discomfort.
Benefits of burping your baby
If your baby has a lot of gas in their stomachs, they feel fuller and uncomfortable. This can make them fussy and irritable. So, it would be best if you burped them often. Below are some of the reasons why your baby needs to burp.
- Proper Digestion. When food is being broken down in your baby’s stomach, there’s the creation of gas. As a result, this can lead to bloating. Getting rid of this gas requires that you burp your baby.
- Getting rid of allergic reactions. Most allergic reactions related to food in babies lead to gassiness. For instance, if your baby has dairy intolerance, their bodies react by producing more gas. Thus, they tend to get uncomfortable. Burping can make the situation better.
- Accommodating your diet. At times, the foods you are eating can lead to gassiness in your baby. Eating a lot of carbohydrates can lead to gas. Also, foods like beans, cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli can lead to gas. Soft drinks may also contain gas. Thus, it is essential to watch your diet as it affects your baby’s health as a parent.
- Get rid of too much air in your baby’s formula. Suppose you are giving your baby formula; avoid shaking it too much. Doing this creates a lot of air in the formula. In turn, this causes a lot of gas in your baby’s stomach. Always consider using the premixed formula; it contains less gas.
- Nipple flow. Using a bottle to feed your baby also causes the need to burp your baby. When your child is feeding using a bottle nipple, they are likely to swallow a lot of air during the process. Therefore, you would need to burp them after feeding.
Do I really need to burp my baby?
When your baby is young, you’ll have to burp them often. This is because it can be challenging for babies to pass gas on their own. They need help to release gas when they are young. As mentioned earlier, babies may swallow a lot of gas when feeding. But this is different for some babies.
Some babies do not swallow air when feeding. Thus, you don’t have to burp them often. So, it is essential to keep monitoring your baby. If you notice any discomfort, burp them to see if the situation will change.
Note that, at times, babies experience colic. Babies with colic tend to cry a lot for hours. If you suspect that your baby has colic, seek medical help from a professional. You might try to get a colic baby to burp, but they won’t. And even if they do, they won’t feel any better.
It is important to burp your baby after every feeding. Even if they fall asleep, don’t skip this process. If you don’t burp your baby, they won’t be able to sleep comfortably. If you can’t get your baby to burp, consider using gas droplets as prescribed by your pediatrician.
Final thought, there are many positions you can use to burp your baby. Before burping your baby in a specific position, it is essential to find out what works for them. Some babies simply prefer being held in an upright position, while others love lying on their stomachs. Once you find the right burping position for your baby, pat them gently on the back to encourage burping.