As a new parent, you’ve probably been told countless times about why it’s important to burp your baby! So today, we’re going to answer some of the most important questions about burping babies, including how, why and when babies need to be burped. Here we go!
WHY do babies need to be burped?
Just like adults, when gas gets stuck in your baby’s tummy, it causes them discomfort, which is generally relieved by letting out the air in the form of a burp. Since your baby’s digestive system is still developing, your baby needs a little help from you to let out burps.
There are three main reasons why your little baby has gas:
1. Swallowing of air
During bottle feeding or breastfeeding, your baby tends to swallow some air as well along with the milk. This usually happens when your baby tries to swallow too fast. Hence it is more common with bottle-fed babies or breastfeeding moms who have a very fast flow of milk. If you’re bottle feeding, you could try to use a nipple that prevents your baby from swallowing too much air. If you’re breastfeeding, try holding your baby in a position that prevents them from drinking too fast or you could even hold them more upright while feeding.
Breastfeeding moms pass on the food that they are eating to their baby through their breastmilk. Naturally, the baby too must break down these foods in the digestive system and this can cause gas as well. If you are breastfeeding, try and avoid foods that cause a lot of gas.
3. Food intolerance
Some babies are intolerant towards certain foods that the Mom might eat and pass on through her milk. Bottle fed babies too can be intolerant towards certain types of formulas. This can cause gas and discomfort.
WHEN should you burp your baby?
Since babies can’t talk, they will usually cry when they are experiencing any kind of discomfort. But even then, it’s hard to tell what the cause of that discomfort could be. That’s why it’s important to burp your baby, especially after feedings, to make sure he/she is comfortable. While some babies burp a lot, some might not burp that much.
If you’re breastfeeding, you should ideally burp your baby before switching breasts and after the feed is complete. If you’re bottle-feeding, you should burp your baby in between every 2-3 ounces of milk and after the feed as well.
It’s absolutely normal for your baby to spit up a little while burping. This is why most parents will always keep a burp cloth nearby to sling over their shoulder during burping.
HOW do you burp your baby properly?
Let’s take a look at the most popular and effective baby burping positions to help you burp your baby.
1. On your shoulder:
First, cover your shoulder and part of your baby with a burp cloth to avoid any messes.
Then, hold your baby over your shoulder so that baby’s chin rests gently on your shoulder.
Make sure you support your baby’s neck and head properly.
Hold your baby with one hand and gently pat or rub his/her back with the other hand until your baby burps.
Do this for a minute or so.
2. On your lap:
Put a burp cloth over your lap or make your baby wear a bib.
Place your baby in a sitting position on your lap.
Support your baby’s neck and head by cradling his/her chin in your palm while resting the heel of your hand on your baby’s chest. Do this very gently so as not to put pressure on your baby’s throat.
With your other hand, gently pat or rub his/her back until your baby burps.
Do this for a minute or so.
Pick a position that feels most comfortable and safe for both you and your baby. After feeding, usually try and keep your baby in an upright position for 10-15 minutes so that the milk doesn’t come up immediately.
When can you stop burping your baby?
As your baby grows older, you won’t have to constantly burp him/her. Usually this happens between 4-6 months of age, and as they start eating solid foods. If you feel that your baby still has a lot of discomfort due to gas, you can continue burping them. Sometimes, giving your baby a massage or moving their legs back and forth in a cycling motion while laying them on their back can also help relieve gas.
We hope that we covered all you need to know about burping your baby. If you have any other questions about baby burping, leave a comment below and we’ll try our best to answer your query.