The Proper Way To Burp Your Baby

Does your baby fuss and get cranky after the feed? Here’s why burping the baby is important.
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Does your baby fuss and get cranky after a feed? Not sure why? It’s likely because he/she has swallowed a bit of air with milk and needs to burp right away. For a parent of a newborn, every day is a new day and we, at Kidsstopppress are here to simplify parenting for you. 

So here’s everything you need to know about why it is important to burp your baby and how to do it right.

Why Do I Need To Burp My Baby?

It is very important to burp the baby at each feeding because when the baby drinks, he/she can’t help but swallow a little air along with the breastmilk or formula. The air bubbles that are trapped in the tummy can make them uncomfortable and full before they have finished feeding. 

When you have a colicky baby, you know what it’s like to spend hours pacing the room trying to soothe the baby. The paediatrician will tell you your child needs to be burped. But what’s a parent to do when the baby won’t burp?

Why do babies need a burp?

Because babies have an underdeveloped sphincter in their oesophagus, it stops them from burping up the air by themselves. If someone doesn’t do it for them, the gas travels into the intestines, causing belly discomfort. You should burp a baby during, or after, every feeding to release that air.

When should you burp a baby?

The best time to burp a baby is every so often during feeding, as well as post-feeding, to release that gas. If you’re breastfeeding, burp your baby when you switch breasts during the feeding. If you’re bottle-feeding, burp your baby after each ounce (30 mL) or two (60 mL) of fluid. Whether breast or bottle feeding, be sure to burp your baby when he’s finished eating. If the baby has problems with gas, is colicky, or spits up, you may want to burp them even more frequently.

Tips On Burping Your Baby

  • Don’t forget to protect your clothes by always keeping a burp cloth or bib between your outfit and the baby’s mouth. 
  • Always keep a cloth, diaper or bib handy in case the baby spits up. 
  • A gentle pat or rub on the back may get the baby to burp. 
  • Always focus on the left side of the baby’s back. Your li’l one’s stomach is located on that side. 
  • Babies swallow air because they are drinking too fast. Sometimes giving the baby a warm bath or a massage helps

Remember that the baby is probably fussing in the middle of a feed because of the discomfort caused by swallowing air – which also leads to spitting up. Instead, try burping baby right away to see if it’s an air bubble in her tummy that’s causing her to protest.

What Are The Best Positions For Burping A Baby?

It’s a good idea to try all to see which gets the job done best for your little one.

On Your Shoulder

Hold your baby firmly against your shoulder. Support her bottom with one hand, and pat or rub her back with the other. 

Face-down On Your Lap

Place your baby tummy-down, across your lap. Her stomach has to be on one leg and her head on the other – sideways. Pat or rub her back with the other.

Sitting Up

Hold your baby in a seated position on your lap, leaning slightly forward. Don’t forget to support your baby’s head and chest with one arm while you pat or rub the back with the other.

Walking

Once your baby has control over her head, you can try holding her upright in front of you, facing out, while you stand and walk. Put one hand under her bottom and the other arm across her tummy. The motion may help her with the release of any trapped air bubbles. 

Knee To Chest Burp

Bend the baby’s knees up against her chest very gently. This could help with the trapped air.

Over-the-hand Burp

Put the baby on your lap and place the heel of the hand against his/her tummy with the chin resting on top of your hand. Lean the baby forward and pat his/her back.

The Grandmother’s Burp

Place the baby on your lap with the heel of one hand pressed into their stomach and your fingers on either side of their chin to support the baby’s head. Run your thumb and forefinger up the baby’s spine. 

The Old-school Burp

Hold the baby in your lap and bend them slightly forward from the waist. As you pat the baby’s back, slowly and gently rotate their body back and forth. Do this in each direction, front, back and sides. 

Dance Out The Burp

Hold your baby securely between your two hands, in a sitting position on your knee, rock the top half of the baby’s body gently left to right, and back in a rhythmic repetitive motion. Also, bounce your knees as you do so.

Bounce Out The Burp

This burping method works best using an exercise ball. Hold your baby close to your chest, with one hand on their rear and the other supporting the baby’s neck and head. Then securely sit on your exercise ball and gently bounce up and down.

Massage Out The Burp

Lay the baby stomach-down with their head tilted to one side on a slight incline. Place gentle pressure on the baby’s spine and gently slide one hand up your baby’s back until you reach the shoulder blades. Place your other hand at the base of your baby’s spine as you massage.

Bicycling

Cycle the baby’s legs towards their chest.

What To Do When The Baby Won’t Burp?

Tried all the positions and still, the baby won’t burp? Here’s what you can do:

Mom’s Diet: Try to keep a food diary and see what you eat when your baby is the most uncomfortable. Then try eliminating that food from your diet and see if there is a difference. You can also try eliminating dairy, such as milk, cheese, and ice cream, to see if that helps your baby at all.

Formula: Mixing powdered formula into water is often done by shaking, which incorporates tiny air bubbles into the mix. Try swirling the formula into the water to minimize air bubbles or letting the formula rest after shaking, which releases air bubbles.

Nipples: If the bottle nipple is too big for a baby can cause them to swallow too quickly, letting air in as they try to keep up with the large flow. Choose the right size for your baby for the most comfortable feeding.

Bottles:  Some baby bottles are shaped to harbour as little air as possible. Others have disposable liners, vents, or straw-like systems that keep bubbles from getting into the baby’s system as they drink.

So what’s your trick to burp the baby quick? Write to us at contribute@kidsstoppress.com.

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