Babies usually swallow air while feeding and then be cranky and uncomfortable after the feeding. Burping helps your baby release the air consumed while feeding, making your baby more comfortable. If you are a first-time mom, then continue reading this article to know the baby burping positions.
What is burping?
Burping, also known as belching, is the natural process where gas is released from the upper digestive tract, namely the stomach and esophagus, through the mouth. It is generally an audible process. Your baby might swallow an air bubble that gets trapped in your baby’s gastrointestinal system and needs to be released. Burping is the process by which you can help your baby get rid of that gas.
Why do I need to burp my baby?
The extreme reason is gas…!!! More or less every newborn undergoes this, but you quiver to handle the situation, isn’t it? First things first, you must figure out why does your baby burp at times? The dominant cause is indigestion. The food that you feed your baby is the leading cause of indigestion.
When should I burp my baby?
The amount of burping the baby needs varies accordingly from baby to baby. After your baby has attained 4 to 6 months of age, his or her need to be burped will gradually increase. If you are breastfeeding your baby, the little one will burp less as, during breastfeeding they swallow less air. Keep things like a soft baby wipe, washcloth, and bib within your reach.
The following points would guide you about when to start burping a newborn while feeding your baby:
- If your baby is pulling away during feeding.
- Try to burp your baby for a few minutes, even if your baby falls asleep.
- While you are switching your breast while feeding your baby.
- Try to burp your baby frequently if your baby spits up while you are feeding your newborn.
- If your baby is squirmy.
- Try to burp your baby while your little one is fussy during feeding.
- If your newborn is gassy, you should burp your baby while feeding your newborn.
How to burp your baby?
Burping a newborn after breastfeeding is one of your main tasks. Burping is important to get rid of some air bubbles swallowed by the baby during eating. There are ample methods to make your baby burp, patting gently and repeatedly on your baby’s back should get the work done. Make your hand cup while patting because that will be more gentle than patting with a flat hand. Make sure you are cupping your baby’s back very gently and softly. You can also put a towel under your baby’s chin or on your shoulder to prevent messy wet burp.
Sometimes due to inexperienced motherhood, it gets hard for you to burp your baby. But you have to sum up a minimum knowledge regarding it. You have to gently hold your baby in a comfortable position after his/her meal. Then slowly and gradually, pat his/her back for a while. If he/she burps, then further continuation is not mandated. If he/she does not burp, no need to terrify at all. Approach your nearby pediatrician if required.
How to burp a sleeping baby?
Quite a few times, your baby might fall asleep while you are feeding your little one, as breastfeeding serves as a calming effect for your baby. This situation mostly occurs at night because your baby’s sleep drive is most strong during night time. Though your baby might look content, happy, and relaxed as he or she falls asleep while feeding, is it okay to put a baby to sleep without burping? NOT AT ALL. You should always make sure to burp your baby after feeding irrespective of whether the little one is sleeping or not. So let us find out how to burp your baby while he or she is comfortably sleeping.
Burping your baby who is asleep is no different from burping an awake one. Try to make your pats while burping a slow one to avoid your baby to wake up. Adjust your positions swiftly to make your baby burp without disrupting your little one’s sleep.
- While you are sitting in a chair, try to adjust your baby to a lying position to keep their tummy on your knees, and gently pat your baby’s back until a burp comes.
- Try to burp your baby while switching sides at the breasts or finishing the bottle to prevent spitting milk.
- Gently pat your baby while your baby is in a semi-upright position onto your shoulder. This position helps your baby’s stomach to release gas with the pressure from your shoulders.
- Try to lift your baby in a fully upright position keeping your newborn near your sternum or chest. Support your little one’s head, gently pat on your baby’s back and wait for the burp to come
These are some of the positions that might help you burp your baby when he or she is asleep.
Baby Burping Positions
To be honest, there is no perfect way out. It solely depends on your baby’s age and how he/she responds. You must conclude on any of these positions depending upon your baby’s age. No position can perfectly fit into all circumstances and age groups. You can find each of them fruitful at one time or the other.
There are a considerable number of positions, which are simple and yet highly effective ways. If you want to know how to burp a baby fast, these ways are sufficient enough to burp the newborn and infant up to the age of six months. Let’s check out different baby burping positions-
- Sitting position- Here comes another good position. This position perfectly fits your newborn, infants, and mainly for the babies who are undergoing Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Position a burp cloth on your leg. Allow your baby to sit on your lap and make sure he/she faces away from you. Slightly bend your baby forward, and don’t forget to support your baby’s jaw with one of your hands, head by forefinger and thumb, and chest by your palm. Now you can rub or pat her back softly with your dominant hand. Make sure you are cupping very gently. Bounce your leg gently in between if required.
- Tummy position– You can let your baby lay down on your lap if your baby has grown up a bit. Gently rest his/her belly on your thigh. Hold your baby’s chest higher than the chest. As his/her face is facing downwards, make sure you hold the chin and jaw gently to avoid the head rush. Allow your other hand to rub your baby’s back.
- Shoulder position- Hug your baby against your chest, hold very softly and make sure that he/she rests his/her chin comfortably on your shoulder. Make things available within your reach, such as burping cloth (if your baby spits up). Hold your baby by your non-dominant hand so that you can gently pat his/her back with your dominant hand. Try to crawl your hand softly up and down and softly rub the back in between. The sole reason to rub the back is to release any trapped air.
- Walking position- You can jump to another conclusion if your baby is able enough to walk. Hold your baby in a steep position facing outwards while you walk. Use one of your hands to hold him/her from behind to burp his/her stomach and another hand to hold him/her from the bottom.
Some of you might face hardship to burp your premature baby. In general, premature babies have a high respiratory rate, and they breathe rapidly to meet up the cellular exchanges and to provide energy. This heavy breathing might provoke complications while feeding. So you should know how to burp a premature baby. The best and easiest way to burp your premature baby is the upright position. Else you can also try out the tummy position but keep in mind all the meticulous safeguards.
How often should I burp my baby?
Have you figured out how you burp a newborn, and your technique is appropriate or not? Generally, it differs from situation to situation. If you are breastfeeding your baby, then try to burp after each feed. In case you are using a bottle, burp your baby once in the midway and one at the end of the feeding. It also counts on the amount of feed that you are giving to your baby.
Signs of distress, like being cranky and irritable, are also indications that your baby needs a burp. Keep in mind that one burp enough for a newborn. On top of that, the most crucial arena is to figure out the correct way to burp your baby.
What if your baby spits up while burping?
Spitting up while burping is natural. Burping helps your baby to expel the air and make your baby relaxed. Quite a few times, gastric contents may come up while burping. The color, consistency, and reflux will give an account of the nature of the spit-up. It would help if you always informed your pediatrician regarding the color and thickness of the spit-up. If your baby ejects milky looking painless spit up, then you need not worry at all.
On the other hand, if your baby ejects projectile and forcible vomitus, then you should get in touch with a pediatrician as soon as possible. Keep an eye on your when he/she falls asleep. Spitting up during sleeping may lead to choking due to prone position. That’s why it is mandatory to burp your baby if he/she falls asleep.
Reasons why babies cry during burping
Sometimes you might have experienced that your baby cries when being burped. From loud cries to crankiness, your baby might experience severe discomfort while burping due to painful burps.
- Air gets trapped while your baby attempts to burp, and gas develops as the bacteria in the large intestine digest food.
- Crying generally causes your baby to swallow more air, and as a result, it leads to painful burps.
- If you are breastfeeding, try to avoid caffeinated products.
- Conditions such as acid reflux also result in discomfort in burping.
- Bloating is caused when your baby has fruit juices.
- Food habits of you (during the breastfeeding of your baby), such as having gas-producing food such as cabbage, broccoli, and onion, can also trigger your baby’s bloating and leads to painful burps which makes your baby cry.
How long does burping take?
Try to burp your baby for a minute or so. Sometimes, an instant burp may come out when you hold your baby in an upright position. Quite a few times, you have to wait for the burp and gently pat the back and put little pressure on his/her belly. If your baby has still not burped, then discontinue the thought of burping and finish the rest of his/her meal. It is not mandatory to burp after each feed. If you observe any sign of distress after a feed, then try to burp cautiously. After the meal, hold your baby in an upright position for 10 to 15 minutes to avoid the backflow of food during burping.
What to do if your baby doesn’t burp?
Don’t the hustle and bustle if your baby doesn’t burp. It may happen because he/she does not need to burp. Sometimes, if you do not burp your baby voluntarily, then the gas accumulation may lead to situations like colic, crankiness, and sitting up. The sign of distress, like excessive crying, can be an indication of it. Your baby may undergo abdominal pain due to gas and intestinal blockage. On top of that, the absence of burping may lead to Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) as it increases the amount of spit-up.
If your baby won’t burp and gets hiccups, then follow these steps-
- If your baby does not burp after 5 minutes or so, then lie down on their back very carefully.
- Or else you can hold him/her in an upright position for a few minutes.
When to stop burping your baby?
You must not continue to burp after feeding for a long time. If your baby has burped twice or more than that, then cease the burping at that point of time. You should also comprehend when to stop burping your baby at night. In terms of your baby’s age, you can terminate to burp if your baby is older than 6 months or so. Though there is no such age group, you can stop burping your baby once he/she is mature enough to digest on his/her own.
Causes of gassiness in babies
- Swallow air- if your baby swallows gas, then your baby won’t burp and has gas
- Digestive problems or immature digestive tract- If your baby finds it difficult to digest, then gassiness can come up
- New foods- If you find your baby wakes up with gas every night, then it is essential to browse the food habits of your baby
- Excessive crying- Any sign of distress also indicates a cause of gassiness.
Baby Burping Tips
These are some baby burping tricks that might help you while you are burping your baby.
- Gently pat on your baby’s back repeatedly.
- Burp your baby after each feeding
- Try to keep your baby’s head in a higher position than his/her stomach to ensure that the milk gets to the bottom of your baby’s stomach and air stays close to the top.
- Burping your baby gently or rubbing your little one may help you to burp your baby, but sometimes, your baby might need a slightly stable hand at burping.
- Try to keep a bib or cloth handy to help you in case your baby spits.
- Cup your hands while you are patting your baby
- While burping, you should concentrate on the left side of your baby’s back because that’s where your little one’s stomach is located.
- In case your baby is not burping after a few minutes, change your little one’s position, and try burping your baby again.
- Keep a cloth between your attire and your baby’s mouth to prevent your clothes from being stained.
- To avoid your baby experiencing any sort of discomfort due to swallowed air, try to burp your baby immediately to stop the air bubble in her stomach from troubling your baby.
- To prevent your baby from swallowing a lot of air, you should make sure that your baby is latched on perfectly.
- Fussing while feeding or continued fussing may lead your baby to swallow more air, which would end up in your baby spitting, so try to avoid fussing
- If your baby tends to be gassy, try to burp your baby every five minutes during breastfeeding.
Should you be worried if your baby does not burp?
Do not worry at all! Your baby may not burp at times just because he/she does not need to burp at that moment. Your baby may also learn to burp at a later stage. Continue to burp your baby for 4 minutes or so if he/she does not burp.
When to consult the doctor?
- If your baby expels projectile vomits, and the color and consistency of the vomitus are not normal, then you should consult a pediatrician.
- When the burping gets uncontrollable and leads to distress like stomach pain, acid reflux, and colic
Baby Burping Conclusion
It is essential and wise to keep on practicing to burp your baby after a feed in a suitable position. Additionally, you can take the help of a Nurse or caretaker to guide you through the same. Keep in touch with your pediatrician to seek any help at any point in time.
If you know any other position to burp a baby, then share it with other moms too in the comment section below.