Burping is an important part of feeding a baby and helps get rid of excess air. But when this exercise is not done properly, gas bubbles can get stuck in your child’s stomach causing them to spit up, or become colicky and/or gassy.
As a new parent you know it all too well that burping a baby is easier said than done. Sometimes it can be the most difficult task. So how do you do it successfully? What is the right technique and are there are factors you should be wary of?
We’ll take you through the process and share baby burping tricks to make your job easier.
Baby Burping Tricks: How To Make Your Baby Burp
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The first aspect that can affect a baby’s digestive ability is the method of feeding. Experts suggest that while babies need to burp when they eat –because they take in air–it needs to be done more frequently in bottle-fed babies.
While a breastfed baby also swallows air, especially if the mother has a fast letdown or the baby is really hungry, it is much less as compared to bottle-fed baby who may feed faster. That’s because more gas can get accumulated in the baby’s stomach when bottle-feeding.
This gas (released through a burp) is generally caused by breaking down of foods by bacteria in the large intestine. This will include foods that the baby consumes as well as those that the mum eats. Some of the most common foods that cause gas in baby– as a result of mum’s consumption –include vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, and junk foods like gum, soda or fruit-based drunks.
Another food type is dairy. So if formula milk doesn’t suit the baby or their body reacts to something the mother has had, it can cause digestive issues.
To help ease these issues, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends burping babies regularly in between feeds to allow for easy digestion. They also suggest to limit active play after each feed.
How frequently should you burp a baby?
Now, coming to the question of frequency, experts suggest to “try fitting in naturally.”
It’s also advisable to burp your baby after every 60 to 90 millilitres of milk if you bottle-feed (upto six months of age) and each time you switch breasts if you breastfeed. You also need to burp your newborn after they’re done feeding.
But many parents make the mistake of disrupting feedings with unnecessary attempts at burping. This prolongs the feeding time of your child, and it frustrates a hungry baby and increases air swallowing.
Remember, there is no hard and fast rule as such. But, some babies may need to be burped more frequently. So observe your baby’s pattern and work with him/her accordingly.
Steps To Make Your Baby Burp
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Making a baby burb is all about formulating a rhythm. So here’s what you need to do:
Either pick up the baby and place them chest-to-chest and then gently pat the back. Or, make them sit whilst supporting their neck and head (explained below).
Cup your hand while patting, this will be gentler on your baby’s back than a flat palm.
Always place a towel or a bib under your baby’s chin so you can clean up when your baby spits.
Here are three methods that are most commonly used to burp a newborn.
1. Sitting on your lap: You can place your baby sideways on your lap. In this technique, their chest will lean slightly forward. Keep your hand under their chin to support their chest and head. Then gently pat their back across the shoulder blades to burp them.
2.Over your shoulder: You need to stand or sit comfortably in a slightly reclining position. Now, hold your baby under their bottom for support. Make sure they’re facing behind you and looking over your shoulder. Their chin should rest on a cloth so as to absorb the spit-up. Then with one hand hold the baby, and use the other hand to burp your child.
3.Face-down on your lap: Make your baby lie across your knees on their belly, with their head slightly higher than the rest of their body, and firmly rub and pat their back.
Check out the video to see the methods in action:
Baby Burping Tricks: 4 Things You Should Know About
How to burp a fussy child?
If you notice your baby getting fussy while feeding then stop the session as soon as you can. Burp your baby and then start feeding again.
Try burping your baby every 0.02 litres or ounce during bottle-feeding or every five minutes during breastfeeding if your baby gets gassy, spits a lot and has gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Try changing the baby’s position, if they don’t burp after a few minutes.
But still remember to always burp your baby when their feeding time is over.
Colic babies might have gas from swallowing too much air during their crying spells, which can make the baby even more uncomfortable. You can always consult your baby’s paediatrician if none of these positions work.
Till what age should you burp your baby?
There’s no definitive age as such. When your child gets older and their digestive system becomes more mature, burping will become less of a necessity.
It is mostly around six months when your child starts eating solid food. You will notice that the frequency to burp your child will also decrease. However, if you notice your child still being gassy and cranky, then continue burping as you normally would till they stabalise.
What to do if your baby doesn’t burp ‘enough’?
Not all babies are frequent burpers. Some babies may pass enough gas that they won’t need to burp much. If your child is not burping after every meal and he or she is not bothered by gas pains and is on track with their growth, there’s no need to worry.
Sometimes you may notice that while you are trying to burp your baby, they may fall asleep. So, ensure that sit in an upright position for 10 to 15 minutes. This will help keep their milk down, and burp better. This is also helpful in preventing reflux in your baby.
However, burping doesn’t always relieve all the trapped air bubbles in your baby’s tummy. Passing gas will help your baby to get maximum relief. Here’s what you can do:
Gently massage or push your baby’s legs back and forth when the baby lies on their back. Try the bicycling technique.
You can also let the baby lay on her stomach while she is awake. This is one of the easiest baby burping tricks and can help to relieve the gas faster.
Sometimes your baby can be gassy because of your diet. So keep a tab on what you are consuming.
You can switch to a bottle designed to decrease the amount of air in the bottle.
If your baby is still feeling troubled, then consult the doctor for over-the-counter medicines.
Projectile vomiting and spit-up: When should you worry?
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You will notice that while you try to burp your baby, they may spit-up. It is very normal in most babies. They may have consumed more milk than their stomach can process in one feeding.
When their stomach builds up pressure, spitting up is the way to release any excess milk. You need to monitor how often this occurs. If it is frequent, then try reducing the number of litres per feeding that your baby receives.
But here’s what is more alarming to parents – projectile vomiting. It is more forceful and much greater in volume. Occasional spells can be expected, but you will need to keep an eye if these are routine spells. Take your baby to a paediatrician because this could mean your baby isn’t getting enough calories and can become dehydrated.
Either way, being alert while using these baby burping tricks can help relieve your baby of gas and make him/her more comfortable and happy.
Source: Kids Health