In general breastfed babies need less burping than bottle or formula-fed babies. Some breastfed babies do not need to be burped at all. This is because the baby can control the milk flux from your breasts and they don’t swallow as much air when feeding as bottle-fed babies do, so they don’t need help getting air out of their tummies. It’s interesting to note that burping wasn’t a common practice until bottle feeding became the norm.
Burping breastfed baby: Both breasts
Many mums who breastfeed from both breasts tend to burp baby when switching breasts and at the end of the feed. If your baby does not want to burp, and seems perfectly comfortable, and you have made a decent attempt at burping, then don’t obsess and let it be.
Burping breastfed baby: Single breast
Some babies only feed from one breast during each feeding session. If your baby does that, let her continue to nurse as long as he/she is comfortable on one breast and then try patting his/her her during a natural break or at the end of the feeding. As your milk comes in and your baby has established good latch-on, then you can burp him/her as frequently as you think necessary.
Burping breastfed baby: Using a bottle
When feeding your through a bottle, you need to burp your baby more frequently. Frequency of burping depends on the type of formula, type of bottle, size of the baby and individual stomach, and fussiness. In general it is best to burp your baby a few times during each feed. If your baby is particularly gassy then you can try and do it more often. You should also keep baby upright after a feeding in order to prevent it from spitting out the milk.
At the end of the day, every baby has a unique way of feeding, so tune into your baby’s signals. If your baby cries or seems uncomfortable while nursing or after a feeding, he/she may need a little burping to settle down.
Need Help? Don’t fret!
When in doubt, please refer to a lactation consultant, who can offer you more personalised advice according to you and your baby’s situation.
theAsianparent also has a Singapore Breastfeeding Mums Support Group that you can join for mum-to-mum advice.