Do you have a happy spitter or a colicky newborn? Get some pointers here on how to burp your baby.
As most veteran parents know, one of the first things that you need to learn when your newborn comes, aside from carrying him and changing diapers is how to burp your baby.
But why is it essential to learn how to burp a newborn? Well, for starters, your baby needs your help in this arena right now.
Do I Really Have to Burp My Baby?
Their digestive tract isn’t fully developed yet and they are still learning how to breastfeed properly, and how to get the right latch. In this process, there are a lot of air bubbles that enter your child’s mouth going to his tummy. These air bubbles are the usual cause of colic which may explain why your baby gets so fussy after feeding.
Bigger kids and grown-ups can release their own gas, but babies need help because they still have so little control over how their bodies are positioned.
If you’ve done your research on breastfeeding, you might have come across the fact that your newborn’s stomach is still very small and could not handle too much food or fluid, which is why they often have spit-ups. Acid reflux is also common in the first six months of your baby’s life.
Burping helps ease discomfort by allowing excess air to escape from your baby’s tummy, usually during or after a feeding. By releasing air, burping allows your baby to feed longer because there is more space in their tummies.
While studies show that burping does not help prevent colic, it’s still a way of relieving the symptoms.
Image Source: iStock
When Should I Make Baby Burp?
Before learning how to burp baby, you need to be able to tell first when they need to be burped. If you notice them squirming, pulling away, or crying, that might be your cue.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends burping the baby after each feeding, even if they don’t show any sign of distress or colic.
We do not know how much air gets in their little stomachs, so it’s a good idea to burp babies even if they do not get to the fussy stage,” said Dr Landau, a paediatrician from New York and one of the authors of the book The Essential Guide to Baby’s First Year.
When you notice that your baby is crying and fussy, one of the things you should do is try to burp him. It’s also good practice to give the baby a break after each feeding and let him burp first.
Research shows that the kind of milk your baby consumes is related to how often he hiccups or spits up. Experts believe that breastfed babies don’t need to be burped as much as formula-fed ones because there are fewer air bubbles that can enter a baby’s mouth when he is (properly) latched on his mother’s breast compared to sucking from a nipple on a baby bottle.
But again, each baby’s burping needs vary, so watch your baby closely to determine this.
Of course, you also need to factor in if the baby has a good latch and if he is fussy whenever he is breastfeeding.
As earlier mentioned, one of the first signs that you need to burp your baby is when he is crying, fussy, pulling away and won’t breastfeed or take his bottle. If his diaper is not wet or dirty, and he’s resisting your breast, it could be that he is experiencing colic.
How Long to Burp Baby?
According to Healthline, burping your baby usually only takes a minute or two. Sometimes a burp will come up as soon as you carry your baby upright, but sometimes you have to wait for a little while and help things with a gentle tap on the back or some pressure on his tummy.
According to Dr Gellina Maala, a paediatrician from the Philippines, it’s important to let the baby burp before putting him to sleep and to hear a loud burping sound to make sure your baby will have a restful sleep.
“Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, if there is too much air in your baby’s tummy, you have to make sure you burp him. Do it after every feeding and make sure you hear a loud burp.
Because if you’re not satisfied with the burp or you’re not sure that he did it if you put him down to sleep, he will still be restless and irritable and this can wake him up from his sleep,” she explained.
Another useful strategy is to get your baby in the habit of falling asleep in their crib rather than while feeding. How? When you notice them getting sleepy while at the breast or their bottle, stop the feeding, burp them for a minute or so, and then put them down to sleep. You can go back to feeding the baby if he asks for more, and do the same thing after.
Not only will this ensure that your baby can sleep peacefully without the colicky feeling, but you can also start sleep-training him, and it will be easier to do it in the long run.
How to Burp Your Baby the Right Way
Now that we’ve established the importance of burping your baby, we can now learn how to burp baby the right way. Here are 5 baby burping tricks every parent should be equipped with:
1. Upright burping
This method is one of the most common ways babies are burped. It’s done by holding your baby in an upright position with their head supported by one hand, as your baby rests on your shoulder and chin.
2. Upright on lap
Another way to burp your baby is to hold them upright sitting on your lap while leaning them slightly forward. Pat them lightly on their back while stroking them using circular motions.
3. Belly burping on lap
Some tummy time can also do the trick! Another way to burp your baby is to place them on their belly on your lap with one hand under their chest for support. With one hand, stroke them circularly alternating with light pats to encourage burping.
4. Bending legs towards chest
If none of the aforementioned baby burping tricks works, try burping your baby with his legs slightly bent towards his chest to stimulate burping.
5. Do it during and after feeding
Another method to make burping easier is to burp during and after the feed. Burping before feeding can also help put your baby at ease and make them less fussy.
Can I Burp My Baby When He Is Asleep?
This is one of the questions that puzzle new parents when it comes to burping. Should you still burp your baby when he’s already fast asleep? Dr Maala says, yes, you can still burp your baby when they fall asleep after feeding, to make sure the gas or air bubbles are not trapped inside her tummy.
So even when they fall asleep, do as you normally would. Carry your baby upright and wait for a loud burp before you put her in her crib to sleep.
Burping a baby may seem like rocket science to you at the start, but with a few nights of practice, you and your partner will definitely be pros at it. For any questions about burping, colic and baby’s sleep, don’t hesitate to consult your child’s paediatrician.
Updates from theAsianparent Philippines.
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