How to Burp Your Baby - When to do it and proper positioning
Raising a baby comes with many trials and tribulations. Learning how to burp your baby is one of the many obstacles that you will face as a parent. In this article, we will discuss why you need to burp your baby, when you do it, how to do it, and for how long.
Why do babies need to be burped?
One of the many parenting duties for a newborn is burping your baby. Unlike adults, babies are not fully self-sufficient and need to be burped by their parents. Similar to adults, babies tend to swallow air when they are eating/drinking. The swallowed air creates gas bubbles in their stomach or intestines. Your baby burps to release the gas that is trapped in their stomachs. This prevents them from becoming fussy or cranky.
Think of it like this, if we, as adults, have a lot of gas we know how to position ourselves so that we can release that gas. Either in the form of a fart or a burp. Babies cannot do this on their own because they don’t have a lot of muscle control. Therefore it is the responsibility of their parent or caretaker to burp them. Trapped gas bubbles can cause babies to have stomach aches and being uncomfortably full. The only way that babies can express their discomfort is by crying or becoming cranky. Releasing these gas bubbles helps them feel better which can prevent them from becoming cranky and fussy.
When do you burp your baby?
In general, babies need to be burped while they are feeding, and after they are done feeding. The trick to burping your baby is to gauge when you think they will need to burp. In general, it is best to input burpings into a natural time when your baby will likely need it. For women who breastfeed this generally occurs when you are switching them between breasts. Once they have fed on one of your breasts you can burp them and then let them finish eating on the other breast. If you are bottle-feeding you will generally have to feed them after they have had about 2-3 ounces.
Some babies require you to burp them more frequently. Babies who drink really fast or are bottle-fed tend to swallow more air and therefore need to be burped more often. Other babies don’t need to be burped as frequently and can actually become upset if you burp them too much. Based on your baby’s behaviors you should be able to figure out how often they need to be burped when they are eating.
How to burp your baby
Burping a baby is actually pretty easy. Some babies require a firmer hand, but most babies simply need you to rub or pat their back. Make sure that when you are rubbing or patting that you are doing it on the left side of their back. This is where the stomach is located and where the motion will be the most effective. When you are burping a baby you also need to make sure that you have a burp cloth on you. Sometimes if a baby has too much gas that has been trapped they can spit up some of the milk that they just had. So, having a burp cloth on you ensures that you can wipe up any messes or keep yourself clean.
Positions to burp your baby
There are a few positions that will make it easy to burp your baby. Resting them on your shoulder, setting them face-down on your lap, or sitting them up. These positions are the best techniques and the most effective for burping your baby.
- Resting on the Shoulder: In this position, the baby’s belly is placed on either your breast the upper part of your chest and their face is positioned on your shoulder or over your shoulder. You support their body with one hand under their butt and then lightly pat/rub on their back until they burp.
- Face-Down on Lap: In this position, the baby’s belly is placed on one of your thighs and their head is hanging over your other thigh. You then lightly rub in a circular motion or firmly pat their back until they burp.
- Sitting: In the last position, the baby is set into a sitting up position and leaned slightly forward. One of your hands is used to support their head and chest and the other hand is used to rub/pat their back. You continue with them in this position until they have expelled all their gas.
Each of these positions is effective but you may find one of them to be the most comfortable for you and your baby. Experiment with each position until you find one that both you and your baby like.
How long to burp a baby
Depending on your baby, you may not need to burp them for that long. For some babies it may take a little longer. Some babies don’t swallow a lot of air as they eat. This means they may not have to burp, or they may only have a little gas to expel. Other babies may have a lot of gas they need to expel but it could take them a little to do it. If your baby is not burping after a few minutes of trying, set them down, and then try again in 4-5 minutes. You can also try switching their position. If your baby is still not burping it could be that they don’t need to. The only way you will learn is by experimenting and listening to your baby. If they are fussy and cranky then it is likely that they still need to burp.
Some babies end up swallowing a lot of gas and tend to have gas problems. This is called colic. If your baby is continually crying/fussing for 3 or more hours a day then they may have this condition. In that case, it is essential that you talk to your pediatrician and get the problem taken care of.
Burping your baby takes time and experimentation to become an expert at. Each baby is different so each of their needs is going to be different. The key to burping your baby is to listen to their cues. If they are fussy/cranky while you are feeding then they probably need to be burped.
Make sure that you are prepared for burping your baby by investing in a nursing bra and a burp cloth. Each of these things can make burping your baby much easier for you. Bellefit’s nursing bra is designed to make it easy to clip up or down. This helps you feed your baby quicker and easier without having to worry about taking off your bra. In addition, it is soft and comfortable making it easy to wear all day and even to bed. Take away the hassle of nursing and burping your baby by investing in one of Bellefit’s nursing bras today.