Many new moms are faced with challenges after the birth of their baby. Getting used to baby routines, feeding, burping and bathing the baby is all a new experience for first time moms. Any help and guidance at this time is a blessing in more ways than one.
New moms are confused about how to help babies burp and its importance and frequency. They may also wonder if baby burps are absolutely necessary. There is no hard and fast rule that babies have to burp after every feed. Some babies burp quite a lot while some others do not. Also, babies that are breastfed may not require to be burped as much as bottle-fed babies since they take in less air during feeding. If baby swallows less air while feeding, this will reduce the need for burping.
Indeed, burps help release air, which is trapped in the baby’s stomach. This makes the baby more comfortable. Sometimes babies turn weepy and uncomfortable. This could be due to the discomfort caused by trapped air in the baby’s stomach. When the baby belches or burps, it creates more space in the stomach and makes the baby comfortable. Burps also improve the quantity of feed that baby takes in.
Some babies have symptoms of gastro-esophageal reflux disease or GERD and burping after smaller and more frequent feeds helps this condition. Some babies also spit up frequently and burping is good for such babies.
Burping times for Babies
Does your baby need a burp?The cues for burping are – if the baby feels uncomfortable while feeding, begins to cry or is not keen to feed, it could be an indication of the need to burp.
- In case your baby has fallen asleep during a feed or following a feed, there is no need to burp the baby if the baby seems comfortable.
- It is good to help babies burp midway through bottle feeding, or for those breastfeeding, when they switch breasts.
- Babies may not require burping by the time they are 4 to 6 months old. By this time they would have learnt to swallow less air while eating and therefore the need to burp becomes much less.
How to Burp your Baby
There are many ways to burp your baby and you can choose what works best for your baby. Use a cloth over your shoulder or tummy to protect your clothes from getting soiled after a spit up.
1. Make Baby lie face down across Your Lap
You could also make your baby lie face down on your legs in a way that she lies across your knees. This position will be perpendicular to your body. It is important to be completely sure baby’s head isn’t lower than the rest of the body. This may cause blood to rush to the head. Use your other hand to Pat or rub baby’s back
2. Using shoulder
You could also try another position where you hold the baby high in such a manner that your shoulder exerts slight pressure on the baby’s belly which will gently get the burp out. You could also pat or rub the baby’s back simultaneously to help the baby burp. Try this method only after your baby’s neck and head control has improved.
3. Using chest or Shoulder
This is a commonly used method to help a baby burp. Hold your baby against your chest to make the chin rest on your shoulder. Provide support for your baby using one hand and with the other rub or pat the baby’s back for a while till you hear the burp. Sometime, babies may not burp and that is perfectly fine.
4. Sitting on your Lap
Make your baby sit on your lap facing away from you. You could support the baby’s body with one hand and using the other pat or rub the baby’s back making the baby lean slightly forward.