Burping your Baby

Burping and breastfeeding usually go hand-and-hand for at least the first four to six months. Those tiny baby burps, and sometimes unexpected loud belches, are not only adorable, but also helpful to relieve uncomfortable gas in your baby’s body. Today we’re giving you all the details on burping your baby.

Why Burping Your Baby is Necessary

Burping your BabyNewborns and younger infants tend to swallow air while feeding, although breastfed babies do so less than bottle-fed babies. The air that is trapped in your baby’s belly may make her uncomfortable and fussy. Burping your baby helps release the gas so your baby feels better and is able to feed longer. Burping babies can help reduce spit-up and relieve some of the pain caused by GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).

There is no exact formula for burping your baby because every baby feeds differently and has different needs. The best rule of thumb is to burp when your baby seems fussy or uncomfortable. This is a simple first step to soothing your baby even when you’re not feeding because sometimes babies swallow air outside of nursing hours.

If your baby never seems to have the urge to burp, most experts recommend trying when you switch breasts during a feeding or any time your baby pulls off the breast naturally. This will help her settle her stomach and then she can decide if she wants to continue feeding. As long as a feeding is going well, there is no need to pull your baby off the breast (or wake her if she falls asleep) to burp.

Some babies are very easy to burp and will release one as soon as she’s in the burping position. Others hold on to their burps for dear life, even if they are visibly uncomfortable. Keep working at it and try different burping positions to determine which supports your baby the best.

3 Ways of Burping Your Baby

Although burps can come at anytime, anywhere, there are three main ways of burping your baby.

Over the Shoulder: This is the most common position for burping your baby. While you are sitting or standing upright, place your baby’s belly on your shoulder with her chin resting on top of your shoulder. Rub and pat your baby’s back gently. The light pressure along with the encouraging love pats can help release the burp.

Lap Lying: This is similar to over the shoulder but requires you to lay your baby across your lap while in a seated position. Her head will rest on one leg and her belly on the other. Then gently rub and pat her back. Again, the pressure from both directions coaxes burps out of the tummy.

Sitting Up: With your baby seated on your lap, support her head and chin with one hand. Use the other hand to rub and pat her back. Lean her forward slightly.

Remember, keep a burp cloth under your baby’s mouth and protecting your clothes at all times while burping. It’s highly likely you’ll see some spit-up when burping your baby. Also, gently rocking your baby can help relax her and encourage burping.

Sources: BabyCenter, Babble and Kid’s Health