Burping a Newborn: With the exception of a few reflexes, your adorable baby is born with no past information and must learn everything on his or her own. Everything is new to him/her, from feeding to excreting, and they need their parents’ assistance in this long learning process.
The most important thing they need to learn is how to ‘eat’.
How important is it to burp a baby?
While a woman is pregnant, her unborn’s nourishment and excretion is done through the umbilical cord and the placenta, which require no ingestion or defecation. But once the infant is out in the world, these ways need to change as food now has to be ingested through the mouth.
Your little one is unfamiliar with this new style of feeding but their brain is highly customized to learn, and so, they easily begin to pick up the new way. As your baby is trying to ingest their so-called food they swallow an excessive amount of air in the process, which makes them feel uncomfortable and full before they are actually done feeding.
In order to get rid of this excessive air, helping the baby burp will work like magic.
How frequently should the baby burp?
Now that you understand the importance of that cute little belch, let us discuss how often you should hear it.
Many parents have this misconception that burping should be done after feeding but it should also be done during the feeding session itself. The frequency of the burping depends on whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding the little one.
Let’s explore the frequency in both;
Once your newborn is halfway through their feeding session, stop and help them burp to get rid of the trapped air in their tummy and make space for more milk. Then begin feeding again.
For a breastfeeding infant, stop to burp the baby each time you switch between the breasts. If your little one is not a great eater and only manages a single breast at a time, then track their feeding time and halt midway.
However, you need to burp the newborn more regularly if they;
- Throw a tantrum while feeding.
- Stop feeding before actually being full.
- Show signs of being bloated.
- Throw up frequently
If any combination of the above is apparent in the infant, burp them more frequently to ease up their discomfort.
Common burping techniques
From all around the world, several traditional techniques have found their way into the modern era. To make things a bit straightforward for our fellow parents, we’ve compiled a list of the most famous ones.
Before you start the burping process, make sure that you’ve placed a bib under the infant’s chin or a clean towel on your lap or shoulder (depending on the technique you wish to follow) just in case the infant is in the mood of spitting up a bit.
Let’s delve deeper into each of the methods now.
Support the baby on your shoulder
This is the easiest, safest, and the most common technique to achieve an easy baby burp.
- Gently hold the infant against yourself in a way that their chin is placed on your shoulder.
- Support the newborn with one hand.
- Softly rub their back with the other hand.
- Rock back and forth to achieve better results
Placing the baby tummy-down on your lap
This is the second most tried and tested technique in our list.
- Position the little one face down on your lap.
- Ensure that their head is a bit higher than the stomach.
- Ensure that their head is placed sideways to avoid suffocation.
- Gently hold the newborn with one hand and pet their back with the other.
Making your bundle of joy sit up in your lap
This technique is not ideal for a less than a month-old infant but it will greatly serve the purpose for a slightly older one.
- Position the baby in a sitting position across your lap.
- Use one hand to support their head and chest firmly.
- Ensure that the baby is slightly bent forward.
- Gently massage their back with the other hand.
When the baby is old enough to carry and control the movement of their head, you may carry them against your chest and try walking around the room while petting their back.
Remember, these techniques should also be followed after feeding and not only during the process.
If your baby doesn’t burp using the first method, then switch to the second or third one, whichever works best for them. The key is to achieve a decent number of baby burps
Should the baby burp while sleeping?
Babies usually fall asleep while feeding and parents are slightly reluctant to burp them, thinking it might be dangerous.
Sleeping or not, the infant must burp to release the excessive air. Besides, your newborn will enjoy a better and undisturbed sleep if they burp. So follow the first technique of placing the baby against your shoulder while they sleep and let them belch to ease up the discomfort.
What if the baby doesn’t burp regularly?
As mentioned earlier, the newborn’s mind is highly customized for learning and with time, they learn to not swallow excessive air. This means that your infant will stop regular burping and you might not have to sit through the baby burp session anymore.
If your little one doesn’t burp right from the start and doesn’t display any other signs of being gassy, then it is still okay. This might suggest that the baby does not swallow a lot of air or usually passes out enough gas hence avoiding the need to burp.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Do you ever get that uneasy burning sensation in your chest after enjoying a large or a very spicy meal? Yes, the heartburn.
You might be surprised to learn that even babies can experience the same condition. Unfortunately, they can’t tell you.
But parents can always look out for symptoms of GERD in babies to ensure a timely treatment.
Symptoms of GERD
- The baby regularly fusses during feeding.
- A lot of vomiting.
- Excessive crying.
Babies with these signs need frequent burping during and after feeding and parents must seek doctors’ advice if the condition is persistent.
All in all, those cute belches or baby burps are important for a comfortable and happy baby tummy. This will lead to a less frustrated and happy mommy.
Happy baby burping!
If you are a new parent seeking more details about raising your little one, our tips For New Parents might help.