If you are a new parent or you have taken care of babies, you would have realised that a baby with gas may be a very cranky baby. Not only will the baby be screaming, but it is usually evident that the baby is in some form of pain. If you have ever been in this situation, you know the importance of getting the baby to burp. Burping a baby may be easier said than done. But after reading this article, you will learn new ways to help your baby to burp much more easily.
Do you have to burp a baby?
During feeding, babies tend to swallow air. The cranky behaviour and lengthy crying episodes that the baby displays are usually indicators that the baby has swallowed too much air that is now trapped inside. When the baby gets burped, the amount of air that was trapped gets reduced as the baby expels all of that extra gas. While some babies can burp on their own, some need a little assistance to do so.
Tips for burping baby:
- Tap your baby’s back: this is probably one of the most common methods of burping a baby. Don’t make the same mistakes that some persons make of tapping too lightly or too hard. You need to tap firmly and in a rhythmic pattern.
- Ensure that baby is in an upright position: One common burp position is placing the baby upright against the chest and there are some persons who sit the baby upright on their lap (supporting the chest and head) while patting their back. Both of these upright positions are effective in burping a baby. Ensure however that your baby is supported adequately and comfortably.
- Place the baby on their tummy: contrary to the belief of having the baby upright, some babies will actually burp much more quickly when they are flat on their tummy. Of course this position should be accompanied with a firm, rhythmic patting on the back. Make sure that you baby’s head is supported in this position and breathing is not hindered.
- Burp while feeding: some babies cannot be fed uninterrupted until they are full. Some babies need to be burped during their feeding. If you have a baby who gets fussy while feeding, you may want to try this method.
- Bounce the baby lightly: when bouncing the baby during burping you have to be very careful that you do so very gently. Although light bouncing can help your baby to expel gas, if you bounce too heavily, it can cause your baby to spit up and in severe cases, it can cause severe injury.
- Don’t give up too quickly: every baby is different so some babies will end up burping faster than others. Be persistent even though it may be a bit frustrating.
- Give the baby gas medicine: there are quite a few gas medicines that are available over the counter that can assist your baby to expel gas. But before giving your baby any medication, remember that it is important to check with your paediatrician or consult with a pharmacist. Gas medicine should be used as a last resort.
It is important to note that there is really no right or wrong way to burp a baby. Because some babies do a very good job of burping on their own while others take quite a long while to burp, what really matters is that you do what works for you and your little one.
Spitting up during a burp
Many babies will spit up after being fed. It is absolutely normal and should not be a cause for alarm unless it becomes excessive. It is not uncommon for some babies to spit up as much as 2 or 3 mouthfuls of formula after being fed. However, if you are not certain, there is no harm in checking with your paediatrician.
If your baby is bottle-fed, it is reasonable to expect that your baby may trap more gas than a baby who is breast-fed. As a result, you may have to burp your baby more often. If you are concerned about your baby spitting up, you should also consider the type of formula, type of bottle and the size of your baby.