The Importance Of Burping Babies
Whether your baby is formula-fed or breastfed, you should always burp them after feeding. Burping allows the air that a baby swallows during feeding to come out. If a baby is not burped, it can be gassy, spitting up, or just all around cranky.
How To Burp Babies
Burping a baby consists of gently patting their back until they let out a burp. There are different positions where parents can burp a baby. Parents should find the position that works best for them and their children.
- Baby Against Parent’s Chest
The parent should be sitting straight up for the baby in the parent’s chest position. The parent will place the baby against their chest with the baby’s chin resting on one of the parent’s shoulders. Parents should have one hand supporting the baby and the other hand gently patting their back until the baby burps. It might be helpful to have a burp cloth over the parent’s shoulder if the child spits up.
- Baby On Parent’s Knees
For the baby on the parent’s knee position, the parent will place the baby in a sitting position on the parent’s knees. The baby should face the parent’s dominant hand in the opposite direction. For example, if the parent uses their right hand to pat the baby’s back, the baby will face the left. Parents should support the baby with their less dominant hand by placing the parent’s palm on the baby’s chest and supporting their chin between their thumb and pointer finger. The parent must be supporting the baby’s chin between their fingers and not the baby’s neck. Parents should slightly tilt the baby forward and pat gently on their back until they burp.
- Baby On Parent’s Lap
For the baby on the parent’s lap, the parent will place the child face down on the parent’s lap with the baby’s tummy resting on one leg and their head on the other. They can be placed in either direction as long as one parent’s legs support the baby’s stomach and head. The baby’s head should be tilted to one side and slightly higher than the chest. The parent will gently pat the baby’s back until they burp in this position.
Tips For Burping Babies
- Cupped Hand v/s Flat Hand
Parents and caregivers should cup their hands while patting the baby’s back instead of having a flat hand. Cupping the hand is a bit gentler on the baby’s back.
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- Place A Towel Under Baby’s Chin
Place a towel or burp cloth under the baby’s chin or over the parent’s shoulder, depending on the burping position. Babies can often have a wet burp, and you shall use the towel to catch any spit up.
- Burp In Rocking Chair
At times, rocking gently in a rocking chair while burping can help the baby get air bubbles out.
- Prevent Fussiness By Burping Often
If a child starts getting fussy during feedings or a parent notices that a child is spitting up a lot after a feeding, they can try burping in between feedings. It may be helpful to stop feeds every two ounces and burping a child before continuing feedings. If a mother is breastfeeding and unable to determine the ounces, they can burp when switching positions or stopping every five minutes from burping.
- Middle Of The Night Burps Instead Of Feeding
Sometimes when a baby wakes up in the middle of the night, they are not hungry but gassy. If babies start crying in the middle of the night shortly after eating, they may be gassy instead of hungry. The parent should try picking up their child and burping them to see if that calms them down. Feeding a gassy baby will just make them more upset.