How To Burp Your Baby Correctly For The First-Time Mom

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Burping a baby is a common thing that you should do after feeding him or her. You will need to burp your baby in between feedings and after feeding them to help release the gas built up caused by a few different things. Keep reading to learn how to burp a baby and the most common questions about burping a baby.

What is a Burp?

A burp is when gas is built up in the stomach and is released through the esophagus and out the mouth. Sometimes gas builds up and comes out the other end which makes a different noise and a different smell altogether. When your baby burps, he or she may end up spitting up food. Because of this, you need a burping cloth, so the spit-up doesn’t get on you.

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What Are the Causes of Gas in Babies?

Some baby’s burp a lot in between feedings while others rarely burp. Baby’s who are breastfed do not burp as much as those who are bottle fed. However, there are a few different causes of gas in baby’s that make them need to burp, even if not a lot.

Mom’s Breastmilk

Your breastmilk because of what you are eating in your diet can cause your baby to have gas build-up. Most likely the main culprit in your diet is the dairy you are consuming. Cow’s milk, cheese, and foods that are high in carbs including beans and veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and cabbage, as well as soda and fruit drinks and even sugar-free candy and gum.

Swallowing Air While Eating

Whether you are breastfeeding your baby or bottle feeding your baby, they will still swallow air while eating. Swallowing air is more common for bottle fed babies. They consume air while drinking from the bottle and it goes down into their stomach with their milk or formula. From there, it gets trapped and becomes gas. Once your baby starts crying and fussing, showing signs of distress, you should try to burp him or her to release that gas. Even if your baby doesn’t burp a lot, you should try to burp them often to keep them comfortable.

Digestion

Whether it is mom’s breastmilk or your baby’s formula, either one can cause bacteria to build-up in the large intestine, get trapped there and cause gas to build-up. Whenever this happens, you will need to burp your baby.

Food Intolerance or an Allergic Reaction

Here is another reason why you, the mom, should watch what you eat. The reason for doing this is because everything you eat will get consumed by your baby too if you are breastfeeding them. If they have a food intolerance to something they eat or you eat, they will have gas from it. Again, dairy in your diet or if you are giving your baby dairy could be something they are allergic to.

When is the Best Time to Burp Baby?

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There are certain times to burp bottle-fed babies and certain times when it is best to burp breastfed babies. Burping a baby after every two to three ounces of their formula or milk is ideal for newborn babies and up to six months of age. The best time to burp a breastfed baby is before switching breasts.

What Are the Best Burping Positions?

There are three common burping positions, and they are holding the baby over your shoulder and letting him or her sit on your lap. Both positions require you to support the babies body and head. Try both of them to see which one is best for you. Check out this video for more help. 

Sitting Baby on Your Lap Burping Position

When using this burping position, you need to sit your baby on your lap. Hold his or her body and head with one arm and gently rub and pat their back to get them to burp with your other hand. Make sure you have a burping cloth or any cloth in case the baby spits up on you.

Over Your Shoulder Burping Position

Use one arm to support the head and body of your baby while holding him or her over your shoulder. Take your other arm and gently pat and rub his or her back until they burp. Again, you will need a burping cloth or any type of clean cloth to catch the spit up from your baby.

Laying Baby Face Down Across Your Lap Burping Position

Make sure you have a cloth over your lap to catch the spit-up from your baby. Then, you will want to lay your baby down across your legs gently face down, while supporting his or her head and chin with one hand, making sure their head isn’t lower than their body, so the blood doesn’t rush to their head. You can then start rubbing and patting your baby’s back until he or she burps.

How do You Burp a Baby?

Once you choose which position is best for you and your baby, you can now start burping him or her. Make sure to rub and pat them on the back gently. If your baby doesn’t burp right away, let them lie or sit on your lap for a minute to rest and then try again, maybe switching positions to see if that helps. Changing positions can help move the gas bubbles closer to the surface.

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What if Burping Baby Does Not Make Them Feel Better?

If you don’t release the gas from your baby’s tummy and don’t relieve their discomfort by burping them, and burping doesn’t seem to be enough to help them, try giving them a tummy massage. By providing your baby with a belly rub, you can help them release their gas, helping them feel better. If that doesn’t work, try “bicycling” their legs. 

Bicycling their legs means laying them flat on their back and grabbing their legs and gently moving them in a circular motion like they are peddling a bike. “Cycling” their legs is another great way to help move the gas to a position where they can release the gas easier.

Change Your Diet and Your Baby’s Diet

If burping isn’t enough, you can also try changing your diet or your baby’s diet to help them release the gas they need to release so they can feel better. Changing your diet is especially helpful for your baby if you are breastfeeding since everything you consume, the baby takes in too through your breastmilk. However, if you are not breastfeeding but bottle feeding instead, change your baby’s formula. You can also try cutting back on the dairy if you are breastfeeding because dairy is one of the leading causes of gas in babies.

Mix Their Formula Different

You can also help ease their gas problems by mixing their formula differently. Although most mom’s think that you add the formula to a bottle of water and shake hard, this isn’t the right way to mix formula. In fact, if you shake harder than you should, you can end up adding a lot of air to your baby’s formula which will then get in their stomach and can cause gas.

Choose the Best Nipple Flow

Bottle nipples come in a few different flows. You should be using the right nipple flow for your babies age because if the flow is too advanced for your baby’s age, it could be releasing the milk or the formula faster than it should which can cause them to gulp more and swallow more air. Consuming air causes excess gas.

Choose the Best Bottle Style

If you are bottle feeding your baby and they struggle with extra gas, try switching to a bottle that is designed to reduce the amount of air that gets in the bottle. Some bottles are made to let the milk or formula flow better towards the nipple. Trying one of these bottles may help reduce gas in your baby.

If none of these options help you release the gas built-up in your baby, you can also try over-the-counter infant medications that will work to improve your baby’s gas problems. However, before doing this, talk to your child’s pediatrician to make sure there is nothing serious going on with your baby. The pediatrician will also know the best thing to give your baby to help with gas. I hope this article can help you to burp your baby properly!

Related Article: Top Ten Baby Bottles of 2018

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