Do You Have To Burp A Baby After Breastfeeding?

4 min read

Becoming a new parent is quite an exciting thing but at the same time requires you to master certain skills right from day one. Apart from changing diapers which are quite easy, you need to learn the art of feeding and burping your baby right after that. Sounds easy, but no so for everyone.
burping the baby

Why Do You Have To Burp A Baby After Breastfeeding?

It’s important to know and understand why we need to burp a baby soon after feeding. To put it in simple words, burp is the gas that gets trapped in the gastrointestinal system that has to be released. Babies, especially newborns tend to gulp fast when they feed and therefore bring in extra air into their tummies. If this gas is not released, your baby feels full in the stomach and that can be quite discomforting. And as little ones feel uneasy, they begin to cry. And because they cry for almost everything, it becomes difficult to understand why they are crying. Breastfed babies tend to swallow less air when compared to those that are bottle-fed or those whose moms produce an abundance of milk. Therefore, it is OK even if babies that are breastfed are not made to burp soon after a feed.
Nevertheless, to be on the safer side, most doctors recommend that you burp your baby as often as you can, particularly after every feed even if the baby doesn’t show any discomfort or there is no release of gas during the process.

Common Burping Positions To Burp The Baby Fast

When it comes to burping there are three positions followed commonly:

    • Over your shoulder: Hold your baby against your chest so that his/her chin rests on your shoulder. Support baby’s body with one hand and gently pat his/her back with the other hand
    • On your lap: Make your baby sit on your lap facing away from you. Use one hand to support your baby’s body and head. Keep your fingers away from the baby’s throat. With the other hand, gently rub/pat your baby’s back slowly

There is another position though not commonly followed.

  • Across your lap: Lie your baby down on your legs and support his/her chin with one hand. Remember to keep the head slightly higher than the rest of the body and gently pat the back

Talk/ sing softly while you burp your baby; it helps them to relax faster. If your baby hasn’t burped despite all your efforts, don’t worry. You can gently massage her tummy, in a circular clockwise motion. This helps soothe and relax easily. Even after all this, if your baby hasn’t burped, do not worry. Maybe your baby is not uncomfortable and doesn’t need to be burped at all.

How To Burp A Breastfed Baby At Night?

Usually, it is not necessary to burp the baby after they feed in the night. That’s because they swallow less air and are more relaxed when they feed at this time. However, if you are very particular and want to be on the safer side, you could slowly prop the baby up (you don’t need to get up), pat him/her gently on the back until you’ve heard them burp and bring him/her back to the sleeping position.
baby burping

Tips And Tricks To Burp A Baby After Breastfeeding?

Let’s get some tips first:

  • Sometimes a gentle pat or tap might be enough to burp your baby who has just finished feeding, but sometimes you need to be more firm
  • Make sure that you always have a burp cloth or a bib between your outfit and the baby’s mouth when you are helping your baby burp. You don’t want your clothes to get spoilt if you baby spits up
  • Sometimes, babies may fuss in the middle of a feed due to swallowed air. In such situations, try to burp your baby right away rather than waiting for the feed to end. If left unattended, they may get cranky and swallow more air
  • Try to focus on the left side of your baby’s back where the stomach is located
Baby Won’t Burp After Breastfeeding?

As for the tricks, it completely depends on you and the baby. Most moms use any of the burping methods that have already been discussed. But with some babies, burping is never easy. In such cases you could try any of the following:

  • Try burping each time you switch breasts
  • You could make your baby sit up on your knees and slowly bounce them. For some babies, this works instantly
  • Make you baby sit on your lap with one arm on his/her front for support. With the other hand, rub from the tailbone upwards using the ball of your hand, slowly but firmly
  • With some babies walking also helps
  • While rubbing works for some babies, patting works for others
  • Some babies need a combination of methods to burp easily. You might need to switch positions, lay them down, make them sit up, pat/rub to make them burp

If nothing works and you are worried, you can consult your pediatrician during the next visit.
Burping sounds simple, yet sometimes it can get quite tedious. For some new moms, this might be the next difficult thing after feeding, while for others it might happen in a breeze. Like anything new, it requires some practice and patience. Try different techniques to decide what suits your baby. In no time, it will happen easily. Don’t fret over it. Relax and enjoy this phase while it lasts.

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