Some of us don’t understand the need to burp a baby once it’s fed. Don’t they burp on their own at times? What’s the importance anyway? You may be thinking to yourself. Well, you’re in the right place! Here, you’ll get a detailed explanation on the importance of burping your baby and how to do so.
Why is it important to burp your baby?
Normally, while feeding your baby, air goes into their stomach. We burp them to help them remove this air/ gas. It comes out through their mouths and at times the baby might spit some milk or food. Babies from the age of two weeks to six months need your help in getting rid of the gases in their digestive tract until their digestive system matures and they are able to be independent like we are.
Babies form gas mostly if they are bottle-fed however, when they breastfeed at a first rate, they may take in air into their esophagus. In other cases, it may be due to the food the mother takes like cabbages and beans that causes the gas hence it is transferred to the baby or when the baby is taking them as solid foods.
What happens if you don’t burp your baby?
Your baby develops colic. What’s colic? Intense prolonged crying for up to three hours a day.
When you skip burping, your baby’s stomach is filled with air (gets bloated) which causes discomfort.
Signs your baby has colic
Here are the signs that could help you figure if your baby has developed colic:
- Long crying spells
- Paleness around the mouth
- Clenched fists
- Arched back
- Crying and screaming for no reason
How to get rid of colic
- Burp your baby
- Feed your baby often
- If you are feeding them using a bottle, make sure to get the ones that are designed to lessen the air taken in through feeding.
Colic can be caused by other factors such as:
- Food allergies
- Overfeeding or underfeeding
- Anxiety or stress from the family
Is colic harmful to the baby? No, it’s not. It goes away after sometime, just make sure that you follow the listed ways to treat/get rid of colic. If it persists for more than three weeks please consult a doctor.
Colic not only affects the baby but also you. It could cause you stress and anxiety from seeing your baby cry yet there’s nothing you can do at that moment. In some cases it causes postpartum depression or reduces your urge for breastfeeding. Therefore, you cease bonding with the baby and also keep the baby hungry.
How to burp a baby after feeding
There are three ways you can do this:
- Lay them on your chest with their chin on your shoulder and support them with one hand on their bum while the other gently pats the baby’s back.
- Place them on your thighs with their body tilted head higher than the body and pat them gently till they burp.
- Hold them by the chin, kindly note not the neck, lean them forward and pat their back. However to avoid any accidents the first two ways are highly recommended.
Note that you have to pat them till they burp, if it takes one minute, five or even fifteen, you have to do it!
Another way that could help prevent your baby from getting a bloating stomach is by placing them on the bed with their tummy down and letting them stay or play in that position for sometime say five to 10 minutes
How to burp a baby while they are asleep without waking them
You can do it the same way you do it while they are awake: laying them on your shoulder or on your laps. However, make sure you are gentle enough not to wake them up. Avoid burping them by sitting them up and holding their chin. This will definitely wake them up.
See how something small could lead to so much damage than you think? It’s important to take precautions, in this case burping your baby after feeding them, in order to avoid unnecessary pain for you and the baby.