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Everything you should know about baby burping

Everything you should know about baby burping

Parenthood is definitely hard work. Each day you learn something new about your baby, and besides changing diapers, swaddling and feeding your baby you’ll learn a lot about baby burping.

I remember the times when my son was just a little baby. I was a new mother and I was scared, especially after feeding time. That’s when I watched him fuss and getting cranky. I didn’t know a lot about burping and this made me feel nervous. I tried all the burping methods the best I could. Sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn’t. I worried when he didn’t release any gas and I felt I could use a serious training in the art of burping a baby. What was wrong? How could I improve my burping technique? If you’re wondering the same thing please rest assure you are not alone.

You may find that burping your baby is not an easy thing to do. But you have to know that babies need to burp, and they need to do it after every feeding. It is very important to help your baby get rid of the gas trapped in the gastrointestinal system, and you can do that by burping. But do you really know why you should help you baby to burp? I’ll tell you!

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What Is A Burp?

Did you know that babies need to release gas bubbles just like we do? They can do it out of the mouth, or through the other end. You know what I’m talking about! I’m sure you’ve heard the specific noise and felt the smell. That’s how babies release the gas trapped in their stomach.

Why The Need To Burp?

You probably already know that babies use crying as a signal for everything they feel, whether they’re tired, wet, hungry, or if they feel the discomfort of gas in their stomach. If gas bubbles are not eliminated, your baby may feel full and have a discomfort. That’s when they begin to cry, and probably also squirm. They announce the gas discomfort. Because of this it is recommended to help your baby burp regularly, even if he is not showing any sign of discomfort.
Maybe you’re now wondering what makes you baby get gas in his stomach? There are two possibilities.

Swallowed air

When babies are fed, they swallow some air. This air goes down into their stomach. Bottle fed babies swallow more air than breastfed babies. A great tip is to use an air-free baby bottle. This minimizes air swallowing, which causes gas pains.

Digestion

Gas can also be naturally created by the breakdown of certain foods. This is done with the help of bacteria in the digestive system. These foods can also be the ones passed by the mother through her breast milk, such as beans, cabbage, brussels sprouts, soda and fruit drinks. If the baby has intolerance to certain foods that the mother eats or to certain formula milk, his body can also create more gas.

When & How To Burp Your Baby

The most recommended time to burp your baby is after each feeding. This is what all the doctors tell us. Burp your baby when he’s done eating! You can also burp your baby during feeding breaks or before switching breasts, if you’re breastfeeding.

If you’re expecting a baby and you’ve never helped a baby burp, here are two ways you can do it. Position your baby over your shoulder by holding him over your shoulder, facing toward you or sitting on your lap using your arms and hands to support his body and head. Use your free hand to burp the baby on the back. You should try both ways to see what’s the most comfortable and efficient for you.

What If Burping Is Not Enough?

For some babies, burping isn’t enough to relieve his discomfort. If this is the case for you, try and change position. This should help the gas move. You should also try by giving him a massage or by laying him on his stomach.

If you’re breastfeeding, your diet is very important. It can cause your baby more gas, so be careful what you eat. If this is the problem, you can apply a dietary change.

If you’re bottle-feeding your baby you should check that the flow is right for his age. Is the flow is too fast your baby can swallow a lot of air during feeding and this produces gas. Also, after shaking the formula, which can lead to gas, try letting the bottle settle a bit before feeding your baby.

Here are some more tips to prevent gas in bottle fed babies:

Be Prepared

When a baby is desperately hungry he’ll suck frantically and this leads to a lot of air-swallowing resulting in gas. Don’t wait too long. Start feeding your baby since his early signs of hunger. He may show he’s hungry by sucking fingers, or lip smacking.

Don’t Shake!

Instead of shaking the bottle to mix the formula inside the bottle, try to stir it. It will not lead to so many air bubbles as shaking does.

Use The Upright Feeding Position

Try to sit your baby up while feeding instead of laying him down. Use a bottle with Bare air-plus technology which is perfect for upright feeding position.

Medication

If none of the above methods help your baby relieve the gas, then you should make an appointment with your pediatrician. Your doctor may prescribe Simethicone gas drops or other gas relief medicine.

You can also use some natural remedies such as gripe water or herbal teas (chamomile, ginger, or dill). These combinations help calming the stomach.

When To Stop?

With time, your baby’s digestive system will become more mature and he will not need help burping anymore. This happens usually to 6 months of age, when your baby start eating solids.

If your child still has a problem releasing gas at this age, you may continue using the techniques for calming his digestive system. If your baby vomits large amounts after feedings, you should take him to a doctor. If your baby is growing and feeding well, but is still gassy, you may not worry at all.

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Our blogger OanaWrites

Read her previous blog: Tips for eating well during pregnancy
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Oana Popescu is a freelance writer, and a proud mother of a four year old boy. She contributes articles about parenting and lifestyle.

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