Parenting is a hard job, especially in the case of an infant. They need to be fed and changed frequently. With frequent feeding comes the need for burping. When a baby burps, they are letting loose the air that got trapped in their belly during feeding. When air gas trapped baby becomes gassy and the gassy bubbles that get stuck in their tummy, it makes them feel uncomfortably full and uneasy, which is why they become cranky.
Up until when a baby reaches a certain age, they often need your help in this endeavor; not necessarily because they can’t burp by themselves but because it’s difficult for them to expel air on their own due to laying in one position and spending most of their time in it.
There are various ways in which air can get trapped in a baby’s tummy and cause gassiness. Some get in through their feeding bottle. Using a feeding bottle that allows less gas can get it under control. Some get it while breastfeeding when mom has a fast let down. They can also get it trapped after a hefty crying session.
There are a number of ways in which a baby is burped, some of these include:
Over the Shoulder
This involves placing the baby over your shoulder and patting their backs gently in a constant motion to get the trapped air out.
Make baby sit upright and make them lean forward slightly while supporting their head and neck with one hand. Rub their back with the other hand to expel the air out.
Face Down on Your Lap
Make your baby lie on their belly on your lap with one leg under their head and other under their stomach with their head turned slightly sideways. In a gentle circular motion, pat their back consistently. Be careful to place a burp cloth, no matter what position you try because it can get messy due to wet burps.
When Burping Baby is Necessary
For breastfed babies, it is important to burp them between switching sides. If baby only feeds on one breast then pause halfway, burp your baby, continue feeding and then burp them again at the end. For example, if baby feeds for 20 minutes, pause at 10 minutes, burp and then continue to feed.
For bottle-fed babies, it is important to burp when the bottle is half empty to reduce the discomfort caused by trapped air.
How Long Should I burp my baby
If your baby doesn’t burp within a minute or so, they probably haven’t swallowed much air to cause discomfort and thus don’t require your help to expel it. Though sometimes it can take longer for air to get released, so try again and continue for some time if the baby is fussy after a feed.
When to stop burping a baby
When babies reach a three-month mark, most of them become somewhat of a pro at drinking milk from either breast or bottle depending on the way in which they are fed. During this time, you will notice that they don’t need to be burped after every feed. You’ll see that gradually they require less help but this is not the case for every baby, thus it’s important to follow their cues and respond to them accordingly. Even if sometimes, they are struggling with letting the trapped air out through burp, then give them a little push.
There is no concrete answer to when you should stop burping your baby but their digestive system does mature as they get older and thus require less help from you. It is up to you and your baby to decide when to quit it. If your baby has started to burp on their own then there is no need for you to put an effort.
Some Pediatricians advise that it is okay to stop burping your baby between 4 to 9 months. Since this range is quite big and ambiguous, try burping your baby if they have not burped and are particularly fussy after feeding. You can also stop burping when the baby is able to sit upright for a long time without support because most babies learn self-burping during this phase. This really depends on your baby; some babies can go without burping and don’t need to be burped at all, while others get cranky when they are not burped after every feed even when they are 7 months. There is no given age and time for it.
Therefore, there is no clear-cut answer for when to stop burping a baby. Whether the baby is six weeks old or six months old, it totally depends upon how the baby is doing and if he needs to be burped or not. After all, every baby is different and the need for burping doesn’t stop suddenly, rather, it is a gradual process.
To make the point clearer, you will know when it is time. Just follow your baby’s cues. If they are fussy after eating, they probably need to be burped. If the baby is not fussing and you’ve tried for more than one minute to make them burp then they probably haven’t swallowed much air to cause discomfort.
Burping baby is not rocket science. It is not as difficult as most moms think it is. Just go with the flow, follow your instincts, because a mother’s instincts are almost never wrong. No one knows your baby more than you do. So, stop stressing, keep a close eye on your baby’s cues, follow their lead and you will know what they want. So, hang in there and enjoy your baby’s cute little burps and before you know it, they won’t be needing your help for this anymore.