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Along with mastering swaddle, changing diapers and figuring how to get your newborn into romper, one of the most important skills that you must learn and practice is burping. It is a vital part of feeding baby and it helps in getting rid of some air that baby tend to swallow while feeding.

Swallowing much air and not being burped easily can make your baby spit up or seem gassy or cranky. While feeding little air bubbles get trapped in stomach. These bubbles can make your baby feel grizzly and uncomfortable. Through burping you can make some room in your baby’s tummy so that he or she can feed for longer and settle down easily. Burping also help baby if he or she –

  • Has reflux
  • Is colicky
  • Brings up little milk after feeding

 How to get gas in your baby’s tummy?

  • Swallowing air – When babies drink or nurse from bottle, they swallow inevitably some air which goes in their stomach along with some formula and milk. This mostly happens with babies who feed with bottle. But, on other hand babies who breastfed also swallow some air, this especially happens when mother is having lot of milk or has fast letdown. Or this also happens when baby want to eat fast and is quite hungry.
  • Digestion – When certain foods breakdown in large intestine by bacteria gas is created naturally. This usually includes both food that is consumed by the mother as well as by the baby. According to national heath institute, foods containing carbohydrates are likely more to cause gas. Some of the common food items are vegetables like cauliflower, sprout, cabbage, broccoli, beans, soda, fruit drinks, sugar free gum and candies etc.
  • Food intolerance or allergic reaction –In case, if your baby is breastfeeding and allergic to certain food items from any formula or mom’s diet, then in such situation body create more gas. One of the most common is dairy intolerance.

 When to do burping?

It is important that you should know when to burp your baby. There is no need of burping when your baby fall asleep after or during a feed. You must do burping only when it is needed. However, if your baby wakes up frequently at night after feeding and if she or he has wind try to make him sit up if she fall asleep again and give gentle pats on her back. If your baby seems uncomfortable then you should burp especially during feeding.

If looking for a good opportunity to burp baby then the time when you switch breast can be the option. You can even burp up after feeding but when she or he do not seem content. Your baby will start sucking more effectively as she will start getting old. So, at that time you will not need to burp her often. Till then you will be able to have better idea about whether to burp your baby or not after feeding.

Different techniques of burping your baby

The most common trick of burping your baby is repeatedly patting gently on back of your baby. While patting cup your hands as it is more gentle and better than flat palm. To avoid messy cleanups when yourbaby have wet burp, you should place a bib or towel under chin of your baby or you can also place on your shoulder.There are different positions of burping which you must give a try and choose one that is more comfortable for your baby and you.

So, here are three common methods of burping –

Sitting on lap –Put on a bib or cloth to catch spit up and make baby sit on your lap. Use one hand for supporting baby’s body and make baby lean slightly forward and after that start rubbing or patting his back with other hand.

On shoulder or chest –Cover your shoulder or chest with cloth to protect clothes from any spit up. Once you are done with this, hold baby against your chest and make sure that his or her chin is resting proper on shoulder. Support with one of your hand and pat gently with other one.

Keeping face down across lap –For this, first put on a cloth to catch spit up if any. Keep face of your baby down on legs and make sure that she is lying across knees perpendicular to the body. Support jaw and chin with one and rub or pat back with other hand.

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Posted By Dr. Preeti Mittal
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