Among the many little things that you will need to master as a new mother is the art of burping a baby. Diaper changing might be too frequent an activity but it is a quick job to do. Burping your baby on the other hand needs some patience because some babies take quite some time to burp. In new babies, gas tends to get trapped in the gastrointestinal system. This can cause a lot of discomfort to the little baby. In order to release this gas, you will need to burp your baby. So, a burp is basically the release of the gas bubbles that build up in your baby’s stomach through the oesophagus out of the mouth. Some burps are wet burps when your baby tends to throw up a little of his stomach’s contents which is quite normal.
Why does gas build up in your baby’s stomach?
Gas can make your baby very uncomfortable. It gives your baby a feeling of fullness and makes him cry and squirm. The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) recommends burping your baby after and in between every feed to keep them comfortable and less cranky.
Gas gets accumulated in the little tummies because of the following reasons.
- Swallowing air
Babies tend to swallow some air when they nurse or when they drink formula from a bottle. While bottle fed babies are more prone to swallowing air, it happens with breastfed babies too when the mother has a lot of milk, a fast letdown or if the baby is too hungry and wants to drink fast.
Digestion of some types of foods naturally releases gas. This could happen for the food the baby consumes or even for the food that the mother consumes and passes it to her baby through breast milk. Foods that contain carbohydrates cause more production of gas in the intestines while digestion.
- Allergic reaction or food intolerance
Allergic reaction to any types of food consumed by the mother or the baby can also cause build up of gas. Intolerance towards certain foods can also cause gas. Lactose or dairy intolerance is the most common.
The best burping positions and how to burp?
Burping your baby is not really difficult. There are two common positions to burp your baby – over your shoulder or sitting your baby on the lap. Try both the positions and find the one that is comfortable for both you and the baby. Some babies are comfortable over your shoulder while some like the sitting position more. You can only try both positions to see what your little one likes. If your baby is fussy in a certain position, avoid it.
Over the shoulder:
Hold your baby upright over your shoulder facing you. Support your baby’s head with one hand and use the other hand to burp your baby. This position is ideal for very little babies when you need to support their heads.
Sitting on the lap:
Sit your baby on your lap while supporting his head and body with your hand and arms. Your baby should face down to the ground. Use your other hand to burp your baby.
No matter what position you choose, make sure you have a burp cloth under your baby’s mouth as babies tend to throw up a little as they burp. Once you have your baby in your desired position, pat his back a little. If your baby is uncomfortable but not burping yet, you may want to lay him on your lap for a minute and then try burping him again. This should work.