The Many Ways of Burping Baby
Besides the pat on the back, efficient burping needs two actions: holding baby in an upright position and using pressure on baby’s stomach (parents frequently forget this latter step). You hardly ever see a baby being burped in non-Western, breastfeeding cultures. The requirement for burping baby after feedings, or assist “raising the wind,” originated with the spread of bottle-feeding. The faster circulation of milk from bottle nipples forces babies to gulp air between closely-spaced swallows.
Breastfeeding babies have fewer problems with air in their bellies. They can manage the flow of milk at the breast and so they suck with a slower rhythm that allows them to much better coordinate breathing and swallowing. Likewise, breastfed babies tend to be fed in a more upright position and enjoy smaller, more regular feedings– other conditions that lessen the swallowing of air. Yet burping baby is still necessary often, even if they are breastfed, especially if they are quick feeders and/or mom has a strong milk ejection reflex.
Burping permits the baby to release the excess air that was consumed during feeding. Dr Uday Nadkarni, Paediatric Vital Care Specialist in Mumbai, discusses, “Burping also indicates that the feed been taken in by the baby and there is no gastro-oesophageal reflux that throws up the food.”
Sit Baby Up Straight
To decrease the likelihood that baby will swallow air at the breast, feed baby in the upright position (at a 45 degree angle or greater). Assist baby comfortably keep a tight seal during latch-on by supporting the weight of your breast and by covering baby around you rather than letting baby dangle far from the breast. Watch for signs that baby has to burp during or after a feeding: she might balk at going to the other breast, she may squirm and grimace when you lay her down, or there might be a painful expression on her face. If baby is content, then burping baby is unnecessary– if she had to burp at all. Don’t feel you have stopped working if you do not manage to raise a burp after every feeding. Babies often don’t need to burp with snack-type feedings. After a big meal, it’s normally worth putting in some patient effort into burping baby. As babies get older and more competent at feeding, burping becomes less of a concern. Try these burping positions:
Sit baby on your lap and location the heel of your hand versus her tummy, with her chin resting on the top of your hand. Lean baby forward, resting the majority of her weight versus the heel of your hand to offer counter pressure on her belly, and pat her on the back to move up the air bubbles.
Burping Baby Over-the-Shoulder
Curtain baby way up over your shoulder so that your shoulder presses versus her tummy, then rub or pat her back. Hold baby securely by hooking your thumb under her armpit. If she’s on your right shoulder, do this holding with your right-hand man.
Drape baby over one thigh (legs crossed or spread) so that it presses upward versus her tummy. Assistance baby’s head with one hand while you pat or rub her back with the other hand.
Burping Baby With One-Arm
This position is particularly useful when you’re burping baby while you’re busy. You can merely walk around your house and have one hand free. The only drawback is that spit-up may go on the floor or down over your arm and baby’s legs.
If the air just will not show up, location baby upright versus your chest and wear her in a sling till the air shows up.
Burping baby is often not needed during night feedings, considering that babies feed in a more relaxed way and for that reason swallow less air. If a trapped air bubble seems to be triggering nighttime pain, you can prevent sitting up and going through the whole burping ritual by draping baby up over your hip as you rest on your side.
Burp and Switch
Some babies are more comfortable if they burp when changing sides. Getting the air up includes more milk. This can help prevent big spit-ups when a bubble gets caught under the milk.
In some cases babies require assistance not just getting air out the top end, but likewise out the bottom. The knee-chest position (flexing baby’s knees up versus her chest) helps baby pass excess gas.
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