Breastfed babies typically need to be burped less often than their bottle-fed counterparts. Some gifted breastfed babies don’t need to be burped at all. BUT, others experience terrible gas and cramps if not burped every 10 minutes while nursing. ALL babies, are different and have different needs. Some mothers find it efficient to burp only after breastfeeding, while others need to burp their babies every few minutes or every time they switch breasts.
If your baby seems comfortable during a feed and does not spit-up excessively after feeds, there is no reason why you need to burp him/her more frequently.
The reason why breastfed babies typically need to be burped less is that they swallow less air while feeding than bottle-fed babies do. But, if a mother has a fast milk let-down reflex, or she produces an overabundance of milk, her baby may struggle to keep up with the flow of her milk, resulting in choking, gulping, and swallowing of air while nursing. Also, babies with acid reflux may need to be burped more often to ease their discomfort.
If you notice that your baby is feeling uncomfortable while feeding, or after feedings, you may need to burp him/her more often. But remember crying, to a certain extent, is developmental. It is normal for your baby to cry at times and it is also normal for your baby to have gas, as their digestive systems are continually changing and maturing.
What If Baby Won't Burp After Breastfeeding?
This means that your baby doesn't need to burp, and that is okay, as long as your baby seems happy and content.
Why Do Babies Need to Be Burped?
Burping helps to remove the air that gets trapped during feedings. The air can give your baby cramps and make him/her feel full. So, if your baby stops breastfeeding, maybe all you need to do is burp them, and they will have more space available for milk.
Burping can also be used to wake your baby if he/she falls asleep at the breast. Other ways to keep your baby awake for feedings.
When Should You Burp Your Baby?
As mentioned above, you can burp your baby at intervals during a feeding session, or after a breastfeeding session. It is best to wait until your baby stops actively sucking before you burp him/her.
Sometimes, babies may wake up crying - it is possible that your baby may still have some air stuck from a previous feeding. You might find that as soon as the air is released, he/she falls right to sleep again.
Babies also swallow air when they cry. Babies who have colic, cry a lot and will, therefore, need to be burped more often.
How to Burp a Baby
To burp a baby, you will need to gently pat your baby on the back and put gentle pressure on the tummy area.
Some of the best ways to burp a baby:
Hold your baby with their chest and tummy against your shoulder, with one hand supporting your baby's bottom, while the other hand rhythmically pats their back. Place a burping cloth or a towel over your shoulder. This is the most common position for burping newborns.
Place your baby tummy-down across your lap. Make sure that your baby’s head is well supported. Also, place a burp cloth under your baby, in case your baby spits up.
Burp your baby while he/she is sitting up on your leg, leaning forward with your hand under your baby’s chin for support, while the other hand pats him/her gently on the back.
Put your baby over your arm, as shown in the picture, and gently pat your baby on their back.
Gently cycle your baby's legs up towards their body as though they were riding a bicycle (circular motions).
Hold your baby to your chest and support their back and head. Sit on your exercise ball and gently bounce up and down.
Massage can be a wonderful way to get your baby to wind down for the evening and is oftentimes really good at getting that trapped wind out. Learn more about baby massage here.
#8. Wear your baby:
Wearing your baby in a sling after feedings will help the gas escape. The movement and the upright position make it easy for your baby to burp and pass wind.
Bend your baby's knees up towards their chest a few times.
Baby Burping Techniques
- Avoid feeding your little one when he/she is overexcited; your baby will be more likely to swallow air.
- Try the different burping positions; he/she might just burp better with one position than the other.
- Massaging your baby's belly will also help with winds. Learn how to massage your baby.
- Walking while burping your baby will also help get rid of the winds and helps to calm your baby. Learn more about wearing your baby.
- Breastfeeding mothers can avoid their babies from swallowing air by keeping them in an upright position (45-degree angle). This can be done while breastfeeding by nursing in the laid-back breastfeeding position.
- Flexing your baby’s knees up against their chest will help get rid of trapped air, and will also help to relieve flatulence.
How to Burp a Newborn
When to Stop Burping a Baby
At what age do you stop burping a baby?
After the age of 5 months, most babies do not need to be burped anymore.
Burping a Breastfed Baby at Night
Keep your baby as calm as possible before bedtime. Most of the time, at night, babies do not need to be burped, as they suck much slower and, therefore, swallow less air.
Knowing when and how to burp your baby will come naturally, as time goes by. Keeping a nighttime routine can help to calm your baby before their last breastfeeding session.
After breastfeeding, you should try to burp your baby. If your baby does not burp after 10 minutes, then he/she most likely, does not have trapped wind. If your baby spits up a lot, you should burp your baby more often during a feed.
Babies that are breastfed swallow less air than bottle-fed babies, since they can control the rhythm of breastfeeding and have coordinated breathing and swallowing.
Some breastfed babies do not need burping at all. Some breastfed babies might need to be burped more often than once, while other babies only need to be burped once after each feeding.