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When your baby feeds, they can get a little carried away, and gulp down their milk so quickly that some air goes down too. And what goes down, must come up. That’s why your baby needs burping. If not, then your child might become uncomfortable, and that can lead to tears or general unhappiness on your baby’s part.
A good feed should always be followed by a good burp. It’s a healthy end to the meal and something that every child needs. There’s a chance that your baby might even spit up their meal if they don’t get a good burp, or the gas might have to find another way out.
Fortunately, burping a baby is a simple process, as long as you know what you’re doing, and after you’ve read this guide, you should know exactly how to do it.
Let’s get started.
What Do You Need to Burp a Baby?
Before you can burp your baby, you need to make sure that you’re prepared, and the most important thing that’ll make you prepared is having a few cloths or muslins to hand.
Preferably, you should have a cloth or bib that you can protect your clothes with, just in case, your little one spits up, which they just might, and that this doesn’t ruin your favorite top.
You also need to have a second cloth to hand so that you can wipe up your baby’s mouth or any area that they spit up on.
Once you’ve got these materials, then you’re ready to burp your baby.
The Most Important Positions for Burping a Baby
The key to burping your child properly is finding an optimum position for them to relieve themselves. There are four key ways that you can do this. Let’s have a look at them.
1. Against Your Chest and Shoulder– The first way, and perhaps the most common, is to hold your baby against your chest with their chin resting on your shoulder. The person burping the baby needs to sit perfectly upright while they do this. And you need to make sure that you hold your baby tight to you. A good way to ensure that your child is secured is by holding their bottom with one hand and then to pat your child’s back with the other hand. Rocking while you do this can help, and if you have a rocking chair, then you should consider sitting in it while you burp your baby.
2. Lay Your Baby Face Down Across Your Lap – This one is quite an effective, simple method too. You simply lay your baby across your lap, with their head facing down. With one hand, you should raise the baby’s head, so that it is above their chest, and with your other hand, you should pat the baby’s back. Make sure to keep the burping cloth underneath the child’s mouth, as it’s likely that some milk will come up, if only through leaking out of their mouth.
3. Sit Your Baby on Your Lap – This position requires you to be sat in a comfortable position, preferable on a supportive seat. You need to sit your child on your lap. To do this, you’ll need to make sure that you use your stronger hand to keep your child upright. It’s easiest to do this by cradling their head. You need to ensure that you do this by holding, with the heel of your hand, the baby’s chin. Make sure that you’re not pressing against the child’s throat. Then you should pat the baby’s back with your other hand.
4. Walking with The Baby on Your Chest – To do this, you need to follow the instructions to the first position, but instead of sitting still, you should walk. The motion helps your child, and it can also be good for the parent, as if you’re burping your child for a while, you can become uncomfortable, especially if you’ve been sat in the same position while you’ve been feeling your baby.
How Often Do You Need to Burp Your Baby?
Of course, your baby needs to burp each time they feed. But the number of times that they need to burp will depend on the type of feeding that you’re giving the child.
If you breastfeed your child, then you should burp them each time you switch from one breast to the other. Some babies only take one breast, and if this is the case, then you should burp your child approximately every five minutes, as this will give them some much-needed room that they can fill up with more tasty, nutritious milk.
If you bottle-feed your baby, then you need to burp them at least once during the feed. Each baby is different, with some feeding more slowly than others, and the more you burp your baby, the easier it will come to judge when they need it. If your baby is a slow feeder, then try to burp them every five minutes during the feed.
What to Do if Your Baby Doesn’t Burp
Don’t worry. All us humans are different, and your little one is no different. Some babies actually don’t take in that much air when they feed, and that means that they don’t require much of a burping either. And then, some kids tend to let out gas in other ways, which is absolutely fine and normal too, and it just means that you don’t need to burp them as often or for as long.
If your baby starts to gain weight, however, or seems to struggle from pain from unreleased gas, then it is probably best to consult a health expert for further advice on how to proceed.
That’s it. Now you know how to burp your baby. You just need to follow this guide, and your baby will be burping in no time. Don’t worry, it’s easier than you might think, and the more you do it, the better you’ll get.