When your newborn baby gulps down milk; with each sip, the baby tends to swallow a big amount of air. This air turns into gas and gets trapped in the gastrointestinal system, causing discomfort and crankiness in the baby. To help the infant in getting rid of this gassiness, parents must have comprehensive knowledge about when to start and when to stop burping baby.
Importance of Burping a Baby
When you help your infant in burping, the gas gets out through baby’s mouth. It is the most recommended way to prevent the storage of gas in baby’s stomach. If you are a new parent and you are not getting your baby burped frequently, it might lead your little one to the symptoms like reflux and gassiness. In most of the cases, while the baby is getting fed, he would show some signs of fullness, squirming and uneasiness. This indicates that your baby needs to release some wind (Even if your baby does not show any such signs, get him burped).
When Is the Right Time to Stop Burping Baby?
Parents should keep on burping their babies till the time babies can do that on their own. As time passes, you will witness a change in your baby’s burping routine. As baby grows, he learns to ingest better, with less swallowing of air. So, there might be moments when baby would burp on its own (That normally happens when your baby is introduced to some solid food items or when he starts to sit without any support). That is the time, when to stop burping baby is OK.
Generally, the age between 6 to 9 months is when you can stop burping the baby. However, that may differ with each baby, because the amount of air that the baby swallows, may vary with each individual (Generally, bottle-fed babies are more likely to have gassiness as compared to the breastfed babies).
When he/she is old enough, as long as your baby is feeling well without any symptoms like discomfort and wriggling, there is nothing to worry about. Simply laying your baby with her head slightly elevated, might be helpful in preventing issues like gas and reflux.
Note: Studies suggest feeding baby in an upright position causes less wind trapped in the stomach as compared to feeding in a lying position.
Many times, babies start burping on their own even before they are 6 months old (when they are 3 to 4 months old). If that happens, you may stop burping the baby.
If you stop burping your baby (when he reaches the right age), and he continuously shows symptoms like spitting up, wriggling and uneasiness (especially after getting fed), that means your baby’s digestive system is still not ready to burp on its own. And you need to know more about when to stop burping baby. In such case, continue with burping till the baby reaches the stage where he can burp himself easily (maybe a few more weeks or months).
Babies who have serious issues like reflux, colic, GERD or excessive gas problem, must be burped regularly, till the time they are older enough to deal with it. Besides that, it is highly recommended to consult your pediatrician about these conditions.
What Is the Right Time to Burp?
If you are breastfeeding your baby, try to get him burped before switching from one breast to the other. For formula milk babies, burping after every two to three ounces is the right way. Get the baby burped again, once you are done with feeding.
Note: Don’t force a burp on your baby if he falls asleep while feeding. Lay him/her down with elevated head.
Know the Right Ways to Burp
On Your Chest
The first and most common burping position is by placing the baby against your chest. Hold the baby firmly with one hand, in a position, where the chin of the baby is resting on your shoulder. Now use your other hand to rub or pat the baby’s back gently. Keep rubbing till the baby burps.
Over the Shoulder
This position is quite similar to the one mentioned above. It requires you to hold the baby a bit higher, with her tummy pressed against your shoulder. Support her lower body with one hand and use the other hand to rub her back.
In Your Lap with Her Face Down
The baby should be laid in your lap with her stomach flat on one of your legs. Hold the baby with one hand and use the other to pat/rub her back.
Sitting in a Lean Forward Position
Get your baby in a sitting position in your lap. Lean the infant forward, slightly. Grab her firmly with one hand (support her chest and head) and pat her back gently.
Facing Out in an Upright Position
This position is recommended for the babies who have gained some head control. Hold the baby, facing out, in an upright position. Your one hand should be supporting her bottom part and the other hand should encircle her tummy to add some pressure. The parent is supposed to stand or walk in this position.
Note: When it comes to rubbing the back, prefer the left side of the back, as it is closer to stomach.
What are Erps and How to Deal with It?
Erps are another form of burping, also known as wet burps. Many times, when your baby burps, it carries some stomach contents with it, that might ruin yours or baby’s clothing. If your baby does that, never forget to place a burping cloth before getting him burped. Having lesser knowledge about ways to burp or about the right time, when to stop burping baby might also be the reason behind spitting.