Burping is an effortless task for adults, but it can be a real problem for babies. The trouble is, if the gas builds up in the tummy, it can cause baby a lot of discomfort, and in some cases, pain. Helping to relieve built up gas, burping is an essential skill you need to develop once your little one arrives.
There’s actually a lot of ways you can burp your little one and some prove much more effective than others. To help, below you’ll discover 5 great burping methods for new parents.
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1. Lay Baby Face Down And Pat Their Back
One of the most effective methods of burping a baby is to lay them face-down onto your lap. Make sure you use one hand to support baby’s body and their head is supported well on one of your legs. Then, firmly pat their back. This is often enough to release built-up gas, but if it doesn’t, you can move on to another tried and tested method.
2. Arm Lift
This is one of the more unusual methods, but many parents swear by it. You simply pick baby up underneath their arms and rock them gently from side to side. You’ll need to ensure you’re supporting baby’s head too, so it’s best to hold them against you, with their head resting against your chest.
This method is especially useful for releasing stubborn wind.
3. Over The Shoulder
Another common and very effective technique is to place baby against the shoulder. Their head will automatically be supported by the shoulder, while one of your hands should be used to support their bottom and back. With the other hand, you should pat baby’s back firmly to release the gas.
It’s best to do this burping method standing up. It’s largely effective because baby’s abdomen is pressurized very slightly by the shoulder.
4. Upright Pat On The Back
This is a good alternative to the face-down method. Instead of laying baby over your lap, place them into an upright position, either facing the side or away from you. They should also be leaning a little forward.
Use one hand to support the chest, making sure the fingers are also supporting baby’s chin. Then, use your other hand to pat baby’s back gently but firmly. Out of all of the methods, this one does tend to prove most effective.
5. The Classic Position
If all else fails, why not try the classic burping position? You’ll need to place baby in the same position as you would for the upright pat on the back. So, have them sitting up facing to the side or away from you. Be sure to support them in the same way mentioned above.
The only difference here is instead of patting baby’s back, you’ll need to rub it firmly. Not all trapped gas responds to a patting motion. So, if you’re finding it difficult to burp baby effectively, it could be you need to switch from patting to rubbing, or vice versa.
These are the top 5 burping positions you’ll want to try out. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of experimenting and switching the methods you’ve been using. So, now we’ve covered the best burping techniques, let’s look at ways you can reduce baby’s gas.
Ways To Reduce Baby’s Gas
All babies need to be burped, there’s no avoiding it. However, did you know there are ways you can minimize the amount of trapped gas your baby experiences?
One of the best tips to reduce gas build-up, is to make sure you’re feeding baby in an upright position. Babies that are fed whilst laying down, have shown to have more built up gas than those who are fed in a more upright position. Similarly, even when not feeding, babies who do spend most of the day laying down on their backs do tend to get a lot more gas than others.
If you’re breastfeeding, it’s also a good idea to burp baby between switching breasts. This will minimize the chance your little one will become fussy before they’ve finished feeding.
As a general rule, bottle-fed babies tend to digest a lot more air while they’re feeding. Breastfed babies don’t intake as much, which means they may not even need to burp after each feed. So, if you do find it difficult to burp your little one, it could be they don’t actually need to be burped. Or, if you’re certain they do, just try switching between the techniques mentioned above.
To reduce gassy build-up in bottle-fed infants, you could try switching to a bottle with a slower-flowing nipple. Regular baby massage can also prove effective at minimizing gas build up, as can a nice warm bath. If you give massage a try, it’s best to do it around 45 minutes after baby has had a feed or a nap. Not only does massaging baby’s abdomen help dislodge and prevent trapped gas, it also helps to calm them.
The above are some of the best methods and tips to use when burping your baby. It’s common for parents to feel like a failure when they can’t successfully burp their little one. However, it does take time and practice and some babies are naturally fussier than others.
If you are really struggling and none of the above methods and tips are working, it’s a good idea to seek advice from a doctor. They’ll be able to detect whether anything else is going on, as well as give you professional tips on how to overcome the problem.