When feeding your baby, they may swallow some air along with the food. This makes them full quickly, and you may notice that they will become fussy due to gas pains and general discomfort. The baby may not be able to finish their food as required, and you will need to burp them to expel the air in their tummy to create more space for the food.
WHEN TO BURP THE BABY
- When bottle feeding – the baby is likely to swallow some bubbles of air with the milk. Burp them every three or four ounces.
- When breastfeeding – it is advisable to burp the baby every time you switch the breasts. Remember that if the baby has swallowed much air, he will refuse to feed anymore because he will be feeling full. If you notice that he is refusing to feed or is becoming fussy after taking in minimal amounts, then you should burp him.
HOW TO BURP THE BABY
- While sitting up (in their cool outfits for boys) – Sit the baby on your lap while facing either the left or right side. Lean then forward slightly then support their head and chest with one arm. With the other, pat them or rub them gently on the back.
- On the shoulder – Place the baby on your shoulder while facing the opposite side as you, like you would if you were carrying them away. Support their bottom with one hand and gently pat them on the back with the other.
- On the laps – Place the baby face down on your laps so that one holds her tummy and the other supports her head. Tilt her head gently sideways so that they can breathe easily. Hold her with one hand and pat her gently on the back with the other.
- While walking – This is only safe if your baby has learnt to balance her head well. While seated, place them in front of you while facing out. Hold their bottom with one hand and put the other gently on their tummy, applying some little pressure. Stand up and walk around for a while; the motion helps to expel the air.
Additional tips on burping your baby include:
- If the baby starts fussing while you feed them, try to burp them as soon as you can to expel any air bubbles in their tummy. More fussing means that they swallow more air bubbles which may lead to spitting out.
- Be sure that you put a bib, towel or cloth between you and the baby’s mouth to prevent your clothes from soiling.
- When patting or rubbing on the baby’s back, focus on the left side; the stomach is located there.
- Watch the amount of force or pressure you place on the baby. For some, a light pat works just fine while others may need a stronger hand.
Conclusively, it is very likely that trapped air bubbles cause your baby’s fussiness during feeding in their tummy. Burp them fast to prevent swallowing more air and to create more space for their food.