When babies are young, their digestive tracks are not fully developed and feeding times can lead to many instances of discomfort. Since the only way babies know how to communicate discomfort is to cry, it is important to pick up on cues or early signs of discomfort and learn the practices to avoid situations that lead to discomfort. Discomfort can be caused by swallowing air. Swallowing air during feeding can be quite uncomfortable and lead to an upset stomach, gassiness or vomiting. That is why I will explain the importance of burping your baby after every feeding. It is suggested that swallowed air usually occurs more often in bottle feeding than with breastfeeding because babies that are breastfed tend to swallow less air since they are more capable of controlling the rhythm of breastfeeding and can coordinate breathing and swallowing. However, I still recommend burping after every meal regardless of bottle feeding or breastfeeding.
To begin, there are a number of different positions to burp your little one. You can hold your baby with their chest and tummy leaning against your shoulder. One hand will hold their bottom, while the other gently pats his/her back. You could also place his/her tummy across your lap while you gently pat his/her back. Or you can have your baby sitting on your lap facing away from you slightly, tilt him/her forward while supporting their chin and use your other hand to gently pat him/her. I would highly suggest using a burping cloth since some vomiting can occur. Here are some baby burping techniques that you might find helpful:
-Try feeding your baby in an upright position (usually in a 45 degree angle). This will lessen the amount of air that your baby will swallow.
-You can also try walking while burping your baby. This has been known to calm them and help aid in the process.
-Try not to feed your baby when they are over excited. This could lead to swallowing more air.
-Burping your baby every 5 minutes during feeding can also lessen the odds of your baby swallowing air.
Babies will need to be burped less as they get older and will usually not need to be burped after 5 months. Knowing your baby's cues and signals will allow you to create a routine that will work well for you and your baby and make feeding time an enjoyable time.