Babies can suffer from the effects of gassiness whether they are being breast or bottle-fed. It happens because infants who are not yet skilled in nursing, tend to swallow air along with their milk. This is why feeding time should always include burping time. Burping releases the air that infants swallow. The process helps prevent the accumulation of gas in the baby’s stomach, which can result to gas pain, irritability, spitting up and feeding fussiness.
The process of burping a baby is relatively simple. In fact, it can be as easy as holding your baby upright against your chest, their chin on your shoulder, while you gently rub or pat their back. Just being help upright can help the air come up after feeding. You have to mind possible milk spits though when you burp a baby. Spitting milk is normal and doesn’t harm the child. A parent, on the other hand, may want to have a towel over their shoulder handy just in case.
There are also other ways of burping a baby aside from holding them against your chest.
Some parents prefer to lap-burp. In this method, babies are placed on their stomach in a parent’s lap, their tummy’s against the parent’s thigh for gentle pressure and their head supported so that it’s higher than the body. Again, gentle patting or rubbing of the baby’s back can get the child to burp. If the child doesn’t burp immediately, just be patient. The process can take as long as ten minutes.
Another method of burping a baby is by sitting them upright on one’s lap and cradling their chin gently using the palm of one’s hand. Gently lean the baby forward while applying gentle pressure on the tummy. A parent’s partner can also pat the baby’s back while this is happening to facilitate burping.
How often burping is required differs from baby to baby. Typically, once after every feeding is adequate. But like adults, different babies have different styles of nursing, which is why some kids are more prone to gassiness than others. Bottle fed babies also tend to have more gas than those who nurse from their mother’s breast. For babies who tend to accumulate gas more frequently, burping twice — once within the feeding session, and one more after getting fed — is recommended.
Babies with colic need to be burped more often than those without the condition as well, as prolonged crying can cause them to swallow air. Burping a colicky baby after a crying session is recommended.