When you think about it, it’s almost like a tradition or for lack of a better word, a rite of passage. A baby is born, a baby is fed, and a baby is gently pat on the back until they belch. The cute little babies with whom we are pleased with are the apple of our eyes.
They are tender, gentle, and a simple cry or difficulty in breathing is enough to get us worried sick. We are constantly afraid that should they be unable to burp, something ominously bad will happen to them. After all, isn’t it our responsibility to take care of them until they are old enough to do things on their own?
Truth be told, burping is part and parcel of feeding a baby. You put the nipple in your baby’s mouth, the baby sucks milk, the baby let’s go off the nipple, and mummy gently sits them up and pats their back lovingly until they burp. It seems straightforward, right? Well, not at all.
Burping is an art. In fact, there are moms who do it effortlessly leaving a whole lot of us wondering how they make it look so easy. For some, burping is a chore in itself. They just seem never to get it right however much they try. This ritual of burping didn’t start yesterday. For as long as humanity has been in existence, burping has always been a tradition of sorts.
The generally accepted line of thought is that a baby will swallow air during or while feeding. This swallowed air inadvertently makes them gassy or uncomfortable hence the need to burp the baby. It’s essential to avoid a messy situation whereby a baby throws up after feeding. I mean, who wants that for their baby? No one, right?
When Should You Burp Your Baby?
The largely accepted theory is that you should burp your baby immediately after feeding them. However, there are other instances when burping is essential to relieve your baby of discomfort. For one, there are times when your baby cries incessantly even before you’ve fed them. This could point to a situation whereby the baby might have swallowed lots of air before while crying.
The result is that they get gassy and uncomfortable. Babies don’t talk. Their way of communicating discomfort is through crying. This rings true whether they are hungry, tired, or even need a diaper change. At this point, burping your baby should be one of the first things you do to try and calm them down.
Consequently, there are mothers with a heavy fast flow of milk. This essentially means that the baby will be gulping lots of milk at a go and inadvertently swallowing lots of air in the process. It then follows that the baby will definitely be uncomfortable after feeding with all the air building up in their tummies. At this point, burping should be the rule rather than the exception.
When Should You Stop Burping Your Baby?
A simple search online and you will come across numerous questions by mothers trying to find out the most appropriate time to stop burping their babies. Well, the bad news is that there is no definitive time one should stop burping their babies. I mean, newborn babies develop abilities to burp on their own at different stages. Some mothers stop at 3 months and everything is fine.
Others have to wait until their babies are 6 months old or thereabout. In fact, if you are a mother with several kids, you will attest to the fact that each kid was a unique study. In light of this, when should you stop burping your baby? Anywhere between 4 and 6 months should be okay. Of course, this differs from one baby to the other.
What Should You Do If Burping Is Not Helpful?
Granted, this is every parent’s worst nightmare. You’ve tried to burp your baby to no avail. Your baby is still crying. Nothing you do seems to relieve your baby’s discomfort. Panic has set in. What do you do when this happens? Try other techniques or positions to get gas in your baby’s tummy moving.
You won’t have peace of mind until your baby is comfortable, playful or sleeping peacefully. Try to give your adorable little baby massage (infant massage). Alternatively, you could have your baby lie on their back and then push both their legs back and forth (bicycling). Having your baby lie on their stomach while awake also goes a long way in addressing discomfort caused by excess gas in the stomach.
Should You Worry About Burping?
Ordinarily, there is absolutely nothing wrong with your baby burping or spitting up food they’ve eaten. This is completely normal in newborn babies. However, if your baby is straight-up vomiting large amounts of feeds, it’s time to get worried and immediately contact your pediatrician. Burping should be harmless with no additional threatening symptoms. If you notice an increase in temperature, projectile vomiting, bloody stools, and diarrhea just to mention but a few, its time you sought professional help.
To conclude, burping is a normal thing in newborn babies. If your cute little baby is gassy but feeding and growing up well, there should be no cause for alarm. Understand that you will have to burp your baby at least for the first 6 months until they are old enough to burp on their own. That said, always be on the lookout for symptoms that are a far cry from normal burping and seek the guidance of a professional pediatrician.