What happens if the baby doesn’t burp?
The act of breastfeeding or bottle-feeding often has a calming effect. As a result, many babies may fall asleep during or after their meal. While some babies are gassier than others, most babies will need to be burped at some point. Generally, newborn babies need to burp more often than older kids. That is because they drink their milk fast while gulping a lot of air. By doing that, they actually increase the gasses in their body, which they can’t easily release by themselves, as they don’t have much control over their body yet.
In addition, some babies tend to fall asleep even before they take enough calories at their feeding. Therefore, it may sometimes be necessary to wake them up during feeding to help them eat more. Changing a diaper can help wake the baby gently or burping the baby may help by eliminating some feedings of fullness and helping them to stay awake longer.
Burping is undoubtedly an important exercise day and night. Sometimes your baby may fall asleep while eating but you may still need to burp them after every feeding – sleeping or not. Don’t worry about waking them up because your baby will easily sleep through that.
When your baby falls asleep, burp them for a few minutes before placing them back to sleep. If you don’t do this, they might end up waking up in pain due to the trapped gas. Make sure to read this super helpful article about the differences between baby colic and baby gas – and how to treat them.
How to burp a sleeping baby
It is not hard to find babies who fall asleep while eating either being bottle-fed or breastfed. The filling of their tummies and the soothing sucking motions make them happy and relaxed causing them to drift off to sleep. This happens occasionally at night. It is tempting to let your baby sleep because they look content but it is paramount that you try and get a burp out of them before lying them back down.
Burping a baby who is asleep is just similar to burping a baby who is awake. The only difference is that you might move a little slower to keep them asleep. Fortunately, some burping positions are easier to maneuver with sleeping babies.
It’s possible to burp a sleeping baby, often without waking them completely. Each baby is different, so people may need to try various techniques to find one that works. Here are a few popular techniques to try:
Ways to burp a sleeping baby
One way is to sit your baby upright on your knee while supporting his or her head by cradling his or her chin. Due to the gravity exerted through the position and the baby’s own weight, the air gets up and goes out. Unfortunately, this position has chances of waking your baby so don’t be disappointed if it does not work for you.
The other way is to hold your baby in a slightly upright position in order to put pressure on their tummy. When your baby doesn’t poop immediately after eating, you may need to change their diaper before the night feeding so that you won’t need to wake them up if they fall asleep while eating.
The different positions for burping a sleeping baby are like:
- Burping between changing sides or mid-bottle: slow down your feeding and switch sides at the breast before they finish the bottle.
- Hold on your shoulder: hold your baby in an upright position and on your shoulder. The shoulder pressure pushes on their tummy to release gas.
- Hold lower on your chest: holding your baby on the sternum helps babies to release gas and to burp
- Rock on your arm: lay your baby such that the tummy rests on your forearm and support the head with your elbow. This places pressure on the belly for them to burp
- Lay on your knees: lay your baby with the tummy on your knees to create pressure on the tummy
How to know if my baby is done burping?
If you’re burping a newborn after breastfeeding, the baby will typically burp less because they swallow less air. You can often tell that a baby needs to be burped if he or she is squirmy or pulling away while being fed.
Why can’t babies burp by themselves?
Infants can’t burp by themselves because their upper esophageal sphincter muscles aren’t fully developed yet. This muscle usually relaxes when swallow, to allow the passage of food and saliva.
How can I make my baby burp faster?
Switching burping positions can help your baby burp faster. If the standard over-the-shoulder burp method isn’t working, try putting your baby across your lap or sitting them on your knee and cradling their head as you lean them slightly forward. A position change can facilitate faster burping by helping to move their air bubbles through their system.
Do babies always need a burp after a feed?
There are no rules on when you should burp your baby, some babies need burping during their feed, some after. Look for clues – if your baby seems uncomfortable while feeding, have a little burping break. If they seem fine while feeding, wait until they’ve finished. Your baby will let you know!
Is it true that breastfed babies don’t need to be burped?
It really depends. It’s true that breastfed babies typically don’t need to be burped as often as bottle-fed babies. Many breastfed babies don’t swallow as much air when feeding as bottle-fed babies do, so they don’t necessarily need help getting air out of their tummies.
What happens if my baby doesn’t burp after breastfeeding?
If your baby doesn’t burp after a few minutes of trying to burp them, you can try to change the burping position, as mentioned above. And if that doesn’t work, DON’T WORRY! A breastfed baby may not have to burp every time you try. You can continue the feeding or put your child down to sleep.
Until what age should I burp my baby?
Most babies will outgrow the need to be burped by 4 to 6 months of age.
Until then, it is absolutely important for your baby to burp. So even when your baby sleeps without burping, help them to do so by holding them in either of the positions.