It is a difficult task for all new parents to figure out the feeding time for their new babies. It is a tiring time for them as they have to get up in the middle of the night to feed them. The sleep cycle is disrupted. And this becomes an even bigger problem when your baby wakes up in the middle of the night as they get fussy.
Babies fall asleep in no time. They often fall asleep while they are being fed, with the nipple or the bottle teat in their mouth. But is it okay to put the baby to sleep without burping? Yes, it is okay, but the important thing is to learn how to burp your sleeping baby. Dont be confused; read below to know more.
Why Is It Important To Burp A Baby?
The basic reason why it is important to burp a baby is that they swallow a lot of air while drinking milk or any sort of liquid. It doesn’t matter if it is breast milk or from a bottle. This happens because their mouth does not seal well around the nipple.
The air that they have swallowed makes them uncomfortable and gassy. According to a pediatrician, Dr. Nilong Vyas, Cradlewise, it is important to eliminate the gas that the babies have in the stomach through burping so it does not pass to the gastrointestinal system and cause any sort of pain.
Have you ever felt bloated or tight-chested after having a meal? This is the feeling a baby gets when they have a lot of air in their stomach, and burning relieves them of that feeling. This helps them to get more comfortable and content.
Burping also prevents reflux and spit-up. When they fail to release the air, they often spit up, which can cause irritation in their throat and make them fussy. But it is something to be noted that every baby is different; some need to be burped frequently, some only once or twice while feeding, so it is different for all babies.
What Are The Signs That A Baby Needs To Be Burped?
Look for the signs your little one is showing you to let to know if they need to be burped or not. They can help you understand if they need to be burped during or after they are fed. The signs include:
- Fussiness: If they are fussy after or during they are being fed: If you see them getting fussy while or after their meal, that means they might have gas in their stomach and are getting uncomfortable because of that.
- Hiccups: Hiccups are a common thing among babies and can be a sign that the little one needs to be burped.
- Reflux or spitting up: If you find your baby squirming and arching their back while you are feeding, it can mean they are uncomfortable because of the gas that has been trapped in their stomach.
- Gurgling noise: If you catch your baby making some soft gurgling noise, that is a sign that they need to be burped. They make these noises because of the trapped gas that they have in their stomach.
- Restlessness after feeding: If your baby is not settling down or getting restless after they are being fed, then try burping them. This can help them to calm down.
But these are not the only signs; every baby is unique and can have their own set of unique signs to let you know that they need to be burped. You would get to know these signs eventually and also try out different techniques to know which one works best for your little munchkin.
How To Burp A Newborn That Won’t Burp?
It is obvious that if you put a baby to sleep with trapped air in their stomach, they would not be comfortable and would be fussy. This will disrupt their sleep as well as their parents. So, try to get them to burp even if they are sleeping, and here are some positions as well as tips and tricks to try.
Hold The Baby Upright
Hold the baby in an upright position with their head on your shoulder and walk around the room gently without disrupting their sleep. Keep doing this for at least five minutes, and that might help release the trapped air.
The gentle motion is not going to wake them up, so when you hear them burp, put them back in bed without any disturbance. Keep the room quiet and dark as much as possible to reduce stimulation.
Patting The On The Back
If holding them upright and moving them gently is not helping, then try patting them on their back with a gentle motion. If they have fallen asleep while you were feeding them, then it won’t wake them up, but it all depends on the baby and they react to it.
Using A Rocking Chair
The motion of a rocking chair can help a baby burp while they are sleeping. The to-and-fro motion will not only wake them up but also help them to burp. When they have fallen asleep, hold them in the upright position and continue this for at least ten to fifteen minutes.
As they are very comfortable in this position, even if they wake up, it is likely that they will fall asleep again. As soon as you hear the burp, get them back to the cot.
The Seated Position
Place them on a seated position in your lap and support their chest and head. Pat or rub their back until they burp.
The Stomach-Down Position
Lay the little one on your lap with their stomach facing downwards. This is a very helpful method if they are getting reflux. Gently rub their back or pat them till you hear them burp.
The Bottle-Feeding Method
If you are feeding your baby from the bottle, pause feeding them after every few ounces and burp them. This is going to help them and prevent them from swallowing too much air.
If the baby doesn’t burp even after trying for several minutes, then just let them be, as it might happen that they have not swallowed as much air as you are thinking.
What Can Happen If You Don’t Burp The Baby?
When you burp a baby, it helps them release the gas and air that they have in their stomach. If you don’t release the gas, it will cause irritation inside your baby. In some cases, it can also create certain digestive issues. This may keep them up crying all night.
In a few cases, not burping a baby can cause an imbalance of the gut bacteria, which can lead to digestive issues and is also directly linked to the quality of sleep they get. If you see them wake up in discomfort not long after falling asleep, then it can be because you did not burp them. There are certain questions that parents have regarding not burping a baby.
Does Not Burping Them Hurt In Some Way?
Some people believe that until you release the air bubbles from their stomachs, it causes pain in them. And they get fussy. Sometimes, their floppy sphincter opens and closes and allows the air to escape. This actually means that babies can burp on their own if you change their position.
Can It Cause Them To Spit Up?
Spitting up is a very natural thing for babies to do. Most of them spit up and regurgitate the milk often. The floppy sphincter between their stomach and esophagus is quite weak and closes and opens at regular intervals. But even though they spit up, it does not cause any kind of pain or discomfort.
Will Burping Help A Colicky Baby?
Parents believe that if they burp a baby, it will reduce their crying and somehow reduce their fussiness. However, studies show that there is no difference in colicky babies, even if they are burped or not. So, helping them burp before getting them to sleep won’t help a colic baby with their fussiness.
Should Breastfeeding Babies Burp Less?
There are some studies that say that babies burb less after consuming breast milk as compared to consuming formula food. The reasons behind that are:
- Babies can easily digest breast milk and thus produce less gas in their stomachs than as compared to formula-fed food.
- It is easier for babies to form a better seal around a human nipple than a bottle cap. And thus, they intake less amount of air while they are being fed.
- Babies can control the flow of milk better than they are drinking directly from the breast rather than a bottle.
Is It OK To Put A Baby To Sleep Without Burping?
Well, technically, it is okay to put a baby to sleep without burping them. But as we have discussed earlier, every baby is unique and has different needs. So you have to see to it what their exact need is and care for them accordingly. Feeding can calm them down and can make them fall asleep when you are feeding them.
Beautiful if they have swallowed a lot of air with their meal, then it is important to release the gas with a burp. However, some babies may not face these issues if they don’t burp before falling asleep.
How To Help A Baby With Gas?
There are certain ways of relieving a baby with gas. Let’s see what those are:
Overfeeding can be a cause of excess gas formation, and that can affect the digestive system to process a large amount of food. They struggle to deal with it and get fussy and uncomfortable.
Try Using Different Bottles:
If you are feeding your baby from a bottle, and they are getting gassy, then experiment with a different type of bottle to see what they are comfortable with. Try a different shape and different size.
Burp Your Baby Frequently:
If you find your infant getting gassy, then try burping them more frequently while you are feeding them. And when they finish eating, they repeat the process. This will let the excess gas out. Try putting them in different positions to check what works best for your baby.
Keep Them Upright After Feeding:
This will reduce the formation of excess gas, as gravity will do its job and help the gas move out of its digestive system. But if this keeps on growing and these remedies don’t help, it is best to consult a doctor. And definitely don’t try things a home.
It is the same thing as burping a baby who is awake and who is sleeping. The process is the same. It is something that the parents have to continue until their baby becomes self-sufficient. And the baby also tries burping on their own or releasing the excess air on their own.
It’s just that with a sleeping baby, you have to be a little more cautious so that you dont wake them. I hope we have answered the question, “Is it ok to put baby to sleep without burping?” but there are still some other questions related to this, like, “how long to burp a newborn?” Trying for a few minutes should be enough to make a newborn burp.
“What if the baby doesn’t burp?” or “What if the baby won’t burp?” are some more questions that are frequently asked. If they are not burping even after trying for a few minutes, then let them sleep. Maybe they have not swallowed enough air.
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