It doesn’t matter if your baby is breastfed or formula-fed. All babies have to burp. There is always the chance that air has been sucked in along with the milk. Digestion can lead to gas. Most importantly, your baby’s digestive system is immature. As a caregiver, it is your job to make sure that you help ease the buildup in your baby’s belly.
If you are still trying to figure out which burping position works for your baby, consider these options. (Not official names, but definitely easy to remember.)
Maybe it works best for your baby, or maybe it gives you another excuse to cuddle your baby a little bit more. The burp towel is over your shoulder in case any formula or spit comes up with the bubble, and that is ok. This position keeps both hands free to securely hold your baby against you and lets you rubs or pat your baby’s back. The head is also close to your ear in case your baby is not the noisiest of burp artists.
Sometimes you would rather maintain eye contact with your little one or just not have anything comes up to soak your shoulder. If you have large hands or a tiny baby, this position is ideal for you. Sit your baby up on your lap, support the head between your pointer and middle fingers (the “v”), and support your baby’s torso with your pinky and your thumb under their armpits. Your free hand can rub or pat your baby’s back.
If your baby is calm and relaxed, you may want to try a different way. While there is no medical research behind this technique, some parents on social media have talked about holding a baby’s arms up about 90 degrees, and bringing their knees in to their body. It pushes the gas out and opens the chest or straightens the back.
No matter which method you try, always keep an eye and an ear for your baby’s cues to see if there is still a burp waiting to happen or if they are still hungry. Also, keep your baby upright for at least 30 minutes after feeds. In many cases, the sphincter muscle between the esophagus and stomach does not close all the way on its own and can be a cause of reflux.
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