Feeding on a bottle or breastfeeding can have a calming effect on the baby, and as a result, they might fall asleep right after the feeding session. However, this can become a problem if they have swallowed a lot of air during their mealtime, and not releasing this air can make it more difficult for them to relax. This is why many parents find making their baby burp during their sleep very important, but finding ways to burp them while sleeping can be challenging. If you are looking for ways for your baby to have a comfortable naptime while making them burp, then read on to learn more!
Why is Burping Important?
When drinking milk, babies tend to swallow a lot of air that usually collects in their stomachs. This can later cause discomfort during their feeding session or while they are napping after and lead to problems like excessive crying and squirming in discomfort. Swallowing air is not the only thing that might lead to bubbles getting stuck in your baby’s stomach. A few other reasons include digestion, allergic reactions or food intolerance to a particular good, the feeder’s diet in breastfeeding, and nipple flow. These problems can cause the little one some uneasiness, so burping is vital for parents to focus on after feeding.
Once you start trying different methods, you will quickly find out what the burp cycles of your baby are and whether they need to be burped during or after their mealtime. Your baby might not burp after every mealtime, and that is okay. However, if your baby has a lot of spit-ups and gas, you should talk to the doctor about it and learn more about their refluxes.
How to Burp a Sleeping Baby
It is possible to make your baby burp while sleeping without waking them up completely. Here is the step by step instructions on how to burp a sleeping baby:
The shoulder method is perfect for babies who have a deep sleep. It could also be a helpful method for people who want to wake them up to continue their feeding. In this method:
- Place the baby upright and make them lean against your upper chest. Place one hand below their bottom like they are sitting on your arm. The head of the baby has to be on top of your shoulder.
- Now, use your other hand to pat between their shoulder blades gently. Let the pats be firm but make sure it is gentle enough for the baby.
- If your baby is not responding to patting, rub their upper back using your palm in circular motions.
- If you wish to wake the baby up, then slightly bounce them with your arms, which will not only wake them up but might also force the air bubble to come out.
The hip method is an excellent option for mothers who prefer breastfeeding their little ones while lying down. This method will also help keep the baby asleep because they are not completely upright.
- Place the baby’s tummy gently over their hips. Ensure that the head of the baby remains elevated over its entire body.
- In this position, gently pat the baby’s back using your palm.
- You could also rub it in an upward circular motion if patting does not help.
If your baby wakes up during shoulder burp, then try the chest burping methods instead. This might help them feel more comfortable and may allow them to sleep longer after mealtime.
- Lift the baby gently to the chest, placing one hand under their bottom and one hand on their back.
- Allow their body to stay in a curled-up position instead of letting their legs stretch out. This position is more likely to help them stay asleep.
- Rub the back of your baby by using the hand that is on their backside and make circular motions.
- Rubbing might not always work and in that case, try using gentle pats on their backs.
If you are sitting on the couch or a chair, then the lap might be the most effective method to make your baby burp while sleeping. This does not require your baby to stay upright, allowing them to feel more comfortable while sleeping.
- When in the sitting position, gently turn their body over onto their tummy and allow them to rest on your thighs,
- Place an arm under their chin and chest to raise their upper body a little to ensure they are comfortable.
- Your other hand can burp the baby by patting or rubbing its back in a firm but gentle way.
- Once the baby burps, turn the baby over and let them sleep on their backs.
5. Arm Hold
The arm hold method can be perfect for smaller babies but might not always be practical once they get older.
- Place an arm under the baby’s back and rest their body on your forearm. This position might be perfect for your baby to feed as well.
- Now, carefully turn their body and allow them to rest on their belly on your forearm. Ensure that their head is placed in the crook of the elbow. Place your hand between their legs and make sure you and your baby are stable and comfortable.
- Pat, your baby, ’s back or rub their back in circular motions gently using your other hand.
- Once you are done, you can gently roll the baby towards your body, and they can lie on your arms face up to continue sleeping or feeding.
How Long Does Burping Take
Usually, burping only take less than two minutes so that you can burp a sleeping baby fast. Sometimes, babies might burp right after your move them into an upright position, but sometimes, you might have to wait for a few minutes and help them externally through gentle tummy pressure or pats. Another helpful way for your baby to get into the zone is to get them to sleep in their crib instead of letting them fall asleep while feeding. When you are feeding them, and you notice them falling asleep, you should stop feeding, give them a minute to burp, and then put them down to sleep. The quicker you start this habit, the easier it will be for you later on. If your little one feels uncomfortable and stiff more often and takes a lot of time to burp, then talk to your doctor about it, and they can provide you with ideas on how to help your babies relieve gas. Babies with bad acid reflux might need to stay upright for a long time, even as long as 30 minutes after eating, to make them burp.
What if Your Baby Doesn’t Burp
Your baby doesn’t need to burp after or during all of their feeding sessions. One reason for this could be because they did not swallow a lot of air while feeding. But this could also mean that you will have to try harder to get them to burp. In such cases, you might need to try other methods to get them to burp. One way to do it is to get them to burp while they are feeding. Usually, babies are often drowsier and would have swallowed more air when they are done feeding. To avoid letting them fall asleep with a lot of air inside them, try burping them when they are halfway done through their feeding session.
- If you have tried for 5 minutes or more to get them to burp and it still has not worked, gently lie them down on their back, either on a comfortable surface or in their crib, for a while. Please pick them up again after a few minutes and try burping them, and this might work since lying down for a while would help give the air bubbles some time to move around, making it easier for it to come out.
- Keeping the little one upright right after their feed is also an excellent way to let the air bubble escape without the help of a caretaker or a parent. You can do this by using a baby sling or a baby wrap. Even if the baby does not burp, there is no need to stress since sometimes, the baby might not burp since there is no air to release.
- Even if you have tried all of those methods and it still does not work, there is no need to worry at all; you could even try gripe water or gas drops from pharmacies to make your baby work but always talk to a doctor about it before you start any of them. If you are worried about your baby’s gas situation, the best thing to do is talk to a doctor about it, and they will suggest methods that are safe for your baby.
Though there are a few methods to burp baby when asleep, remember that each baby is different, and you might need to try various techniques to find a method that works for your baby the best. Once you find that method, it will be easy to ensure your baby burps after every feeding session.