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Article: Is It Ok To Put Baby To Sleep Without Burping?

Is It Ok To Put Baby To Sleep Without Burping?

Is It Ok To Put Baby To Sleep Without Burping?

Putting your baby to sleep without burping after a feeding is a very common concern for many parents. On one hand, burping helps release any air swallowed during feeding which could otherwise cause discomfort or interrupt sleep. On the other hand, some babies fall asleep easily after eating and waking them up to burp may disrupt that.

Have you had trouble deciding whether or not to burp your little one before putting them down? What has been your experience? Some babies do fine without burping, while others definitely need it to avoid waking up fussy later. Pay attention to your baby's cues. If they fall asleep soundly and stay asleep burp-free, then it's likely fine to skip it. But if they are restless, gassy or spit up often without burping, then take the time to burp for relief.

As with many parenting choices, there is no one right answer that applies to every baby. Get to know your baby and what works best for them. I'm curious to hear what works for you! Please share your thoughts and experiences by email. Together we can gain some helpful insight into this common newborn dilemma.

Why do you burp your babies?

To release air swallowed during feeding. Babies can take in excess air when bottle feeding or breastfeeding, which can cause discomfort if left in their stomach.

To reduce spit up/vomiting. Getting out extra air and gas helps minimize reflux and spitting up after feeding.

To avoid gas pain. Air bubbles in the stomach can cause abdominal discomfort, fussiness and interrupt sleep.

To reduce gas/bloating. Burping helps expel any built up gas in baby's digestive system providing relief.

To avoid colic symptoms. Colic caused by gas and air in the stomach can lead to excessive crying. Burping can help reduce this.

To keep baby awake/extend feeding. Burping offers a little break if you want to keep baby alert for more feeding before bedtime.

To transition before sleeping. It helps baby relax and settle down after a feeding before being put down drowsy but awake.

Signs baby needs to burp

Fussiness during or after feeding - A happy baby that gets fussy while eating or right after may have swallowed too much air.

Squirming and wiggling - Babies will often squirm and writhe if they have gas pains in their belly.

Turning away from the bottle or breast - This can be a sign of needing a burping break if it's not fatigue or fullness.

Excessive spit up or vomiting - Babies are more likely to spit up if there is a lot of air in their stomach.

Hiccups - Frequent hiccups during or after feeding can mean there's air that needs to be released.

Gassiness or stomach rumbling - You may hear or feel bubbles in their belly as air and gas accumulates.

Trouble sleeping after eating - Discomfort from gas may make it hard for them to sleep.

Crying during diaper changes - Lying flat can put pressure on their belly if they have a lot of gas built up.

Pay attention as well to how long they fed from each breast or how many ounces they drank from a bottle. Long feeding times increase the amount of swallowed air. If you notice any of these signs, try burping your baby to see if it provides some relief. Every baby is different, so get to know what your little one needs most!

Can a baby burp while sleeping?

It's very common. Most babies will burp or pass gas while asleep from time to time. This is normal.

It doesn't always wake them. Some babies will burp loudly or make grunting noises from gas in their sleep but remain completely asleep. Others may briefly stir but go back to sleep.

Position matters. Babies who sleep on their backs are more prone to burping or spitting up during sleep. The upright position allows gravity to keep food down better.

It can be a sign of reflux. Babies with acid reflux often swallow air when feeding which then leads to escaped burps or hiccups in their sleep.

Trapped gas can wake them. While some gas passes without waking, excessive gas pains can rouse a baby from sleep or prevent deep sleep.

Burping before bedtime helps. Burping your baby well before putting them down can reduce gas and discomfort at night.

What happens if you don’t burp a baby? 

Discomfort - Undigested gas and air in the stomach can cause pain, fussiness and irritability in babies. Not burping allows this to build up.

Reflux - Extra gas and pressure in the stomach can cause spit up or reflux, where milk comes back up through the esophagus. This is uncomfortable for babies.

Colic - Unburped gas is one possible cause of infantile colic, intense crying episodes in babies.

Constipation - Too much gas and pressure can impact proper bowel function and cause constipation in some infants.

Poor feeding - A gassy, uncomfortable baby may feed poorly at subsequent feedings due to tummy troubles.

Loss of appetite

Spitting up excessively - Excess gas can cause more forceful, frequent spitting up in babies after feedings if not burped.

Gas pains - Trapped gas bubbles can cause painful cramping and irritation in the digestive system.

So it's important caregivers take the time after each feeding to gently burp babies by patting or rubbing their back to help release any swallowed air. This makes babies more comfortable as they digest their milk.

How often should you burp your baby?

Here are some general guidelines for burping babies:

Every 1-2 ounces of formula or breastmilk: Burp the baby when they have consumed around 1-2 ounces of liquid, which is usually every 5-10 minutes during a feeding. This prevents them from swallowing too much air.

After switching breasts: If breastfeeding, burp the baby in between switching breasts, usually after 10-15 minutes on the first side.

At the end of a feeding: Always burp well at the very end of a feeding, before returning the baby to their crib or caregiver.

If they seem uncomfortable: Even if it hasn't been long, burp if you notice signs baby needs to burp like fussing, arching their back, pulling legs up etc. Listen to baby's cues.

For 5-10 minutes: Gently pat or rub baby's back for 5-10 minutes at a time to help burps come up. Don't force if no burp occurs.

Every 30-60 minutes: Continue burping regularly every 30-60 minutes for 1-3 months when gas issues are more common. Respond promptly to fussiness.

The general guideline is burping about every 5-10 minutes during feeding and as needed based on baby's behavior or how much they consume. Individual babies may need more or less burping depending on their size, temperament and digestive system. Respond to their cues.

Best methods to burp a sleeping baby

Tummy time burps - Gently lay baby facedown on your lap or chest while patting their back. Support their head and make sure airway is clear.

Over-the-shoulder burps - Lay baby chest down across your arm with head resting on your shoulder. Pat their back steadily while sitting or standing.

Postnatal period with mother child

Seated burps - Sit baby upright on your lap, gently bending them slightly forward. Rub and pat up and down their back.

Side-lying burps - Lay baby on their side against your chest/torso in a curled position. Rub and pat their upper back.

Bounce burps - Stand baby upright with hand support while gently bouncing/swaying and patting their back.

Seated rock - While holding baby upright in your arms, gently rock from side to side in a chair to stimulate burping.

Using a burp cloth - When burping your baby, place a thin burp cloth or towel on their shoulder to prevent spit-up or saliva from soiling their clothes.

Adjusting bottle angle - If using a bottle for feeding, ensure that the bottle is angled to allow smoother milk flow, reducing the chance of swallowing air.

Beautiful mother with her baby

Offering baby more pause time - During feeding, allow your baby ample time to swallow, minimizing the likelihood of ingesting air.

Be very gentle not to jar or startle the sleeping baby. Go slowly, watch for swallowing and breathing, and stop if they become upset. Be ready to soothe them back to sleep. It's best to burp before deep sleep sets in. Contact pediatrician if gas issues persist.

Conclusion

In conclusion, burping a baby properly after feeding is important for both their physical and mental well-being. If a baby is not burped adequately, it can lead to discomfort symptoms like crying, digestive issues and difficulty passing gas. The right burping techniques help prevent babies from swallowing too much air and keep them comfortable while feeding. Burping every 1-2 ounces of milk as well as thoroughly burping after switching breasts and at the end of feeding can effectively relieve gas pressure. Different babies may require varying levels of burping depending on their individual physiology and temperament. Overall, paying close attention to a baby's cues and needs, and using gentle but effective burping positions, is a key part of ensuring their healthy development. Regular burping practices should therefore be followed diligently by caregivers.

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Yujia Shi

An expert in sleep sack design, is a valued contributor to Kaiya Baby's blog. With a strong background in baby sleep bags and maternal care, she is highly regarded for her professionalism. Yujia Shi prioritizes baby comfort and safety in her designs, using high-quality materials. Her insightful articles on sleep bags have been featured in reputable publications and have gained a significant readership. Trust Yujia Shi to help you create a comfortable and safe sleep environment for your baby, backed by her proven track record in the industry.

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