You know that burping your newborn is important and might be wondering what exactly happens if she doesn't manage to burp after a meal. Because you want to avoid an unhappy and gassy baby, you diligently pat your tiny infant's back to bring up the excess air from her tummy. Although trapped air could be uncomfortable for your baby, burping need not be too worrisome for parents.
A newborn cries for many different reasons, including discomfort, hunger and sleepiness. If a baby becomes extremely agitated, crying may cause your little one to swallow air simultaneously, which can trap air in his tummy. Trapped air in a baby's stomach might cause pain, which results in more crying. The cycle of unreleased air, followed by additional crying, can cause a difficult situation for both newborn and parents.
Newborns don’t have a significant need to burp, simply because they don’t eat large quantities at a time. A breastfed newborn probably doesn’t swallow as much air during feedings as a bottle-fed infant because the baby’s latch to the breast is tighter than the latch to a synthetic nipple, letting in less air while feeding.
Observing the Baby
As you feed your baby, watch and listen so you'll notice if your baby swallows air. Drinking quickly, gulping and fussing are indications that your little one is consuming air along with milk. If you hear excessive gulping, interrupt a feeding and burp your baby to prevent him from becoming uncomfortable, suggests the American Academy of Pediatrics. Anytime your baby cries frantically, it’s also safe to assume that he’s swallowing air. In these situations when it's noticeable that air is going down into your baby’s tummy, it’s likely he needs to burp or he may become uncomfortable.
Upright positions generally work most effectively for burping a baby, according to AskDrSears.com. Place your newborn in a sitting position on your lap, supporting her front with one hand and leaning her forward slightly. Pat the baby’s back gently to release air from her tummy. You might also place your baby upright on your shoulder to pat her back gently. If your baby doesn’t burp after a minute or two of this, she probably doesn’t need to burp and you can safely relax without fear of tummy troubles.