Worried that your baby burps a lot, disrupting her sleep? Learn effective tips to burping your little one for smoother sleep and less fussing.
Burping is supposed to be good for the baby, you reassure yourself.
Except your little one is waking up more frequently, whether from naps or at night, because she needs to burp. Instead of the one-hour nap you were hoping for, you find yourself picking her up after 20 minutes, patting the air bubbles out or cleaning her spit ups.
Never mind that she burped many times before you’d put her to bed or laid her down for a nap. Her need to burp keeps disturbing her sleep and cutting it short. You feel like you’re holding her in an upright position forever after every feeding.
And to make it worse, she has a hard time falling back to sleep after burping, and wants to stay awake instead.
What to do when your baby burps a lot
Rest assured friend, you’re not the only one who has had a gassy baby who burps a lot and wears a bib 24/7. It’s especially hard at night when you’re already sleepy and exhausted, only to hear your baby wake up from gas. Never mind that she won’t stop burping, making you wonder what’s causing all the gas in the first place.
Often, a baby burps a lot because she took in too much air during feedings. Whether breastfeeding or bottle feeding, there’s always that chance that she sucks in excess air that then gets trapped in her body. Being so small, she needs help expelling the gas, usually through burps.
Another culprit is lying down during or right after a feeding. The breast milk or formula she ingested passes better when she’s held upright instead of flat on her back. And of course, you’ll want to speak with her pediatrician to rule out complications like an intolerance for milk or gerd.
So, what can you do when your baby burps a lot? Take a look at these tips to ease your baby’s discomfort and make life a little easier for the both of you:
1. Burp your baby during feedings
You likely burp your baby after feedings, but if he burps a lot, you might want to burp him during feedings as well.
Burp bottle-fed babies after every two to three ounces, or halfway through the bottle. For breastfed babies, burp between changing sides or positions.
More than likely, he’ll appreciate the ability to burp, or at least rest, in the middle of a feeding. His food will also have an easier time making its way to his belly when he’s held. Even holding him upright for a minute or two can help.
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2. Feed at an incline
Just as you want to hold your baby upright after feedings, so too should you keep her at an incline when you feed. You can imagine how uncomfortable you’d be if you ate your meals completely on your back.
If you bottle feed, hold her in your arms at an angle or, if she’s old enough, sit her in an infant seat. If you breastfeed, choose positions where she can still be at an incline during feedings.
In either case, your baby’s head should be above her tummy.
3. Don’t put your baby down asleep
Tired of your baby waking up because he has to burp? Put him down drowsy but awake. This will ensure that whatever gas he needs to expel comes out before he has fallen asleep. You’re also helping him learn how to put himself to sleep—a habit you’ll definitely want him to have.
You can do this even during the bedtime and middle-of-the-night feedings. Prevent him from falling asleep while he eats by tickling, changing positions, talking, and burping him mid-feed. That way, he’s still slightly awake when you put him down to sleep.
4. Feed your baby after waking up, not to fall asleep
Part of the trouble of feeding your baby to sleep is that she’s often flat on her back soon after. She also doesn’t have many opportunities to burp when she’s fast asleep after a feed. And of course, she’ll rely on feeding to fall asleep, setting her up for unsustainable sleep habits.
Instead, as much as possible, feed her after she wakes up instead of right before falling asleep. For instance, feed her after she wakes up for the day. Then, instead of feeding her before the first nap, simply put her down to sleep. You’ll then feed her after she wakes up from the nap.
The only exception would be the bedtime or middle-of-the-night feeds. You obviously wouldn’t want her to stay awake after eating when she’s supposed to be asleep. But try to keep her from falling asleep during feeds, and spend several minutes burping and holding her upright before putting her down.
5. Try other positions or exercises
If your baby burps a lot despite your usual, and sometimes lengthy, burping sessions, try other positions or even gas exercises.
For instance, instead of holding him over the shoulder like you usually do, try bouncing him on your lap or holding him across your forearm.
If you do hold him over your shoulder, try walking around the house heavily on your feet. Many parents have said that walking up and down the stairs encourages their babies to burp with each step.
Or try gas exercises. Lay him down on his back, squeezing his opposite elbows and knees together or bicycling his legs. And try patting his back with the heel of your hand if extra pressure is needed.
6. Give solids in the morning
Have you introduced solids to your baby? If so, try to offer the meal in the morning.
That way, she has plenty of time between eating and bedtime for the food to digest. After all, your baby’s stomach is still adjusting to new food and learning how to digest them. Feeding solids earlier in the morning will allow her to digest and pass gas throughout the day.
And remember to track the solids she eats as you offer them, introducing only one food at a time. That way, you can see if a particular food is causing problems.
Dealing with a gassy baby—especially at night—can be a challenge for already-exhausted parents. Try burping your baby during feedings, making sure she’s at an incline. Avoid putting her down asleep, and instead feed her after she wakes up, not before naps.
Experiment with different burping positions and exercises to get gas bubbles up and out. And if she’s already eating solids, offer food early in the morning.
Now burping your baby doesn’t have to be an endless ordeal, nor will she cut her naps and sleep short because of a lingering burp.
Get more tips:
- How to Burp a Baby That Is Hard to Burp
- 5 Useful Tips for New Dads in the Newborn Stage
- How to Burp a Sleeping Baby
- When Can You Stop Burping a Baby?
- Is Burping a Newborn After Breastfeeding Necessary?
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