It’s a known fact that newborns need to be burped after they eat to get rid of any gas created from drinking milk and swallowing air. There are times you’ll find your baby has drifted off to sleep after being fed and you don’t want to wake them. You may be tempted to skip burping them and just lay them down. This can cause them to wake up in extreme pain later. Instead, you should consider how to burp a sleeping baby but not waking them.
How to Burp a Sleeping Baby Without Waking
Burp Your Baby While Holding Them
If your baby likes to cuddle while they sleep, or lay on their stomach, this is a good way to burp them. Carefully move your baby to your body so as not to wake them. Rest their chin or head on your shoulder and cup their bottom for support.
Babies that can control their head and neck may be held a little away from your body. Place their tummy over your shoulder and use your shoulder to help push against their tummy. Keep baby comfortable, while pressing their tummy against your shoulder to burp them.
Burp Your Baby While They’re Lying Down
How to burp a sleeping baby without waking them? If you are lying next to your infant feeding them, this is a great way to burp your baby. Pull your baby close and prop their head and belly on your lap.
Put your baby in your lap, crosswise. Place their tummy on your leg, applying gentle pressure. Keep their body even, so the blood doesn’t rush to their head.
Tilt their head so breathing is easy. Support their head with your hand, placing your index finger and thumb on their chin below the ear. Don’t place against the throat or neck, so you don’t constrict breathing. Wait until the baby burps.
Place Your Baby Against Your Body
This is best for heavy sleepers, or those babies who like to sleep on their stomachs. It can be hard to get the baby into position and not wake them.
Lean back against a couch or chair, making a 130-degree angle. You can use pillows to help support yourself if in bed.
Lean your baby slowly against your body, face down. Keep their head on your chest, and their stomach against yours.
Place your hand on their back while supporting their bottom and gently pat.
Continue until you hear them burp.
What If You Wake Your Baby
Now you know how to burp a sleeping baby without waking them. Many tired and concerned parents worry about waking them up. They wake often while learning their natural rhythm. Every babe is different, and doesn’t sleep, eat or burp in the exact same way. In general, they can be unpredictable, so waking can be inevitable. Try not to get stressed because they will go back to sleep.
If they don’t burp, they can wake up as well because of the discomfort. Adults can relate to this bloated feeling. Once they have burped, changing and rocking will get them comfortable enough to go back to sleep. To get the best methods, time and repetition is all that’s needed. Parents tend to get into a rhythm with the baby after a bit and can be done without waking the baby.
Is It Okay to Put Baby to Sleep Without Burping?
Your baby won’t come to any harm if you put them down to sleep without burping them. Some babies won’t need as much burping as others. Getting your baby to sleep after burping can help to prevent tummy pain. If your child has G.E.R.D, you will have to burp them well to minimize discomfort. If your child seems comfortable and sleeps easily, they may not need much burping at all.
When Should You Burp Your Child?
Pay attention to your baby’s eating habits and you will understand burping them better. Are they squirming or fussy when you feed them? Watch their body language and you will see when they need gas relief from burping. Most who need burping, will get squirmy or visibly fussy while feeding. Infants need to be burped to relieve their body of gas from milk. It is very important to help them burp so they can fall asleep.
Most babies can burp on their own around two months and won’t need to be burped any longer by around 4-6 months, so you won’t have to burp them after this.
Keep track of their burps. Pay attention to how often they need to be burped every feeding. If they don’t burp with day feedings, they likely won’t at night.
Most night nursing babies won’t burp much because they aren’t as anxious when nursing at night.
Some infants burp more than others. This can be from how they eat, and those on a bottle tend to swallow more air than those who breastfeed.
Generally, most breastfed babies get burped when switching to the next breast and then when they are finished. Bottle babies should be burped every two or three ounces.
Consider special bottles designed to help eliminate air from getting trapped in your baby’s belly.
How Long Should Burping Last?
There isn’t a time limit that you should strive for, or a number of burps. Each child will be different. How long you need to burp your baby can depend on their own circumstances. It’s more common for parents to burp their baby for too long, than not long enough. This can keep your baby awake and make them over-tired and fussy. Then it can be hard to tell if they are fussy from being tired or from being gassy.
Soon after eating, your newborn will be ready to sleep. Don’t spend too long burping her so she can get her rest.
What If They Spit Up During Burping?
It isn’t unusual for your baby to spit up when getting burped. This is generally because the air gets trapped beneath milk, thus when the air comes out, so does the milk. Babies commonly spit up and it can even come from their nose so try not to worry about it.
Reflux can also be a cause of spit up. This is when gastric juices flow back from tummy to the mouth, causing spit up. If your baby does this often and loses a lot of milk, you may want to burp them while upright, to keep the milk from going back in their mouths.
They will generally outgrow this by 1-2 years of age. Make sure to have a clean cloth under them when you are burping them to help keep spit-up from getting on your clothes. You can then use this cloth to wipe your baby’s nose and mouth.