When I brought my baby home, everything was new and exciting. I was filled with curiosity about what the future held.
But I was also filled with questions and uncertainty. Like; is it ok to put baby to sleep without burping?
One day, I was sitting on the couch feeding my baby and noticed he was getting a little fussy, so I decided to try to burp him.
No matter how hard or what technique I tried, my baby would not burp. He seemed uncomfortable, but for some reason, I could not get him to burp.
I was worried about putting him to sleep without burping first. After all, it’s common advice to burp your baby after feeding.
So, I used my 15+ year background as a researcher in the health and supplement world to find the answer.
I went through every study conducted on the benefits of burping a baby. I eventually found the answer.
I was surprised, to say the least!
Is It Ok To Put Baby To Sleep Without Burping?
You know the drill: you feed your baby, then you burp them. It’s one of the most essential parts of taking care of a newborn – or so we’ve been led to believe.
However, a growing body of research suggests that burping may not be necessary for all babies. In fact, some experts say that skipping the burp can actually be beneficial for both baby and parent.
So why the change of heart? One reason is that many babies simply don’t need to be burped.
Newborns tend to swallow a lot of air while they’re eating, but they eventually learn to control their breathing and swallowing so that they don’t take in as much air.
As a result, they may not need to be burped at all. And even when they do need to be burped, it’s often just a quick pat on the back that does the trick – no vigorous rubbing required.
Another reason why experts are rethinking the importance of burping is that it can actually disrupt a baby’s sleep.
When you stop to burp your baby, it interrupts their natural sleep rhythm and makes it harder for them to drift off again.
What Happens If I Don’t Burp My Baby Before Sleeping
A study tested the benefits of burping by dividing a group of moms and babies into two large groups. They then followed and tracked colic and burping patterns on each baby after feeding them.
After tracking for three months, the study found that the group that was burped did not show any reduction in colic or benefits from being burped when compared to the group that was never burped.
But what’s more interesting is that they found that the babies who were burped had a significantly higher risk of spitting up and regurgitating after feeding.
There are many things we consider absurd today that were once commonly held beliefs of society.
For a long time, we thought the world was flat (some people still think it is). We also thought that people with anxiety were possessed by demons… and that you could cure illnesses with a tobacco enema.
It turns out that burping a baby is one of those beliefs that have been passed down through generations, but we never cared to question.
But old habits are hard to change. I still burp my baby occasionally when I feel he’s not feeling ok.
But I no longer worry about it.
It is up to you to decide whether you go with scientific studies or the more traditional belief of burping. In either case, I always recommend you consult your doctor.
In either case, after researching burping more than I’m proud to admit, I have created this guide for you.
In this article, you will discover the answer to the most common baby burping questions.
Remember, not every baby needs to burp. Some don’t respond to burping attempts, no matter how much you try. A few factors affect whether your baby needs to release the excess gas from their stomach, i.e., burping.
The Differences Between Breastfeeding vs. Bottle feeding and Burping
According to studies from the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, the University of Auckland, babies who are breastfed and latch correctly generally swallow less air while eating, and therefore may not need to burp before they sleep.
Bottle-fed babies are more likely to need to burp since they have an increased chance of swallowing more air.
If your baby swallows air while eating and seems otherwise healthy, you can probably skip the burping attempt at nighttime and put them down without worrying too much about it.
Do Colicky Babies Need More Burping?
If your baby suffers from colic, you can try to burp him after eating. Some colicky babies respond to being burped and find relief from the discomfort.
But, again, if your baby doesn’t seem to be responding to the burping attempts, don’t worry about it too much and put them down to sleep.
Colicky baby’s stomachs are more sensitive, and any air bubble can result in pain that will keep your baby, and subsequently you, up all night.
How you position your baby while they are eating can also decrease the chances of swallowing air and increase the risk of burping.
2 Positions That Can Help Your Baby Burp Faster
How you hold your baby can also affect whether they need to burp or not. If you are holding your baby in a seated position, they are less likely to burp.
If you are holding them in a lying-down position, they are more likely to burp.
And holding them in an upright or semi-upright position can also improve your chances of burping.
Typically, it takes babies five to seven minutes to burp after feeding, so be patient and let the air release itself from their stomachs.
If you find your baby struggles to burp, and you believe he needs to, you can lay him on his back in his crib for about a minute, pick him up, and repeat twice.
Begin burping him again and see if that helps release the trapped air.
The Age Of Your Baby Can Affect Burping
The older your baby gets, the less likely they are to need to burp. This is because they learn to control their swallowing and take in less air while eating.
Babies won’t need as much burping once they reach about 4 or 5 months old. And the need for burping usually goes away after a few months.
3 Quick Ways to Tell If Your Baby Needs To Burp
It’s hard to tell if your baby needs to burp. You may not always see the telltale signs of a baby who needs to burp.
But there are a few ways you can tell if your baby needs to let out some gas.
- Is your baby fussing and uncomfortable?
Showing signs of discomfort, as discussed above, if he’s prone to spitting up, or if he’s passing gas are all indicators your baby may need to burp.
- Is your baby making a lot of noise, or even vomiting?
A lot of noise during or after a feeding session is a good sign that your baby needs to burp. As well as vomiting, which could be a sign of severe discomfort and air in the stomach.
- Is your baby’s stomach making loud noises after feeding?
This is a great way to check and see if your baby needs to burp. Loud stomach noises, which can be heard with or without a stethoscope, are often caused by excess air in the baby’s tummy.
Babies tend to swallow air during their feeding sessions and produce these audible stomach rumbles as gas builds up in their tummies.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you can try burping your baby.
Should I Let My Baby Rest Before Burping?
If your baby isn’t prone to spitting up, there’s no need to let him rest before you burp him. Make sure not to pat him too hard or move him around too much right after feeding to ensure the milk stays down and doesn’t make a repeat appearance!
As we discovered from different studies, moving your baby around too much after eating can actually make things worse and cause him to spit up.
Once your baby has had time to swallow his food you can sit him up on your lap, place him upright on your shoulder, or gently lay him on his belly to burp him.
How Long After Feeding Can I Put My Baby Down?
There is no set amount of time after feeding to put your baby down; it depends on how he acts. If you’ve tried burping him, and he’s showing no signs of discomfort, go ahead and put him down.
Likewise, if he’s cranky or fidgety, spend some more time trying to get the air out and get a nice big burp.
Generally, it’s safe to put your baby to bed between 30 minutes and an hour after feeding, but always be on the lookout for signs that he’s still not comfortable.
The Trick To Getting Your Baby To Burp While Laying Down
If your baby is lying on their stomach, you can gently rub or pat their back to remove air bubbles from their stomach. However, if he is lying on his back, you shouldn’t try burping him as this is dangerous.
If you’re worried about waking your baby to burp him, chances are he will sleep through it or fall asleep immediately after. Especially if he’s in pain, a good burp can be the best way to soothe him back to dreamland.
Having a baby means worrying about their well-being, and knowing if it is ok to put the baby to sleep without burping is a question many parents ask.
Does Spit-Up Count As A Burp?
Spit-up is not the same thing as a burp. However, it may be a result of not properly burping your baby or even burping him too hard. Spit-up occurs when your baby’s stomach contents come back up, which is a common occurrence with most infants.
Studies say that burping can actually cause spit-up, so it is best to keep a close eye on how your baby reacts to burping.
A small amount of spit-up is normal, but if it constantly happens after every feeding or there is a considerable amount, it’s a good idea to contact your pediatrician and let them know what’s going on.
A Quick Summary of This Guide…
It’s ok to put a baby to sleep without burping them. In fact, scientific studies show no benefits in burping a baby. It might even do more harm than good.
It’s safe to put a baby to bed between 30 minutes and an hour after feeding, but always be on the lookout for signs that they’re still not comfortable.
Spit-up is normal for babies, but if it’s constant or there’s a lot of it, then contact your pediatrician for recommendations.
If the baby is lying on their stomach, you can gently rub or pat their back to remove air bubbles from their stomach, but you shouldn’t try burping them if they’re lying on their back.
If you’re ever in doubt about something, your pediatrician is usually a phone call away.
You’re doing a wonderful job, don’t worry about getting everything perfect. Remember, the fun is in the journey!
PS. Leave a comment if you found this guide helpful. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions as well. I’m here to help in any way I can!