If you have a basic knowledge of caring for babies, you know that they need to be burped after they’ve been fed. This all seems very obvious and very simple—right up until your baby falls asleep while eating. Falling asleep when nursing or taking a bottle is normal for a baby, and many parents use it as a way to help their infant get to sleep. But then what? Do you set your baby down and hope for the best? Or do you try to burp them and risk waking them up? Keep reading to get tips on how to burp a sleeping baby. And if you’re looking for a baby sleep swaddle to help your baby sleep better, check out our products.

Burp Halfway Through

It’s a good idea to try to burp your baby halfway through their feeding. This is actually true whether your baby falls asleep while eating or not. Pausing to burp halfway through the bottle or when switching breasts helps to slow down the feeding, so your baby doesn’t overeat. It also allows your baby to get out any excess gas more gently to avoid any gas pains and can prevent spitting up later.

Burp in a Comfortable Position

If your goal is to keep your baby asleep while burping them, make sure they’re in a comfortable, cozy position. If you tend to sit your baby upright on your lap and cradle their chin while burping them, you might want to reserve this position for times when your baby is still awake after a feeding. To keep a sleeping baby asleep while burping, try these positions instead:

  • Over your shoulder
  • High on your chest (with their head near your heart)
  • Sloth hold (tummy resting on your forearm, head in the crook of your elbow)
  • Laying across your knees (you may rock your legs side to side as you burp them to help soothe them and keep them sleepy)

Whichever position you choose, make sure to move your baby slowly and gently into that position to keep them asleep.

Be More Patient

When burping a baby who’s awake, you likely pat their backs quite firmly. But if you want your baby to stay asleep, you’ll need to be a bit gentler and move a bit more slowly when burping them. The positions listed above help put pressure on baby’s tummy to help move the gas out, so you can keep your pats steady and gentle to encourage those gas bubbles to move along without waking up your baby. You just might need to give it a little extra time before that burp will finally come.

Do You Really Need to Burp Them?

When it’s the middle of the night and baby has just fallen asleep after eating, it can be tempting to lay them back down and fall back into bed yourself. Take the extra time to try to get a good, solid burp out of your baby first. This can help deal with any gas bubbles while you’re already up, so you can hopefully get a solid stretch of sleep without being awoken again by a fussy, gassy baby.

Of course, every baby is different. As the parent, you’ll quickly learn whether your baby is one who needs to be burped every time or if they can eat without burping. Follow your instincts, and do what is best for your baby’s needs.

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