It’s a common knowledge that parents tend to burp their babies after feeding. This practice has been going on for a long time through generations and has become an integral part of childcare. When preparing for a new baby one of the things parents get are Burp Cloths in addition to blankets and towels and onesies. However, in recent times, there have been arguments that say burping a baby is not that necessary and is not needed. Below we explore both sides of the argument.

Advantages of Burping: Arguments For the Fact

When babies feed either through breastfeeding or a bottle, they also take in air and this air can interfere with the baby’s digestion and make them feel uneasy. Burping helps free this air which aids digestion and makes the baby more comfortable.

Doctors and experts in the pediatric field have said that this trapped air can lead to the baby suffering from colic stomach air. When excess air is trapped in the abdomen it leads to a higher probability of this problem occurring. Usually, the best way to solve this is by preventing its occurrence in the first place through burping. This will help your baby get the air out of his systems and reduce the occurrence of colic during the early months of his life

Burping a baby can prevent restless and sleepless nights. Usually, when a baby cries at night it can be because their stomach is upset due to trapped air in the gut. When this hap opens pick the bay up and try to burp them before and after your midnight feeding. Now if you feed your baby without first clearing the air that’s trapped can lead to more distress or even choking. Put the baby over your shoulder and pat their back or sit them up first to see if they feel relieved. Alos checked for a soiled diaper, the room temperature and other checks to see if that’s the causes some relieve.

Burping frees your baby from excess gas in the stomach and abdomen and If your baby is free of excess gas, they feel lighter and more playful and active. This way your baby would be more tuned to his environment, learn more things be receptive towards your commands and it improves their overall health.

Disadvantages of Burping: Arguments Against the Fact

The argument against burping says that you might not need to burp your babies at all. Most of this argument is based on the point that there is little to no scientific evidence that burping is in fact beneficial. Many moms find it difficult to burp a baby after every meal especially at night as they are tired or sleepy. A prominent proponent against burping is Bhavneet Bharti a researcher at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, India. She said she looked for studies that supported this age-old practice and to her surprise, she found none.

After her own personal experience of spending hours trying to burp her baby each day to no avail but exhausting her already exhausted self in the process, it led her to begin her research. The researchers enrolled 71 mother-newborn pairs. Half of the mothers received advice about immunizations, breastfeeding and other health issues, but none about burping. The other half of the mothers was instructed on how to burp their babies. Over the next three months, the moms kept track of their babies’ colic episodes (excessive crying, inconsolability or other signs of discomfort) and spit-ups, tallying each event every 24 hours.

The results, published in Child: Care, Health and Development in 2015, were striking: Burped babies didn’t cry less than ones that weren’t burped. And the burped babies actually spit up more: They spit up about eight times a week, on average, compared with 3.7 times a week for unburped babes.

These results were found fascinating considering that burping advice is one of the most popular advice given to parents. The proponents against burping argue that from the result of their study, it can be seen that the burping advice is not rooted on any strong evidence and so its invalid.

Another specialist in the pediatric space agrees with the findings of this study. She states that  burping “is a clever and well-done study of a ‘wellness practice’ that many people take for granted, but — as I would certainly agree with the authors — has rarely, if ever, been truly shown to have benefits,” says Jenifer Lightdale, a pediatric gastroenterologist who specializes in fussy infants and reflux at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester.

 

The proponents of this study argue that they are not entirely against burping as a caregiver or parent can intuitively give a baby a bur after feeding. Rather, they say what they argue against is the fact that you have to compulsorily try to burp your baby after each feeding.

However, this study is so far too preliminary to come to a conclusion that burping actually increases spit-ups. The test subjects were also too small and not diverse enough. The study also relied on the memories of the mothers that participated as opposed to a diligent and standard record keeping. In additions, the researchers didn’t track how often the babies in each group were actually burped. When these setbacks of the study are mentions, it seems to hold less and less credibility.

According to the specialist Lightdale, she said she doesn’t actually recommend burping. she says,

“Rather, I would consider the recommendation to burp a baby to be less medical advice, and more an infant feeding practice that is passed down across generations, and that humans universally seem to assume is useful for infants.” Her patients have come from all over the world: China, Nigeria, Brazil, France, the Philippines, Canada, India, Germany, Iceland, Russia and the United States. And she’d be hard pressed, she says, to think of any culture that doesn’t burp their babies. Perhaps medicine just hasn’t caught up yet. Folk wisdom that’s been passed down from generation to generation has its benefits which a lot of time are priceless”