Babies With Reflux Need Special Burping Techniques
Strategies For Burping Babies With Reflux Or Vomiting
A baby’s comfort is so important. When we see our babies fuss and squirm we try to do everything we can to help them feel better. I remember when my son was a week old and was crying and nothing soothed him. Everyone in our house was trying to do skin-to-skin, rocking, and singing. If it was a soothing strategy we were trying it. After a couple of hours and a full bottle, he reset. He slept for the longest stretch he slept until at least a year later. Safe to say soothing does not always work and the only thing that works is time. For everyday distress or discomfort such as infants with reflux starting with a few key strategies helps them reduce their discomfort.
Bouncing & Patting Can Be Too Much
If you had an upset stomach and needed to burp, having someone shake you or strike your back repeatedly may force the burp out but it does not feel comfortable. Worse yet more than the burp may come out. I find this to often be the case with babies who struggle with reflux. We are trying to get air out to calm their stomach but it happens so violently that they end up in more discomfort. This does not take into account the lost milk that comes with it. For my family who struggled to get an adequate milk supply, the liquid gold is mourned. There is a better answer for families looking to help provide relief.
Hold, Rock, & Stroke
HaRS helps babies who struggle with reflux. It provides stimulus to assist in removing uncomfortable air or an overfilled stomach. When you (H)old a baby you contain them. This allows them to relax instead of curl up. Broad hand contact is key and helps a baby and their parents feel contained in the position. Rocking helps gently move the contents of the stomach. This can be done in a chair or with your child sitting on your legs and moving their torso front to back or in a circular motion. Lastly stroking the back with broad hand contact from bottom to head helps the back extend and relax to allow movement of air by way of gravity. We do not need to dislodge air quickly. For little ones who like to be even closer or need to feel contained, there is another option.
The hip wiggle is fairly simple. With your baby’s chest on one side and head over your shoulder instead of patting, wiggle the hips. This hip wiggle is gentle and eases any air or overfilled belly contents. A much gentler way to help provide relief. Regardless of the strategy used, think gently for your baby. By providing enough stimulus to achieve the goal of expelling air you limit the irritation and negative effects.
Provide Just Enough
If you have ever thrown up you know the first time is always the hardest. Then you may find yourself not able to hold anything back. This is because it opens the epiglottis. A small flap that keeps things in our stomach. In babies, this tissue is not developed yet. This means it is even easier to open the gate and keep it open. By doing as little as possible you allow this tissue to have a break. You also reduce the irritation your baby experiences. Overall this helps babies with reflux. If your baby is a happy spitter, providing more stimulation may keep them happy. If however you are experiencing a gradual increase in irritability and distress HaRS and hip wiggles may become your best friend.
Your baby will thank you.