How Long to Keep Baby Upright after Feeding? 10 Minutes? 20 Minutes? An Hour? Every new parent will likely have numerous questions about taking care of their new-born. Since it is their first time dealing with such a situation, it can often be overwhelming. But something most new parents will learn to embrace, is getting flooded with advice from those around them.
Most of the time, people tell them how to care for their baby the “right way” according to their opinions. And usually, their views are based on their own experiences.
A question like “how long to keep the baby upright after feeding” is very common and something many new parents worry about. They are usually confused about whether they put the baby down too soon or not. The answer to this question depends on many factors.
The time you need to keep your baby upright depends on their age, feeding habits, and medical conditions. During the new-born stage, it is advised that the Baby must be kept up for around 10-15 minutes after being fed. However, you must keep them up longer if they have GERD or spit up.
In this blog, we will discuss how long to keep a baby upright after feeding, the products that can help you, how to burp them correctly, and some of our other neat tricks! So, keep scrolling to learn more!
Why should you keep your new-born upright after feeding?
The main reason why you need to keep your baby upright is biological. Adults and older children have a muscle called the lower oesophageal sphincter between their stomach and oesophagus.
This muscle helps to keep the stomach’s contents in the stomach and not come back up. It only opens when food and liquids need to enter the stomach when you swallow and sends out trapped air and gastric contents when you burp.
For children below the age of 2, this muscle does not have enough strength to function properly. This leads to the muscle randomly opening up and causes reflux. It is perfectly normal in babies and usually reduces by their first birthday.
Spit-up is usually cream or white when it happens right after you feed your baby. If the milk has been in their stomach for a while, it will look slightly yellow and curdled.
After you feed your baby, keeping them upright allows gravity to help them digest. It helps the milk to move through the stomach into the small intestine, which makes the stomach less full. This prevents them from spitting up too much or experiencing discomfort due to gas once you put them down.
Very often, babies are prone to acid reflux or could have a medical condition that affects their digestion. If your baby is experiencing this, get them checked by a paediatrician. They might suggest keeping them upright longer after feeding or asking you to keep them slightly inclined during the feed.
It is important to remember that all babies are different and must be kept up for a long time. Some might require less, while others need more time to digest their milk.
How to keep your baby upright after feeding
Spitting up usually happens right after your baby is fed, which is when their stomach is full. Holding your baby upright keeps their body straight.
Try to avoid keeping your baby upright in a sitting position because it puts pressure on their stomach which worsens the reflux. Another thing you should avoid is tight clothes on your baby which puts pressure on their tummy.
Keeping your baby upright for about 15 minutes allows their stomach to settle down and gives you time to burp them. This can be followed by skin-to-skin contact with your little one, which will help you relax and sleep well. And a lot of the time even reduces spit-ups and reflux.
If you notice your baby spitting up even after 15 minutes, you should try to keep them upright for 30 minutes after their feed. And if your baby has a gastrointestinal condition like esophagitis or GERD, it is better to keep them up for at least an hour.
It can be hard to spend an entire hour holding your baby upright, which is why different products are made to help you out. You can try using the following items:
Baby Wrap Sling
Wearing your baby duplicates the feeling of being in the womb and makes them very comfortable. Babies take time to get used to their new environment, but putting them in a baby wrap helps them adapt quicker.
A baby wrap is a perfect option for a parent to keep their baby upright without carrying the baby. Doing this reduces reflux and improves digestion.
You can put your baby in a baby chair about 15 to 20 minutes after feeding them. Make sure to do this after you have burped them as it reduces the chance of a spit-up and acid reflux.
Most baby chairs also have a swing and vibration mode. This soothes fussy babies, especially those with colic and acid reflux.
However, you must note that a baby swing chair is not a substitute for your baby’s bed. Though they generally have a recline feature, ensure you put your baby in their cot when it’s time to sleep. Also, ensure the baby swing is close to you so you can keep an eye on your little one.
Once you use these products, you will no longer have to worry about how long to keep your baby upright after feeding because your little one will be happy and comfortable. They will no longer fuss or feel gassy.
Why it is necessary to burp your Baby after Feeding?
Burping your baby is an essential part of feeding. Doing this lets out the air your baby swallows when they are being fed. All Babies swallow air, so you must burp them to ensure they do not spit up, feel gassy, or get cranky. Doing this will take your mind off the question of how long to keep your baby upright after feeding since your baby will instantly feel better.
To burp your baby, you just need to gently pat or rub their back with your hand in a cup position. You will also need to use certain products to ensure there is no mess to clean up after you are done. Most parents get a muslin cloth or a drool infant baby cloth which helps them when the baby has a “wet burp.”
These products are highly absorbent and are helpful when you have to wipe away spit-up drool and mucus. They are essential to own, especially because it keeps your outfit mess-free, and they are very easy to wash. You can get them in any colour or pattern, which makes them cute enough to wear when you go out.
The preferred way to burp a Baby
How long to keep Baby Upright after feeding will often depend on how successful the Burping Operation is! When burping your baby, you need to be in a position that is comfortable for both of you. Most parents use one of the following methods:
- Sit up straight and hold your Baby against your chest. Your baby’s chin must be on your shoulder while you support them with one hand and pat their back with the other. Many parents have found that sitting in a rocking chair helps comfort their baby.
- Keep your baby in a sitting position on one knee. Support their head and chest with one hand and gently cradle your baby’s chin in your palm. Ensure the heel of your palm is on your baby’s chest and not their throat. Pat your baby’s back with your other hand.
- Put your baby on its belly and keep them slightly inclined. Support their head while you pat or rub your baby’s back.
If your Baby doesn’t burp after a few minutes, switch positions and try again.
While feeding your baby, if they start to act fussy, immediately stop. Try burping them, and then get back to feeding. You might need to take a burping break every 5 minutes during breastfeeding if:
- They are gassy
- Tend to spit up a lot
- Have gastroesophageal reflux (GER)
- Seem fussy when you are feeding them
What happens if you do not burp your new-born after feeding?
Burping your baby after you feed them is essential because they would otherwise experience discomfort and potential health problems. This is something every parent wants to avoid because not burping your baby causes:
- Gas and bloating: Babies swallow a lot of air when they are fed. This causes gas and bloating in their digestive system, which leads them to become uncomfortable and fussy.
- Reflux: Burping your baby helps to prevent gastroesophageal reflux. It is a condition where contents from the stomach flow back through the oesophagus. If left untreated, it could lead to more serious health issues.
- Colic: Colic is a condition where a baby cries for long hours due to digestive discomfort. It happens when a baby isn’t burped regularly.
- Discomfort: When babies have trapped air in their digestive system, they get fussier than usual. It makes it hard for them to sleep or engage in other activities and disrupts their daily routine.
How long to keep Baby Upright after feeding in the Night?
After your baby falls asleep, it can be hard to try and burp them. But you must do it because they need to pass that bubble.
During the new-born stage, most of the baby’s meals are in liquid form. This requires you to pat their backs and ease their gassy tummy. But if your baby drifts off to sleep as soon as the feed is over, burping them can be tricky.
While it can be tempting to just put them down to sleep, not burping them will make them very uncomfortable. This will lead to them waking up or spitting up, which is not something you would want. Particularly if you are attempting to teach them to sleep without a Dummy.
You probably have one goal in mind, to do it quickly, so they do not wake up. So here is our strategy on how to do that:
- Try the “over the shoulder”: Carrying your baby over your shoulder is one of the simplest ways to burp them without waking them up. Lay your baby against your shoulder while you hold up their bottom and gently pat their back.
- Keep them on your lap: You must lay your Baby face-down on your lap as you gently rub or pat on their back. This position is a little tricky because it can lead to more spit-up than normal when you try to get that burp out.
- Hold your baby sitting up: Place the baby’s little head in a sitting position and tilt them forward while gently patting their back.
All these positions are very useful and get that burp out quickly.
Another thing to remember is that even after a dream feed – a late-night feeding – you need to burp your little one. This is because a feed at any time creates gas or can cause your baby to spit up. So no matter the time of day, make sure to burp your baby and eliminate the pressure in them.
If for some reason, you can’t seem to get your baby to burp, you do not have to panic. They will probably be just alright. Some babies may pass out the gas from the other end or might spit up after you put them down.
How to get rid of gas and colic?
When you have a new-born at home, you want to be prepared for anything. There are several products that a parent would need to have in case of an emergency. If your baby tends to get gassy or has colic, you should keep these products at home:
Gripe water is a natural product that can be given to babies who have tummy problems and gas. These are common problems babies face because they have immature digestive systems. And apart from treating stomach problems, gripe water is also a remedy for hiccups, teething pain, and colic.
Generally, there are no side effects of gripe water, but most parents have noticed their baby gets drowsy. If you notice any other symptoms, immediately stop using gripe water and get your baby checked. It is best to talk to a doctor before giving this to your baby.
You should note that it is best to keep gripe water as the backup plan. If your baby has gas, use other gas relief methods like leg bicycling, abdominal massage, or tummy time once they are a little older.
Gassiness becomes less of an issue when your little one is around four to six months old. You can try to reduce how gassy your baby feels by burping them in between feeds, about 10-15 minutes apart. Getting the extra air out can prevent them from feeling uncomfortable. How long to keep Baby Upright after feeding will be closely linked to the age of your Baby, and their ability to ‘De Gas’.
Colief Infant Drops
Some babies have trouble breaking down lactose, which is present in breast milk and infant formula. This causes them a lot of discomfort and is known as colic. It leads to the baby crying in distress for prolonged periods.
Most often, parents get frustrated because they cannot find a way to console their baby. If your baby constantly cries for hours, cannot be calmed down, and is very fussy throughout the day, you must get them checked for colic.
There are many ways to soothe a baby that has colic. Giving your baby colief infant drops is one of the most effective methods. It is completely natural and aids the body in breaking down lactose into simple sugars, galactose, and glucose. This makes it much easier for your baby to digest the milk after every feed.
Colic is a very common condition in Babies and generally lasts from birth to about three to four months. You can try to prevent colic by reducing the air your baby swallows. This can be done by holding your baby upright when feeding.
So, how long to keep the baby upright after feeding?
Keeping your baby upright after you feed them is something everyone does as it is a part of feeding your baby. You need to give their little tummies some time to digest their food. Burping your baby will help to get out any gas and will certainly avoid a spit-up.
You must note that when babies start sitting up, they stop spitting up. This usually happens when they are around 6 months, but it can vary.
One problem solved, 99 to go! We hope you enjoyed the read! Have you ever experienced an unfortunate ‘Code White’? Perhaps you have experienced a night of hell with your Colicky Baby? Share it with us in the comments – we would love to hear!