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Our baby was born prematurely and had to be bottle fed. The nurses joked that she was a 'windy baby' when she was being nursed. Now she's home and nearly six weeks old, she's devouring ample amounts of breast milk via a bottle.

The problem is that she can take up to two hours to burp after a feed. Sometimes I fear this takes so long she actually starts getting hungry again. During the night this is reducing our sanity. All our friends say that their babies burp within a few minutes after feeding.

Can anyone offer any help? We've replaced the cheap supermarket bottles that were recommended for premature baby, with Phillips Avent, and now with Tommy Tippee anti-colic varieties with a medium-flow teat. We've also tried Infacol (which made her worse!) and now Dentinox, but we're still not much better off.

She's growing fine, so maybe I shouldn't worry and just deal with it?

Update

I can't believe I only asked this 8 days ago, it feels like a lot longer!

Anyway, the difference in that time has been amazing. She's winding loads better (between 5 and 45 minutes) and seems a lot calmer after feeding. Tommy Tippee was the bottle that made a difference, although I think it was more due to a phase of growth and stomach development :-) Anyway, I had 6.5 hours sleep last night and feel like a new person :-)

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I'd say as long as she's not having an excess amount of gas pains then she's fine.

There will always be some bouts of gas pain to deal with (at those times we found that moving my wee girl's legs around in a slow bicycle motion and tummy rubs tended to help).

As babies age their digestive systems change. Her little stomach will grow and strengthen, she'll get better at eating and won't suck down as much air. Her position when feeding may even come into play. By the sounds of it (unless I read it wrong) she's latching on to the nipple well and just not sucking in much air and therefore doesn't have to burp it up as often. Unless she has too much gas and it's bothering her, then the action of burping may not even be necessary.

As you said, she's growing well, so as long as she's a happy healthy active little bundle of joy then there's nothing to worry about and you're doing just fine.

Source: Parent of a beautiful little girl

  • She does sometimes really kick and scream after feeding, mostly when she's laid down. That's why I assumed that she still needs to burp, which she does - eventually. Having changed the bottles/teats I was stuck for other suggestions. I'm not sure whether/how she is sucking in air with the milk. – EvilDr Nov 11 '14 at 17:11
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    Babies will always (unavoidably) swallow at least some air. They don't get a perfect seal and kind of 'gulp' down liquids. Listen carefully and you can hear the gulping sounds. It's like you chugging down a glass of water as fast as you can - you're also going to swallow at least some air. If she's swallowing too much air for your liking there are a few things to try, if she's laying on her back to eat then maybe prop up your arm under a small pillow when you hold her. It raises her head up above the rest of her body so she doesn't have to gulp so hard to get the milk down. – CMcNeish Nov 11 '14 at 17:40
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    Maybe holding her upright, rubbing/patting her back gently for a few minutes longer after eating. It might help her burp that bit sooner. Also take into account - all kids are different. She just may not burp as 'readily' as other babies do. There's nothing wrong with it as long as she gets it out eventually. Only thing you can do about it is 'try' to reduce the air swallowing (as much as possible) and help get the gas out when it's in there. It'll happen, and you need not worry as long as she eating enough and it's not interfering with her sleep or development. – CMcNeish Nov 11 '14 at 17:44
  • Sanity restored, question updated, happy daddy :-) – EvilDr Nov 19 '14 at 12:34
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My son was born at 24 weeks and he would only burp after every second or third bottle. The NICU doctors and feeding specialists all said it is normal and that some babies just do not burp like people expect since burps are just air in the stomach. If you are really worried that she is swallowing too much air and for some reason is not able to burp then I would use a bottle with a liner to eliminate the back-flow of air through the nipple that sealed bottles have (my son hated both the bottles you mentioned and preferred the Playtex Nurser bottles)

One thing of note is my son was fed "sideline" which affects how the liquid flows into a baby's throat.

  • Thanks for that. I've ordered a Playtex Nurser pack and will see how we get on. – EvilDr Nov 12 '14 at 10:22
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Although it's nothing to worry about having to wait 2 hours for your baby to burp is inconvenient to say the least, especially at 3am!

I don't think dentinox helps much, it didn't with my kids, but it won't hurt to keep trying. For windy babies the best bottles out there are apparently the Dr Brown's, however the avent ones are also very good.

It may be that your baby is not getting a good seal on the bottle. That may be the way the bottle is being positioned, try pointing the bottle so the teat is angled to the roof of your baby's mouth rather than straight to the back.

Also, you could try different burping techniques. I've had best luck when I put the baby on my knee, holding the baby's head up so it keeps their body straight up, then tapping their back. Over the shoulder works too, but I've found that can take much longer.

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    A couple burping techniques I used on my son: Prop him sitting up on my knee, with one hand supporting on his front, partially on his belly. He'd be leaning forward, so his neck wasn't straining. Then I'd pat his back. The placement of my front hand would put gentle, direct pressure on the stomach, as well, which seemed more effective that patting his ribs. The other technique was to lay him down and "cycle" his legs like he was riding a bike. This especially helps for abdominal gas and constipation, but assisted in burping on occasion. – user11394 Nov 13 '14 at 0:16
  • Thanks for that. Dr. Brown's are the only bottle we've not managed to buy yet - they're sold out everywhere! I'll keep trying though. I've ordered a Playtex one to try in the meantime. As for burping techniques, yes, that is my current favourite as well! – EvilDr Nov 13 '14 at 9:47
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Have you tried to look up some baby massage techniques? I used to have trouble with my little girl not winding properly and found baby massage helped. There are certain exercises like the ones listed in this site http://irelandsbabyshow.com/anti-colic-massage-technique-baby/ that help.

I always used to do the cycling legs and the "I Love U" one.

One thing to take comfort in is that it won't last forever.

Good Luck.

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