Most babies will occasionally fall asleep while they are feeding. This holds true for babies who are nursed, and babies who are bottle fed. It is perfectly natural for a baby to fall asleep when her tummy is full and she is content and there’s no need to worry about it. Still , one of the most frequently asked questions by new parents is whether or not they should burp their baby if she falls asleep while she is nursing or bottle feeding.
There is no definitive answer to this question. The reason we burp our babies, of course, is to help them release any air bubbles that may be in their tummies. The air bubbles, if baby doesn’t burp, can cause painful gas.
Of course, some babies need burping more than others do, even when they’re awake. Babies who are breast fed often do not get much air, especially if they latch on very well, and so might be able to sleep through without waking up from gas pain. Bottle fed babies tend to get more air in their stomachs, and it may not be a good idea to put them down without burping them, especially if they are under four or five months old.
That being said, though, there are other ways to help your baby burp that might be less likely to waken them than the traditional over the shoulder back pat. Try turning baby over your arm, with her tummy on your forearm. In this position, rub her back with firm but gentle motions. This will often elicit a burp, and then you can lay baby down to sleep.
Some babies will sleep through being burped, and if your baby falls into that category, go ahead and burp her. You’re certainly not hurting anything, and you could be relieving her of some pain in the near future. On the other hand, if your baby would wake up from burping, but can sleep through after eating, she probably is not having gas pain anyway. And if she isn’t having gas pain, there’s no real harm in letting her sleep.
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in About Your Baby.