Thursday, February 09, 2017

Today I'm thankful for: that article Yen sent me about how you may not have to burp your baby

Today (and every day) I'm thankful for that article Yen sent me about how you may not have to burp your baby.

I don't remember much from September 2016, but I do remember, after feeding babies in the middle of the night, trying to burp them.  At that age, they didn't like being up on my shoulder (plus, I was terrified of not adequately supporting their little heads), so I usually used the method of sitting them up on my lap, supporting their chin on my hand, and thumping them on the back.

I had to thump them pretty hard to get the burps to come out.  The babies didn't seem to mind getting thumped, but I didn't like doing it.  Even if I was willing to thump the babies pretty hard, burping still had a low rate of success.  So there I was, in the middle of the night, frequently faced with the choice of whether to stay up longer to continue to try to burp (with a baby happily snoozing with her chin in my hand) or to put the baby back in her crib, worried that she would then spit up because she was inadequately burped.  My rational, well-read self knew that babies who spit up while lying on their backs in their cribs are not going to drown (the spit-up just flows down the side of the baby's face), but in the middle of the night, sleep-deprived, and still recovering from major abdominal surgery plus the previous nine months' illness, it was very hard to be rational.  So I did, in fact, spend many hours in the middle of the night trying and failing to burp babies, feeling demoralized that I was unable to do something that is supposedly so natural.

Then, Yen sent me this article:  The study has its limitations, certainly (and the article does a good job describing them), but it reminded me of what should have been obvious: burping your baby is not, in fact, necessary for her survival.  She'll be fine if she doesn't burp.  You all can go back to sleep.  If she does spit up all over herself, you can wash her off.

This article at this moment was an important perspective check for me.  I am lucky to have friends who are looking out for my well-being, and I am thankful.

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