I’m going to stop squeezing

Like most other practical fathers I’m always looking to get something done faster, and that even extends to burping my baby son. There seems to be some sort of societal mental block when it comes to baby care where any sort of shortcut is automatically deemed bad parenting. According to the books taking care of babies is a massively time-consuming process that would, if you followed their directions to the letter, take at least 30 hours a day to complete.
What’s the big deal? Why can’t we as parents take some shortcuts which free up time for the more pleasant aspects of parenting? Take burping for example. Burping is where, after feeding, you help your baby get rid of the gas he/she has swallowed. Failure to do so is usually unpleasant and at the very least will end up with your baby positing. Positing is a delightful event, kinda a mini-puke, where undigested milk comes trickling out of the corner of your baby’s mouth all over their brand-new, freshly washed outfit their grandmother knitted out of a decade’s worth of lint that she spun together using her toes. This requires an instant response to lift the baby out of their basket, clean their mouth and kneck, change into a less lovingly-generated outfit like the used baby-grow you got at a charity shop, change the sheets and blanket in the basket, then put the baby, who has since woken up and started bawling, back to sleep. And since you forgot in all this work to burp the baby you have to do it all over in 5 minutes when they posit up again.
The lesson is: burp your baby. There’s many techniques, most of which involve thumping the baby lightly on the back, and then rubbing said back to calm said baby. You will spend many hours doing this, many hours which you would rather spend doing something else like sleeping. I’ve learned to love the magical sound of a baby belching louder than I can as it means I can shortly go back to bed at 4:00 in the morning.
I, like most fathers, would like to re-balance the burping:sleeping ratio farther to the sleeping side, so I will try anything that won’t damage the little tyke to get that lovely gurgle, or better yet a full-blown out-gassing from deep down. At first I was using the standard over the shoulder technique, then I moved onto the on the knee technique, then I started trying the over the arm technique. Now I use an eclectic mix, 2 minutes one way, then swap to another because I’ve found that none of them does any better than other, in fact it’s the transition from one to another that usually brings it up.
The other day I had a brilliant inspiration: why not squeeze him a bit? When he’s on my shoulder why not just press his back a bit to put a teeny-tiny bit of pressure on his stomach? So I tried it, and low and behold I got a belch! That saved me at least 10 minutes of tedious burping that he could have spent more productively sleeping and myself productively playing Xbox! Wow, i’ll have to try this again! So I did, and this time the results were more mixed. The little squeeze made him struggle a bit uncomfortably and after a couple more minutes (and one more tiny little squeeze), I did get a belch. hmm, that worked some. Next time I tried that no belch, not much of anything. Fourth time I did it he struggled a lot, then started to hiccup for the next 10 minutes, time he could have spend more productively sleeping, and me playing Xbox. So much for cutting corners.
I got the feeling that a coin was flipped as to whether he would get the hiccups or decide to projectile vomit, and I got lucky. I think I’ll stop squeezing.

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