Burping Baby
June 28, 2024

Burping Baby 101: Why It Matters and How to Do It Right!

Burping a baby is one of those parenting skills that might seem simple, but it holds immense importance in your little one's early months. It's not just about helping your baby stay comfortable; burping plays a crucial role in your infant's digestive health and overall well-being. In this blog, we'll explore why burping is necessary, how to burp your baby effectively, and some tips to make it easier for both you and your baby. 

Why is Burping Your Baby Important?

Releases Trapped Air

During feeding, babies often swallow air, especially when they feed vigorously or if they are bottle-fed. This air can get trapped in their stomachs, causing discomfort, bloating, and fussiness. Burping helps to release this air, making your baby feel more comfortable.

Prevents Spit-ups and Gastrointestinal Issues

Trapped air can lead to spit-ups or even vomiting if not expelled. Regular burping helps minimize these occurrences by releasing the air that pushes milk and stomach contents back to the oesophagus.

Promotes Better Feeding Habits

When babies swallow air, they might feel falsely full, leading them to eat less than they need. Burping can make room in their stomachs for the right amount of milk, ensuring they get the nutrition they require.

How to Burp Your Baby?

The Timing

Most parents find it helpful to burp their babies during and after each feeding. If you're breastfeeding, try burping when switching breasts. If you're bottle-feeding, every 2-3 ounces is a good interval. However, if your baby is particularly gassy or prone to spit-ups, more frequent burping might be necessary. 

Techniques to Burp Your Baby

There are several ways to burp your baby, and different methods may work better at different times or for different babies. Here are the most popular ones:

Over the Shoulder

Hold your baby against your chest so their chin is resting over your shoulder. Support their bottom with one hand and gently pat or rub their back with the other hand. This position is helpful because it uses gravity to aid the escape of trapped air.

Sitting on Your Lap

Place your baby on your lap facing away from you. Use one hand to support their body by holding their chest and chin (make sure not to squeeze their throat). Lean them slightly forward and pat or rub their back with your other hand.

Face Down Across Your Lap

Lay your baby face down on your lap, turned slightly to one side to ensure their airway is open. Support their chin and jaw with one hand (again, not putting pressure on the throat). Gently pat or rub their back with your other hand.

Tips for Successful Burping

Be Patient and Gentle

Sometimes, it may take a few minutes for the air to come up. Be patient and keep gently patting or rubbing your baby's back. The key is gentle pressure; too much force is not necessary and can be uncomfortable to your baby.

What to Do If Your Baby Doesn't Burp

Not all babies need to burp after every feeding. If your baby doesn't burp after a few minutes but seems comfortable and happy, it's okay to put them down. However, if they seem uncomfortable or fussy, continue trying or try again after a short break.

Handling Spit-ups

Even with effective burping, some babies might still spit up. This is usually normal. Keep a burp cloth handy during and after feedings to protect your clothes and clean up any mess. If spit-ups seem excessive or your baby appears to be in discomfort, consult your paediatrician to rule out any underlying issues.

Burping is a simple yet essential part of baby care that helps keep your little one comfortable and happy. While it may seem tedious at times, especially during night feedings, remember that it's helping your baby digest their food properly and stay healthy. With practice, patience, and persistence, you'll soon find what works best for burping your baby, making feeding times smoother and more enjoyable for both of you.  


Do breastfed babies need to be burped? 

Yes, breastfed babies do need to be burped. Even though they might swallow less air than bottle-fed babies, they can still get gassy and uncomfortable if they don't burp during or after feeding. It's a good practice to burp your baby when switching from one breast to the other and after the feeding is done. 

What if I can't burp my newborn? 

If you can't get your newborn to burp, try changing the burping position. Sometimes, a different angle or position can help release the trapped air. If your baby still doesn't burp after several minutes but appears comfortable, it's okay to end the burping attempt. Some babies might not need to burp every time. 

Is it okay to leave the baby without burping? 

It's generally recommended to try burping your baby, especially if they are prone to gas or spit-ups. However, if your baby is sleeping peacefully after feeding and doesn't show signs of discomfort, it can be okay to skip burping occasionally. Each baby is different, and some might not burp much but are perfectly content and comfortable. 

At what age do you stop burping a baby? 

Babies will require help with burping until they reach about 4 to 6 months old. Around this age, many babies start developing better control over their feeding techniques and can burp on their own. By the time they can sit up independently, they often don't need as much assistance with burping. 

Why does my baby cry every time I burp him? 

If your baby cries every time you try to burp him, it might be due to discomfort. The patting or pressure on their back could be making them uncomfortable, or they might not like the change in position. It's also possible that your baby is simply sensitive to the burping process itself. Try using a gentler approach, like rubbing instead of patting, and ensure that their body is well-supported during burping. If the crying continues or your baby seems to be in pain, it's best to consult with a pediatrician to rule out any other issues. 

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