How To Burp a Baby

by Lilly Peters

Burping is the process of releasing air bubbles from our stomach out of our mouths. Babies tend to swallow a lot of air during feeding and this can cause your little one a lot of uneasiness, and can lead to colic, as a parent, you’re going to do everything to mitigate that. This is why, after feeding, burping is necessary.

And a relaxed child is a happy child who not only plays happily, but also sleeps and rests well.



Doctors agree the unbearable stomach ache for babies who suffer from colic is due to the presence of unnecessary air trapped within the belly, drawn in during a feeding session. A baby suffering from colic can break into bouts of shrill cries. The only way to cope with colic is to avoid it from arising. And to do this after every feed, burp your baby well. This will help your child keep the air out of their systems and reduce the frequency of colic in the early months of his or her life.

Some burps bring up some of the contents of the stomach aka Spit up if your baby has not been burped or if there is excessive gas in their bellies, so you’re going to need a feeding cloth, muslin square, cloth nappy square etc handy for spills. This occurs when too much air has been taken in by a child who is hungry. Burping will allow his stomach to expel the air. This is not a cause for concern; it appears to occur during the first year of the birth of your little one. This is totally natural and there’s nothing to worry about. It is normal for newborns to regurgitate small quantities of their feed, however, it is not projectile vomiting. If your baby vomits violently after feeding, you can speak to your doctor or paediatrician to look for other reasons.

It also doesn’t matter whether your baby is breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, burping them is essential.
Not only does burping help minimise the discomfort your baby may experience when their feed is expelled from
their stomach as air, it also encourages them to take in the amount of milk they need.
It leaves them feeling full and happy comfortably!

In general, a breastfed baby swallows less air than a bottle-fed baby when it comes to the breast fed vs bottle fed controversy. This is because the mouth of the baby wants to fully latch onto the nipple of the mother. This way, the baby gets a steady supply of milk, and once they are happy, they can suck at their own rate. Make sure you keep the bottle at the right angle to the mouth of your infant, for a bottle feed. This will make sure that instead of air, the child is sucking in liquid.

After 5 minutes of trying, if the baby does not burp, lay them gently down on their back, either in their crib or on another healthy surface, such as a playpen. Pick the baby up gently after a few minutes and begin burping them again. Lying down also helps to move the air bubbles around, making them easy to release.


How do I properly burp my baby?

There are no fancy burping methods, only these basic techniques that are guaranteed to help. You should try to figure out the most convenient and most effective approach for you and your infant, respectively, in various burping positions.



Positions for Burping:

  • Keep your child above your shoulder, facing you. Keep your child over your shoulder. Using one hand to cradle the infant and the other to burp, making sure the head of the baby is supported.
  • Sit your infant on your lap. Use your free hand to support the babies head, holding gently under the chin. Using your other hand to burp your child in the back.
  • Place your baby on his or her stomach on your lap. Help support the head of your baby and make sure that it is higher than his or her chest. Rub or pat your baby’s back softly.


So, what happens if you can’t give him a burp?

  • Patting your baby on the back helps to force the air bubbles up, but often patting is not enough. Try patting him more firmly if he’s not going to burp, as light pats may not be successful. Patting his bottom is another choice.  See if rubbing his back does the trick if patting doesn’t work. Shift your hand softly, but from the bottom to the top of his back with enough pressure.
  • And then, try to sit him on your lap and bounce him up and down gently. If you were to burp him sitting upright, but drive your leg up and down, support him in the same way you would in other burping positions.
  • Keep the baby over your shoulder. With burping over the shoulder, one mistake parents make is they don’t keep their baby high enough. His head should not only cross over your shoulder, but his belly should also be resting on your shoulder. Lean back enough, then, so that he’s on a slight slope (rather than upright or worse, angled as if leaning back).
  • Place your baby in a football hold. Place him on your forearm, tummy-side down, his face against your elbow and his limbs hanging from either side of your shoulder.
  • Sit upright your infant. Sit him on your lap, holding his chest and head with your hand, leaning him forward slightly. Be careful not to actually touch his neck with your hand.
  • Rotation: Sit on your lap and support your baby’s chest and head as if you were burping him. Help his back and neck with your other hand. Then, move the upper body clockwise slowly, then repeat it by turning it counter-clockwise.
  • Forward and backward: Start off in the above position, but shift your baby forward and backward slowly instead of spinning him in a circle. Lean him forward for a few seconds first, then move him back to a position of uprightness. Lean him back slightly, then, as if you were going to lay him down. Go back to sitting upright, and repeat this forward and backward motion.
  • Elbow to knee: Put your baby on the back of him. Take in one hand his right elbow, and in the other his left knee. Running them slowly over his chest, as if they were going to touch each other. With his opposite limbs, replicate the same. This way, you’ll be able to get him to fart some gas (rather than burp).

Experiment with various positions , for example, particularly because the actual change of positions can sometimes lead to a good burp. To help remove air bubbles and gas from his body, pat, bounce, or rub your kid.

Hold your baby upright after feeding it. It can be a good way to use a baby cover or sling

Burp your baby before, during, and at the end of the feed to protect your baby from any pain.

Bear in mind that after any feeding, he does not even need to burp (especially if he’s breastfed, as he’s probably not sucking in as much air). His fussiness might be because of something else you may have to look into, and nothing to do with burping at all.

And remember that, particularly when his digestion improves and he has a stronger ability to remove his own gas, this stage will pass.


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