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A new baby is a bundle of joy, but it can also be a bundle of gasses that needs to be burped. Check out the 4 best ways to burp your baby + other tips for efficiently helping your baby rid of their gas and discomfort.
How To Burp Your Baby
First, let’s break down the 4 simple steps to properly burp your baby:
- About halfway through your feed, place your baby on your shoulder or on your lap – I will touch on the best positions for burping your baby below
- Gently pat or rub towards the left side of their back – where their tummy is located
- Once they burp, resume feeding
- Repeat burping at any point your baby seems uncomfortable + at the end of the feed
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to place a burp cloth over your shoulder or hand in case your baby has “wet burps.”
4 Best Ways To Burp Your Baby
If you having difficulty getting your baby to burp you may need to switch up the position you burp in. Some babies burp better using a different position than the traditional way of burping a baby.
Check out 4 of the best ways to burp your baby!
#1: On Your Shoulder
- Sit in an upright position + hold your baby up against your chest. Their chin should be resting on your shoulder.
- Use one hand to support your baby’s bottom + the other to gently pat or rub your baby’s back.
Pro Tip: If you are having trouble getting your baby to burp while on your shoulder try rocking in a glider or rocking chair while patting their back.
#2: On Your Lap
- Place baby upright in the seated position across your knees.
- Cup your baby’s chin in your palm so your baby is leaning slightly forward. Make sure your hand is supporting your baby’s chin and not their throat.
- Use your other hand to gently pay your baby on the back.
#3: Face Down
- While you’re in the sitting position, lay your baby’s tummy down on your lap. Your baby’s stomach should be on one of your legs + their head on the other leg.
- Make sure their head is turned sideways + higher than their chest.
- Rub in a circular motion or gently pat their back while using your free hand to support baby + secure them.
You should only use this position to burp your baby if they have great head + neck control.
- Hold your baby upright in front of you + facing outwards.
- Place one hand under their bottom + with the other putting gentle pressure on their belly.
- Stand + walk around.
This position is great to try with older infants who are having difficulty burping. The gentle bouncing up and down as you walk helps to draw the gas bubbles out of their tummy.
The best way to burp your baby is going to be dependent on them + each feeding. That’s why it’s best to know these 4 different ways to burp that way you can try out another position if one’s not working for your little one.
More of a visual learner? No sweat! Check out this Instagram Reel!
How Often Should You Burp Your Baby?
Newborns should be burped a couple of times at every feeding.
If you are bottle feeding your baby you should stop and burp about every 2-3 ounces. Until about a month old your baby may only drink about 2-3 ounces at a time, so just try to burp about ½ way through.
If you are breastfeeding then you can burp when you switch breasts – this is usually about ½ way through your feed. Try to burp mid-feed if your baby only nurses off one breast.
You should also be burping your baby – in addition to the above times – any time they start to wiggle around or seem uncomfortable.
You may need to burp your baby more often than I have mentioned above if:
- You have a gassy baby
- You have a baby that spits up often
- Your baby has GERD
- Your baby seems fussy during feeds
Burping more often may look like – burping every ounce (if bottle-feeding) or every 5 minutes (if nursing).
Remember to always burp at the end of a feed!
Do You Burp Your Baby After Breastfeeding?
A lot of new parents question whether or not they need to burp when breastfeeding. The answer is yes!
Breastfed babies should at least be burped about halfway through their feed – usually when they switch breasts – + at the end of each feed.
The American Academy of Pediatrics does state that breastfed babies tend to be burped less or less often than bottle-fed babies.
Typically once your baby has developed a great latch they decrease the amount of air they are swallowing as they nurse, meaning fewer air bubbles in their belly and lowering the need to be burped.
Why Do I Need To Burp My Baby?
Burping your baby is the best + easiest way to help with your baby’s gas/ spitting up+ keep them comfortable after feeding.
When your baby eats – either at the breast or bottle – your baby swallows small amounts of air. This air then gets trapped in their belly + causes gas or spit-up.
When you burp your baby it draws this air out + keeps it from getting trapped and causing your baby discomfort.
Burping your baby is even more important if you have a colicky baby or a baby with infant acid reflux.
What Should I Do If My Baby Doesn’t Burp?
Let me start off by saying as long as your baby doesn’t seem uncomfortable or spits up a lot after they feed this can be totally normal + fine.
Some babies are better at not swallowing air during feedings + some pass enough gas they don’t need to burp as much.
Now if your baby is noticeably uncomfortable + fussy during and/or after they feed…what do you do? The first thing to try is switching the position you are burping them in.
If that doesn’t work here are a few more important things you can try:
- When preparing your baby’s bottle gently stir or swirl with a spoon to mix the formula + water rather than shaking the bottle. Allow the bottle to rest for a minute after mixing. This will add less air to your baby’s bottles!
- Consider choosing a smaller nipple size for your baby’s bottle. The flow of the nipple you are using may be too fast which is causing them to swallow more air.
- Try an anti-colic bottle or bottle that is best for gassy babies. These bottles make sure your baby doesn’t swallow much air while feeding. Check out these 15 bottles that help with acid reflux + gas.
- Give your baby gripe water. Gripe water is made up of calming herbs for your baby’s stomach – like chamomile, ginger, or peppermint. I use Mommy’s Bliss Nighttime Gripe Water to help with my babe’s gassy belly.
- Give your baby gas drops. I kept Mylicon drops on hand for when my babies had really bad gas + gripe water wasn’t doing the trick.
When Can I Stop Burping My Baby?
Typically as your baby gets older the need for them to be burped goes down. Usually, by 2-3 months of age, they no longer need to be burped – but every baby is different.
You will know when your baby no longer needs to be burped – mama instincts. You may notice they aren’t burping like usual + they don’t seem uncomfortable or gassy.
As your baby gets older they get better at feeding, their stomach starts to better digest their breast milk or formula, and they get better at passing gas. All of these things reduce the gas trapped in their belly and the need to be burped.
Let’s Wrap It Up
Burping your baby, especially during the first couple of months, is important to help with their gas + discomfort.
Remember to burp at least twice each feeding – halfway through and at the end. If you are having trouble getting your baby to burp try a different position.