Burping Your Baby. The Key Points to Know

Last Updated on 3 August 2022 by Dott. Sandro Cantoni

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Parents are often told that they should burp their baby after every meal to help relieve the gas that can build up in a baby’s stomach.  Burping a sleeping baby may not be as easy as it sounds, so here are some tips on how to go about doing it.

Why do babies need to be burped?

Babies need to be burped because gas accumulates in their stomachs after eating. This gas can cause discomfort and even pain. Burping the baby helps to release the gas and makes them more comfortable. Some babies are more prone to swallowing air than others, and they may need to be burped more often.

However, it is not imperative to always burp your baby after a meal. If your newborn falls asleep earlier, he or she probably won’t have any discomfort.

When to burp a baby?

There is no one right answer for when to burp a baby. Some parents may choose to burp their baby after every feeding, while others may only do so if the baby seems to be uncomfortable. Ultimately, it is up to the parents to decide what works best for them and their baby.

My opinion is that you should try to burp your baby after every meal, but if they fall asleep before you can, it’s okay.

How to burp a baby?

To try to encourage burping, you can place the baby upright, against your chest, holding him or her with one hand. Then, with the other hand, give small pats on the back.  You can also try rubbing the baby’s back in a circular motion. Some babies respond better to one method over another, so you may have to experiment to see what works best for your child.

The important thing is to be patient and keep trying until the baby burps.

Sometimes an infant may appear very restless throughout a feeding. In these cases, temporarily suspend breast or bottle feeding, and try burping the baby.  If the baby doesn’t burp after a minute or two, resume feeding.

In the first six months of life, it is best to keep the baby in an upright position for about 10 to 15 minutes after each feeding to encourage burping. Some babies burp a lot while others burp little or not at all. After 10-15 minutes, the baby can be put to sleep.

How can I tell if my baby is burping?

There are a few ways to tell if your baby is burping. One is that he or she may release a loud belch. Another indication is that the baby may be more content and relaxed after a burp. If the baby continues to fuss or cry after a feeding, it’s possible that he or she still has gas and needs to be burped.

Positions to burp a baby

There are a few different positions that parents can use to burp their baby:

1) The baby can be placed upright against the parent’s chest, and the parent can use one hand to support the baby’s head and the other hand to pat the baby’s back.

2) The baby can be held in an upright position and tilted slightly forward over the parent’s shoulder.

3) The baby can be placed on his or her back on the parent’s lap, and the parent can use one hand to support the baby’s head and the other hand to pat the baby’s back.

If your baby doesn’t burp after a few minutes, switch positions and try again. If your baby still doesn’t burp, they may not need to. Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about your baby’s gas.

How to burp a sleeping baby.

If your baby falls asleep before you can burp them, it’s okay. However, it is still a good idea to try to burp them as often as possible to help relieve any gas that may have built up.

But don’t worry. It’s not imperative to always burp your baby after every feeding. Some babies are more prone to swallowing air than others, and they may need to be burped more often.

To try to encourage burping, you can place the baby upright, against your chest, holding him or her with one hand. Then, with the other hand, give small pats on the back.  You can also try rubbing the baby’s back in a circular motion.

What to do if the baby doesn’t burp.

If the baby doesn’t burp after a few minutes, switch positions and try again. If your baby still doesn’t burp, they may not need to. 

Is there really anything to worry about? Actually, no, because there are also babies who swallow very little air and do not need to do so at the end of the feeding.

Conclusion

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to how often you should burp your baby, as each infant is different. However, the general consensus seems to be that trying to burp your baby after every meal is ideal, but if they fall asleep before you can, it’s okay.

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About the author

Hi. My name is Sandro Cantoni. I’m a Pediatrician. I work in the General Pediatric Clinic. Hospital of Neuchatel, Switzerland.

References

  • Kaur R, Bharti B, Saini SK. A randomized controlled trial of burping for the prevention of colic and regurgitation in healthy infants. Child Care Health Dev. 2015 Jan;41(1):52-6.

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