Burping your tiny little baby can feel awkward at first, but it should be done. Over time, you should get more comfortable burping your baby and learn what works. There are different methods for burping a baby, which we will review later on. Around 4-6 months of age, your baby will outgrow the need to be burped. Sometimes, babies want to be burped before feeding time is over. If you notice your baby pulling away or acting squirmish during feeding, it can be a sign it’s time for a pat on the back. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be burped after feeding from one breast or every 2-3oz for bottle-fed babies.
During feedings, babies suck in air. Burping helps get rid of excess air swallowed during feeding. Breastfed babies might burp less but should still be burped after feeding. As a parent or caregiver, you’re holding a tremendous responsibility. Remember to give yourself grace, as all you can do is try your best. Sometimes, your baby won’t burp – and that’s ok. If you don’t burp your baby or they just don’t burp, they might spit up (soon) or shift moods to gassy or cranky. Keep reading to learn more about burping your baby and what to expect.
Baby Burping Guide
How do you burp a baby?
There are different methods you can use to burp your baby. Choose the method that feels and works the best for you. In some cases, you may need to try a few different methods to hear that refreshing little burp you’re working for.
Here are a few methods you can use to burp a baby:
- Hold your baby against your chest while sitting upright: Throw your beloved burp rag over your shoulder as you rest your baby on your chest, with their eyes peering over your shoulder. The baby’s chin should rest on your shoulder. Support your baby with one hand while gently patting their back with the other hand. This burping method words while sitting, standing, or rocking in the rocking chair.
- Rest your baby face down on your lap: Give your tired arms a break as you lay your baby on his or her belly across your lap. Be sure to support your baby’s head as you gently pat your baby’s back. The baby’s head should stay higher than their chest.
- Sit your baby on your lap, facing away from you: Sit your baby on your thigh, with both legs dangling (as if your thigh was a bench). Hold your baby securely with one hand, with your hand placed flat against their chest up high. The trick here is providing support in the right areas without putting any pressure on their throat area. Tilt your baby slightly forward as you gently pat their back with your other hand.
Sometimes, you may try to burp your baby and try with different methods, but still, no burp. It’s possible that your baby does not have to burp so if this is the case, it’s ok to give up and continue feeding or move on to the next part of your routine.
How do you burp a baby that won't burp?
Sometimes, that little burping noise you’re listening closely for doesn’t come. If your baby won’t burp and appears content, it might be ok to continue feeding or move on with your day. However, if your baby is showing signs of trapped air causing discomfort, try to help relieve them. Signs your baby may have trapped wind include arching their back, crying, clenching firsts, and more. If you’ve tried various burping methods and nothing is working, gently lay them on their back and massage their tummy. You can also move their legs back and forth, similar to the motion of riding a bicycle. If this continues as a recurring theme, consult your doctor.
How do you get rid of a trapped burp in a baby?
Babies usually show signs of discomfort, which can surface as crankiness, crying, clenched fists, and more. If your baby is showing signs they may have a trapped burp after feeding that’s causing discomfort, you should try to help them. To help them free the trapped burp, switch up burping methods. If needed, try to relieve the trapped air out the other end – taking the approach of relieving gas for your baby.
What is the best position to burp a baby?
Babies need to be burped for the first 4-6 months of life. At first, you may be trying to figure out what works best for your baby, including burping methods. In general, there are three main burping positions: sitting, laying, or leaning. The position that’s best will be the one that works the best and feels the best. With a newborn baby, the leaning position can feel the most secure. In the leaning position, your baby will be face-to-face with you, with their chin resting on your shoulder. As you hold them close, you can easily lay your burp rag over your shoulder as you gently pat their back. As your baby gets bigger, it can feel more comfortable to try new burping positions. When handling your baby, you should always prioritize their safety by keeping their head and neck supported, holding them securely, and keeping them out of harm's way.
How long do you burp a newborn?
Newborns are delicate, and burping them can feel wrong – even though it’s right. When burping a newborn, it’s important to ensure the body is properly supported. Burp them for a couple of minutes to see if you hear the winning noise. If needed, switch up the burping position. It should only take a couple of minutes to get your baby to burp, and if they don’t, that’s ok too.
Is one burp enough for a newborn?
The point of burping a baby is to help air escape that has been sucked in during feeding. Babies that burp less, likely just swallow less air. One burp might be all the air that needs to escape – you’ll need to use your judgment. Burping them at the right times can be helpful, too. Bottle-fed babies should be burped every 2-3 ounces, and breastfed babies should be burped after feeding from one breast.
How do I know if my newborn still needs to burp?
When air is trapped in your baby, it can cause discomfort. Signs of discomfort can be fussy behavior, squirming, fighting feeding or pulling away, or crying. If you notice signs of discomfort, it can indicate that your baby still has air trapped and needs to be burped. Change up your approach if you’re not shaking loose that little burp you know is stuck in there. Lastly, be patient. Your baby is human and may just need more time to burp. Continue to comfort them and pay attention to their behavior to help you understand what they need. Remember, babies do not always burp after a feeding. If your baby is passing gas, it’s probably a release from an earlier feeding. It takes a while for air bubbles to make their way through the baby’s body and out the other exit.
What happens if baby doesn't burp?
Sometimes babies don’t want to burp. As a parent or caregiver, this can leave you longing to help them, especially if they’re showing signs of discomfort. After a few minutes of burping your baby, if they don’t burp but appear comfortable, they may just not need to burp. As your baby gets older (4-6 months), they won’t take in as much air while feeding, therefore, they won’t burp as much. If you recognize a pattern that your baby doesn’t burp, but later spits up or struggles with gas pains, you may want to try a little longer to burp after feedings.
Why is my baby so hard to burp?
Some babies take in less air, and as a result, burp less often. This can make it appear that they are hard to burp. There’s also the chance that your baby just needs more time to digest and burp. The burping technique is important, as is the pressure applied, hand position, and more. When burping your baby, make sure you’re patting them firmly enough with a cupped hand. Work with your doctor or specialist to perfect burping techniques. You can also try switching up the technique from the burping method to how you’re patting or rubbing their back. Switch between patting your baby’s back and rubbing their back (circular motion recommended). If you still have no luck, wait a few minutes and try again.
Can you burp a swaddled baby?
It happens – babies fall asleep while eating. While you’re probably relieved to see your baby sleeping, you still want to burp them. There’s a chance that you fed your swaddled baby while holding them. If so, you can burp your sleeping baby and lay them down for a restful night’s sleep. If your swaddled baby falls asleep while lying down, you can still burp them, but you’ll probably need to pick them up. Traditional swaddles can require certain techniques to put on and are best for a sleeping baby lying down that will not be moved. Our Dream Swaddle is well. . . a dream. Simply lay your baby on their back and wrap the velcro strap around your baby’s torso. Once secure, zip up the swaddle. Ta-da, your baby is swaddled snugly and ready for a reflex-filled night of sleep. Our durable design makes it easy to pick your baby up and burp them if needed.
Is it OK to put baby to sleep without burping?
In the chaotic day-to-day life with a baby, things don’t always go according to plan. Your baby should be okay if they fall asleep during or after a feeding without burping. It’s possible it may cause increased spit-up, though. Waking a peacefully sleeping baby is something none of us like to do. If your baby has fallen asleep without burping and appears to be comfortable, let them sleep. If this happens repeatedly and you notice signs your baby is uncomfortable, you might want to rethink your strategy.
What if my baby falls asleep while feeding and doesn’t burp?
You know what they say. . . babies sleep and eat. It’s not uncommon for a baby to fall asleep while feeding. At first, you might panic because you didn’t burp your baby. Rest assured, though, that the sleep is likely more beneficial than the burp. If your baby is sleeping comfortably, let them sleep.
Does spitting up count as burping?
Spit up is sometimes associated with a burp, or sometimes it can occur because a baby did not burp. When a baby spits up, their stomach contents surface through its mouth, therefore, it’s different from a burp. When burping your baby, it can be handy to keep a spit rag ready to catch any spit up. Spit up and babies go hand in hand, so be sure the items near your baby are machine-washable. At Dreamland, our weighted and non-weighted sleep aid products are machine washable.
Now that your baby is fed and burped - it’s time for bed. Our weighted swaddles are designed for babies 0-6 months of age. Featuring CoverCalm® technology, our weighted swaddles evenly distribute weight from your baby’s shoulder to toes to naturally reduce stress. Featuring the same technology, we also offer weighted sleep sacks. Some parents may use feeding as a way to calm their baby, and rightfully so. However, feeding near bedtime can result in a sleeping baby. If your baby struggles to calm down, try a weighted sleep product to offer them the sense of security and comfort they crave.
Sleep, food, and burps are part of the recipe for a happy baby. Now that you know more about burping your baby and helping them calm before bed, you can put your new knowledge to the test. Add a weighted sleep sack or swaddle to your sleep arsenal as you lull your baby to sleep like a pro.