Best Way to Burp a Baby

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All babies swallow a little bit of air when they eat, but this can result in big gas pains. Learning the best way to burp a baby and expel the excess air is the best way to relieve bloating, spitting up and discomfort for your little one.

woman burping baby

If you’re a new parents struggling with infant gas, you’re not alone. It’s common for babies to pass gas 13-21 times each day! For some babies, even small amounts of gas can cause abnormal discomfort.

If you just had a baby you know it is imperative that you burp the baby. If the baby gets too much gas in his or her tummy and formula or breast milk goes on top of the air, the result is spit up. When babies suck on bottles they get air in their tummies. The air tends to be sucked in around the bottle and sometimes through the bottle.

As a new parent, it can be frustrating when a baby won’t burp, but don’t fret! There are a few methods and tricks that can help.

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Three Different Burping Positions And Methods Of Burping A Baby

Learning how to burp your newborn baby is an essential skill that all new parents need to develop. Babies tend to take in a lot of air when they eat, and burping helps them feel more comfortable and less bloated. Burping a baby is not difficult, but it does require developing a feel for what works best for your baby.

Burping a baby upright prevents extra gas from moving uncomfortably through the baby’s digestive system and relieves pressure on his tummy after a big meal. When it is done in the middle of a meal, burping makes room for more food in the stomach.

The Shoulder Method Is The Best Method

burping baby on shoulder

Placing the gassy baby on the shoulder is the burping technique most commonly used by parents. It is convenient because it allows you to walk around the room as you are burping the baby (as the other techniques require sitting in a stationary position).

Place your baby on your shoulder so that his stomach touches your collarbone. Support the back of the baby’s head with one hand, especially if he is very young. Lightly pat or rub circles on the baby’s back with the heel of your hand until he burps.

Sitting On Lap Is A More Comfortable Position

burping baby sitting on lap

Sit in a chair and place your baby on your lap in a sitting position. Support the baby with one hand against the front of his body.

Rub or pat the baby’s back as you lean the baby slightly forward. Be sure to support the baby’s head if he is a young infant. It sometimes helps to slightly bounce the baby on your knee as you are patting or rubbing the back.

Lying On Lap Is One Of The Most Common Burping Positions

burping baby laying on lap

Sit in a comfortable chair and have your burp rag or a burp cloth handy. I recommend laying it across your lap!

Lay the baby on your lap facing down so that his belly is on your leg. Support the baby’s head so that his head is higher than his chest. Gently pat or rub the baby’s back with a circular motion.

Combining Methods Until Your Baby Burps

If your baby is having difficulty burping, try combining different positions. The shift in position and a little pressure may help the baby to burp. Experimenting with the different methods will help you to find the one that works best for you and your baby.

What is the proper way to burp a newborn?

Sometimes all it takes to get a productive good burp is either to rub the baby’s back or tummy! Remember to try different positions.

What are 3 ways to burp a baby?

The most common method of burping a baby is by holding him up so he can look over your shoulder. Gently pat the new baby on the back until he is able to burp and eliminate the gas bubbles. This method works best for babies who have gained some strength in their necks and back.

Newborn babies are trickier to burp than older infants. Because they’re relatively floppy from their heads to their little toes, and also because they’re still quite small, leaning them over your shoulder can be awkward and unproductive.

Instead, sit the baby on your lap in an upright position. A good idea is to lean him forward with his chin resting between your thumb and index finger, the outside edge of your hand applying a light amount of pressure on the baby’s tummy. Use the other free hand to pat him on the back. The patting and the gentle pressure on his belly should bring up a nice little burp.

burping baby over shoulder

How can I make my baby burp faster?

Keep the time frame in mind. When the baby has finished eating, that’s when you would position the baby in your preferred burping pose. It should take no more than 3 to 5 minutes to coax out a burp.

If nothing has happened by then, this probably isn’t anything for the baby to burp out.

Gas Prevention and Solutions

There are several ways to prevent excess gas in a baby’s tummy. When using a bottle, make sure it is tipped at an angle such that there is no air in the nipple. With breastfeeding, moms should try to avoid foods that cause gassy reactions such as broccoli, beans and dairy if they are concerned that their diet might be adding to the problems.

It’s also important to buy baby bottles that control airflow consumption. Here are a few great bottles that I have personally used and found to help with preventing gas in newborn babies and older babies too.

Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow® Anti-Colic Baby Bottles

These are the bottles I have personally used for all three of my children as newborns. They are wonderful, and I especially like the option to choose a preemie nipple for a slower milk flow.

Grab them here >>> Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow Baby Bottles

Comotomo Baby Bottle

Grab them here >>> Comotomo Baby Bottle

Boon NURSH Reusable Silicone Baby Bottles with Collapsible Silicone Pouch Design

Grab them here >>> Boon NURSH Reusable Silicone Baby Bottles

Keep in mind that even with the best bottle, your baby will still get air in his little tummy, so you will still need to burp your baby.

More Newborn Posts

The Best Time to Take Newborn Photos

How to Get a Baby to Sleep in a Bassinet

The Importance of the Burping Method

As a new parent, it can be frustrating when a baby won’t burp. No one ever died from not burping, though, so don’t fret. If the baby has air to expel, he’ll do so. If the baby falls asleep while eating, it’s okay to let him sleep. Waking him up to burp him could cause more frustration than it’s worth.

Also, some babies are more prone to spitting up than others, no matter how much burping they do. Spitting up is nothing to be concerned about this. It is caused by an immature valve in the esophagus that doesn’t always open or closes in a timely fashion.

Until you have a baby, you might not know that this is the right way and a wrong way to burp a baby. The best way to burp a baby can vary from baby to baby.

If your method works, then use it! If your method is not working, you might want to continue reading about the right and wrong ways to burp babies and maybe even consult with your healthcare provider or lactation consultant.

You will need to burp your baby throughout his feeding. You cannot just burp your baby at the end of the feeding. You will get spit up on you if you only burp after feeding time. Burp after every ounce when your baby is a newborn and every 2-3 ounces as your baby gets older.

Remember that whatever technique you use, it is important to burp the baby in the middle of their bottle feeding so you do not wear it later. Burping a baby will also help the baby to hold more formula, have less air in their tummy and you will have to do fewer feedings.

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