How to Burp a Baby | Tips and Advice

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how to burp a baby

Burps might not be a pleasant sound unless they’re coming from your baby. Burping babies isn’t always easy. Actually, many new parents consider that it’s quite a challenge. But, no worry, at first burping your baby may seem a little awkward but after some practice, it will be second nature. Read on to know more about how to burp a baby.

Baby Burping Techniques

Remember that the reason you burp your baby is to release gas. This is the air that your baby might have taken in while feeding. Babies feel better after burping and the activity also helps stimulate them. There are a few techniques for burping, but we’ll only focus on these 3 common strategies:

Over the Shoulder

how to burp a baby

For the over-the-shoulder technique, you can either do this sitting or standing. You should try them both out and see which works best for you and your baby. If you don’t, you can alternate sitting and standing. Starting by holding your baby up on your chest so your baby is facing toward you. Next, tuck under your baby’s bottom with your arm for support. You’ll want to put a burping cloth over your shoulder in case they spit-up. Use your dominant hand to gently, but firmly pat your baby’s back and between the shoulders. Working your way up and down you can also rub the baby’s back after several pats. After a while, you’ll get to know your baby and learn what seems to work best.

Sitting Up

how to burp a baby

The second technique is also using your lap, but this time you need to help your baby sit on it. Help your baby sit in an upright position and lean slightly forward. Placing a burp cloth on your leg where your baby is facing. Also, you can use either leg with your baby facing either way. Notice that you need one hand to hold the baby’s jaw. And, your forefinger and thumb are used as a sort of wedge with the palm supporting the chest. Using firm but gentle pressure to pad or rub your baby’s back.

Face-down on Lap

how to burp a baby

This technique requires you to sit on a chair or couch with both feet on the ground. Also, cover your laps with a burp cloth to avoid your baby’s spitting up. After that, lay your baby tummy down across your legs with their head on one side. Make sure nothing covers their mouth and nose. Use one hand to secure your child and the other to gently pat or rub their back in a circular motion. Avoid tapping too hard or quickly because it does not encourage your baby to burp any faster or easier.

When and How Long to Burp Baby

For breastfeeding moms, we recommend burping your baby after your baby feeds with each breast. You might notice that sometimes your baby starts to fuss while feeding. It may also indicate the need to burp.

On the other hand, if you bottle-feed your baby then try halfway through and again after the feeding. Or, if your baby typically only feeds on one side, start timing and burp during the usual halfway point.

Whether you’re bottle or breastfeeding, burping is crucial. Try not to wait until your baby is asleep. Jarring them awake with burping might not be a good idea. So, when your baby starts to slow down, or is no longer actively sucking and swallowing, gently put them in a burping position. 

Sometimes air can take a little time to work its way up. If your baby is wriggling around or making unhappy faces, give it another go. Unless your baby is going down for a nap, consider keeping them upright for a while. Sitting up can help your baby burp naturally.

The typical advice for when to stop burping baby is anywhere between 4 to 9 months. Since that’s a huge range, if your baby hasn’t burped and they’re looking fussy, try to burp. Don’t do it when you notice they can burp by themselves.

Be patient as you learn what your baby needs. Also, burping your baby is another activity that gives you hands-on contact as you touch, hold, and talk with your baby. All of this adds to the bonding experience. As you gain experience, burping your baby will also be a confidence booster for you too. After all, there’s nothing like experience and we hope our tips and advice have helped you.

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