One of the best moments in parenthood is when your little one starts to gurgle and coo contentedly after a meal. But, if you’ve ever met a newborn, you know that babies can sometimes struggle with gas. Thankfully, burping can help.
Burping can be daunting for new parents trying to learn how to burp their babies, but it’s a lot easier than you might think. In this guide, we will break down the basics of what burping is and how to do it properly so that your baby gets the relief they need — and soothe those cranky moments that comes after eating.
Follow these simple steps and your baby will be feeling much better in no time.
The Importance of Burping Your Baby
You’ve probably heard about burping your baby, but why exactly is it important? Well, ironically, when babies feed, they tend to swallow some air. This air is then trapped in tummy and can cause discomfort and pain. As a result, you want to try your best to make sure they burp it out.
When you burp your baby, you give them a chance to release the air and any gastric fluids that were brought up with it. By doing this after every feed or two – and certainly after giving them a bottle – you can help ensure that their digestive system works as efficiently as possible. Burping also helps prevent gas bubbles from forming in their tummy, which can be painful for your little one.
Moreover, burping will help prevent instances of reflux or spit-up in babies with sensitive tummies. And most importantly, burping gives parents peace of mind that their baby is getting all the nutrition from their feedings without any pain or discomfort due to a full tummy!
When to Burp Your Baby
Whether you’re a new parent or a veteran, burping a baby must seem like a daunting task. But don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be complicated.
To start, when is the right time to burp your baby? The answer is simple: burp your baby every two to three ounces of formula or breast milk during feedings, and after each feeding. During breastfeeding, let your baby take periodic breaks to rest and digest between feedings. So, if your baby is crying during or after nursing, try gently rubbing his or her back and offering some soothing words before moving on.
It’s important to maintain a consistent schedule for burping your baby—don’t forget that eating should be a calm and relaxed experience for them! And if you find yourself growing tired of all the rubbing and patting needed to keep your baby happy and comfortable during feedings, why not turn on some music to add an extra layer of relaxation?
Preparation Needed Before Burping Your Baby
Now that you understand the basics of burping, it’s time to prepare yourself and your baby for a successful burp session. Here are some tips to help you both get ready:
Choose an outfit that’s easy to remove so your baby is comfortable. Try something with a wide neck, like a kimono top or stretchable onesie, and make sure it’s not too tight around the neck and arms.
As mentioned, you can do the football hold or cradle-hold for burping. This position allows gravity to help move air up and out of their stomachs. Make sure your baby’s chin is on their chest, not pointing up toward the ceiling, as this helps keep any excess gas from going back down into their stomachs.
Sometimes babies are resistant to burping—they don’t want to be poked or prodded in anyway! To make it easier on them (and on you!), give them positive reinforcement like comforting words or gentle pats on the back before starting a burp session. Then be persistent—although it can take several minutes (yes, minutes!), stay with it until your baby lets out a nice burp.
Different Ways to Burp Your Baby
Burping your baby can be both simple and diverse. There are four main ways to burp a baby. Swaddling, patting, or placing the baby in a seated position, and bicycle legs may all be used to help bring up gas bubbles. Here’s a breakdown of each burping method to help you decide which works best for you and your baby.
Swaddling is the process of tightly wrapping your baby in a blanket so that their entire body is snug and secure. Once you have them snuggled up in their swaddle, you will gently pat their back. This can help soothe the baby while helping to get any gas out of their little tummies.
Patting is exactly what it sounds like: gently patting your baby’s back with an open hand until any gas bubbles in their tummy pop. This is a great choice if your baby doesn’t like being swaddled or is still unhappy after being swaddled.
This method involves placing your infant in the seated position on your lap or against your chest, with one hand providing support against their chest and the other hand gently rubbing or patting their back. This variation helps gravity do its job in helping babies expel gas bubbles that might be stuck in their belly.
This last option involves lying your infant down on his/her back and then gently squeezing both legs at once while alternating them as if they are riding an imaginary bicycle! It might look funny but rest assured it works to help release those pesky gas pockets!
Tips and Tricks for Successful Burping
Now you know the why and how of burping your baby, but do you have any tips or techniques to help make it easier? You bet! Here are a few tried-and-true tricks that we recommend:
With a Burp Cloth
It’s all too easy for your baby to spit up, so have a burp cloth ready. This will help keep your clothes and furniture clean.
Using A Soft Pillow
Place a soft pillow on a flat surface (such as the floor or your lap), then lay your baby down and support his or her head. Positioning the pillow between your arm and the baby’s body will provide extra support.
Talking To Your Baby
Talking softly to your baby can be very calming for him/her. It may also help to encourage them to let out more air bubbles.
Varying positions can help get those stubborn bubbles out! We recommend sitting upright with the baby on your lap, laying down in the cradle hold, sitting up in the football hold and standing up in the football hold. Give whichever ones make you more comfortable—it changes from one day to another!
Read About: How to eat cry baby sour mini drinks
What to Do When Your Baby Doesn’t Want to Be Burped
It might feel like nothing works and that your baby just doesn’t want to be burped, but there are strategies you should try before giving up.
If you’ve been trying to burp your baby on the same shoulder or in the same position for a while, it’s time to switch things up. Not only might your baby find a new position more comfortable, but you might also be able to access different parts of their body more easily in another position. If you’re standing, try putting them over your arm horizontally rather then upright. If you’re sitting down, try doing the opposite and hold them vertically instead.
Keep a Soft Touch
Pressure can sometimes work against us when it comes to burping babies, so remember to keep the pressure light when patting their back or rubbing their chest and shoulders. Too much pressure can be uncomfortable and actually make them resist burping even more.
Have Patience and Stay Calm
Losing your cool or getting angry at your baby won’t help anyone, and it might even make you and your baby dislike burping.The best way to get through this part of being a parent is to stay calm. You’ve got this!
Why Do Babies Need to Be Burped?
Why do parents need to burp their babies when burping can calm them down?
Simply put, burping is what helps eliminate any excess air from your baby’s digestive system. When baby eats and drinks, they can take in more air than they should. This extra air can cause them to become fussy and uncomfortable throughout the day.
To remedy this problem and get your little one feeling comfortable again, you can:
- Hold your baby upright against your shoulder
- Pat or rub their back gently but firmly
- Sit them on their lap and gently lean them forward
- Place a towel or bib on their chest while they’re lying down
Burping helps release some of this excess air trapped in their stomach, which can help relieve discomfort and ease any discomfort they might be feeling from bloating or gas buildup. Ultimately, burping helps restore comfort to your baby and make sure they don’t become gassy unnecessarily!
What Happens If You Don’t Burp a Baby?
If you don’t burp your baby after a feeding, it can cause a number of problems. Here are a few of the most common issues you may face if you don’t take the time to burp your baby:
- Uncomfortable and Fussy Baby: Your baby may become increasingly uncomfortable if there is extra air in their stomach after eating, which can cause them to be fussy and cranky.
- Gas Pain: When too much air gets trapped in the stomach, it can cause gas pain and make your little one uncomfortable. The pain may manifest as an increase in fussiness, screaming and arching their back while feeding, or even vomiting after a feeding.
- Poor Sleep Patterns: If you don’t burp them properly, all that air can disturb their sleep.
It’s important to burp your baby because it helps prevent all these potential issues that come with excess air in their stomachs. Keep in mind that the amount of time required for each burp depends on your baby’s age, how long they’ve been feeding, and how much milk or formula they’ve had—so consult your pediatrician for specific guidance on how long you should be burping your little one for!
When Do You Stop Burping a Baby?
When do you stop burping your baby? Generally speaking, when your baby looks content and is no longer producing any more gas. That particular burping session being done is a good indication. Depending on the situation, the process can be relatively quick, or it can take a bit of time. Be sure to keep an eye on your baby’s cues during the process.
The moment you place your baby down to rest is when you’ll know if the burping was successful. If there’s no fussing or discomfort from gas, then you know the burp was successful!
If for some reason the burp still hasn’t released after about 10-15 minutes, then it may be time to give up for now and try again at the next feeding. While you may want your baby to release all of the air right away, it’s important that you remain patient and understanding of their needs.
No matter which burping technique you decide is best for you and your baby, burping is an essential part of caring for a newborn. It may take some practice and some patience to find the burp technique that works best for both you and your little one. But it can be an enjoyable bonding experience, and it’s part of the learning process of becoming a new parent. So relax and enjoy the burping process with your precious baby!
I am an accomplished writer, a devoted father, and a compassionate advocate for new and experienced parents in my baby’s parenting journey. With a wealth of firsthand experience and a deep understanding of the joys and challenges of raising children, I become a trusted voice in the parenting community.