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    Burping Your Baby

    Why do you need to burp your baby and what are the best positions to burp your baby?

    Written on 19 June 2019

    Expert Verified

    Kusum Sabharwal

    Obstetrician & Gynecologist - MBBS| DGO

    Is you baby getting cranky during or after feedings? Mostly it happens because he/she has swallowed a bit of air with that milk, making her feel uncomfortably full. Follow the burping tips and positions to bring up the air and make space for baby’s full meal.

    Why do I need to burp my baby?

    It’s important to burp baby at each feeding. While the baby is drinking, he/she can't help but swallow a little air along with her breast milk or formula. unfortunately those air bubbles trapped in her tummy can make her feel uncomfortable and full before she's really finished eating. That’s why burping baby to bring up any excess air that’s accumulated is such an important part of the feeding process.

    Tips on burping baby

    Helpful tips to burp your baby successfully:

    1. Save your clothes by always keeping a burp cloth or bib handy between your outfit and baby’s mouth.
    2. Keep a cloth, diaper or bib handy in case baby spits up.
    3. A gentle pat or rub may get the burp up for most babies, but some need a slightly firmer hand.
    4. Focus on the left side of baby’s back, which is where your little one's stomach is located.
    5. Fussing in the middle of a feeding happens due to discomfort from the swallowed air, and continued fussing causes her to swallow more air leading to more crankiness and possibly spitting up. However, try burping your baby right away to see if it’s an air bubble in his/her tummy that’s causing the protest.

    What are the best positions for burping baby?

    Three basic positions to burp a baby: on your shoulder, face-down on your lap or sitting up. Try them all to see which gets the best result for your little one.

    1. On your shoulder: Firmly hold your baby against your shoulder. Support his/her bottom with one hand, simultaneously pat or rub his/her back with the other hand.

    2. Face-down on your lap: Place your baby tummy-down across your lap (her stomach will be on one of your legs, her head on the other, turned sideways). Hold your baby securely with one hand, and pat or rub his/her back with the other hand.

    3. Sitting up: Hold your baby in a seated position on your lap, leaning slightly forward. Make sure to support baby’s head and chest with one arm while you pat or rub with the other.

    4. Walking: Also when your baby has good head control, try holding him/her upright in front of you, facing out, while you stand and walk. Put one hand under your baby's bottom and the other arm across his/her tummy to apply light pressure. The motion may help give an additional release of any trapped air bubbles.

    How often should I burp my baby?

    Depending on how you are feeding your baby:

    When bottle-feeding, burp baby at least once, specially about halfway through feeding, or more often if he/she seems fussy or is taking a long time.

    During breastfeeding, make sure to burp your baby when you switch from one breast to the other to make room for more milk (keep in mind that a baby who’s swallowed air may stop eating and refuse to switch breasts simply because she feels uncomfortably full). Is your new born managing only one breast at a time? Burp mid-feed on the same breast.

    Is this helpful?



    Verified Article by

    Kusum Sabharwal

    Obstetrician & Gynecologist - MBBS| DGO
    Written by



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