Babies & Burping: Everything You Need To Know

Babies & Burping: Everything You Need To Know

February 20, 2024

If you are brand new to the world of newborns, something you will need to learn is the importance of burping your baby. Whether you are a new parent, or a caregiver to an infant, burping is a technique that will keep your baby comfortable during and after feedings. As babies eat, from the breast or from the bottle, they will naturally swallow some air, which can cause gas. This results in belly discomfort and can lead them to become fussy and uncomfortable. When you are careful to work in burping time throughout the baby’s feedings, it can help to remedy the discomfort caused by the air bubbles. Not sure how to burp a baby or have questions surrounding the concept? Here are some interesting tips about the how and the why behind baby burping!

Babies and Burping 

Tip #1-Ensure a Proper Latch

When feeding your baby, be sure that they are latched correctly to the nipple. Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, their mouth should be completely wrapped around the nipple, not just the tip, with their lips in a pucker position. If their lips are sucked into their mouth or they are just latched to the tip, this is an incorrect latch and can contribute to them swallowing more air, as well as interrupt the amount of milk they are getting. Listen for a suck and swallow sound and keep an eye on their throat to ensure that they are actually getting the milk into their body while they are drinking.

How to burp your baby 

Tip #2-Pause for Burping While Feeding

After every 2-3 ounces from a bottle, or in between nursing on each side, stop to burp. If the baby is excessively gassy or colicky, you can pause to burp them more frequently. To do this, carefully get the baby into an upright position. This can be done by placing them in a seated position on your lap, just be sure to support their head if they are unable to do so yet themselves. You can also place them up over your shoulder, with their head near the top of your shoulder and their belly facing your upper body. Lastly, you could try holding them in a football position, by laying them across your forearm on their belly, with their head just over the side of your arm while facing your elbow and their legs reaching towards your hand. To hold them securely, you will keep your hand near their belly and diaper area as their legs dangle over the sides of your arm. Again, you will want to be sure to support their head and neck in all of these positions until they are strong enough to do so on their own. Additionally, place a burp cloth or swaddle blanket beneath them just in case they spit up in the process!

Tip #3-Help Them Work Out the Air Bubbles 

Once they are in the correct position, gently pat their backs. You can start by rubbing their back using a circular motion with your hand. You can then work your way into a gentle pat and do this until you hear them burp or spit up. If they do, take a little break from burping. If they still seem uncomfortable, you can try it once again to see if they have more bubbles in their belly. Otherwise, they may begin fussing because they are still hungry and showing signs such as rooting, at which time you can resume with feeding! Just be sure to repeat the process again at the conclusion of their feeding.

When burping doesn't work 

Tip #4-When Burping Doesn’t Seem to Cut It

If you have been mindful to burp the baby throughout their feeding, yet they are spending lots of time crying and showing signs of belly discomfort even outside of eating times, there are a few more things you can try to address the tummy troubles! For a very gassy baby, you can lay them on their back on a blanket and gently move their legs in a bicycling motion. You do this by carefully grasping their lower legs or feet, helping them bend their knees towards their belly and then moving their legs in motion as if they were peddling a bike. This is a great way to help them relieve belly pressure and trapped air. You could also try laying them on their side and gently massaging their belly or place them on a tummy time mat so they can lay on their belly and work out those bubbles. These techniques can be very helpful, just be sure to do them at times when the baby has not just eaten, as it could cause them to spit up all that they drank. Aim to do this at a time when they are not actively hungry, but also not just coming off of a feeding.

Baby is gassy
Tip #5-Be Mindful of What Is In Their Milk

If you have tried burping regularly and addressing belly discomforts without much improvement, perhaps the baby’s milk is upsetting their tummy. If you are nursing, be mindful to avoid foods in your own diet that pass into your breastmilk and cause gassiness for the baby. Common culprits could be dairy, or leafy greens, such as broccoli. If there is a specific food you are consuming that you suspect could be causing the issues, try to avoid it for a few days to a week to see if it makes a difference for your baby.

Likewise, if you are formula feeding, perhaps the formula you are using is upsetting their belly. Try switching to an organic, European baby formula that is made for targeting troubles such as reflux, gas or sensitivities to dairy, all while providing your baby with the nutrients they need.

Holle Goat Milk Formula for example is made to be gentle on little tummies, and it is easy for them to digest. For a baby who cannot digest cow’s milk, this is a fabulous alternative! 

HiPP HA is another great option to try for babies who have a hard time keeping their formula down. It is hypoallergenic for babies with milk protein allergies, and contains all of the nutrients your baby needs to grow and develop!

Learn More
Interested in learning more about topics related to burping and baby tummy troubles? Be sure to check out these related posts below:
Caring For Your Baby With Colic
How To Navigate Your Baby’s Milk Protein Allergy
Help! My Baby Won't Take a Bottle! -
Signs That Your Baby Is On The Right Formula 
Why You Should Incorporate Baby Massage Into Your Daily Routine

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Have any questions in regards to burping or any tips of your own that you would like to share? Be sure to let us know in the comment section below!

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