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Burping Baby Tips

Last Resort

If you've tried all the various burping baby positions and he still seems fussy and gassy, try using Infant gas drops.

They work instantly and are a mommy essential!

Would you be comfortable with a huge balloon in your stomach? A burping baby doesn't have to live with that discomfort.

What is the consequence of popping that balloon? A happier baby. What's the lesson for you? Learn how to get that burp.

I love burping babies. It's so soothing to feel Elena's little head resting on my shoulder and the rhythmic tap-tap-tapping of my hand on her back.

Not to mention the ultimate burping touchdown: That small verbal explosion. YES! I silently cheer in my head. I single-handedly (pardon the pun) provided that ounce of comfort.

A majority of parents stop burping between 4 to 9 months (although I tend to push those limits) so enjoy these sessions while they last.

The Birth of a Burp

While the baby is feeding, air can be swallowed and accumulate in his stomach, causing discomfort. Too much air can lead to crankiness, colic, or spitting up (i.e. the invention of infant burp pads).

Proper burping technique helps the smaller air bubbles combine into one big bubble that a burping baby releases.

Breastfed Babies

  • Breastfed babies statistically seem to burp less than their formula-fed sisters. They can control the milk flow so they suck slower, allowing them to coordinate breathing and swallowing better.

  • Breastfed babies are also usually fed in a more upright position with more frequent feedings, all of which contribute to less swallowing of air. However, even breastfed babies that are fast eaters (or if your milk flow is fast) may require more burping.

Bottlefed Babies

  • If you've chosen to use a bottle, make sure she is in an upright position of 45 degrees or more while she's drinking. It is not a good idea to let her drink a bottle straight on her back. Not only will it increase gas, she make choke on the fast flow.

  • I choose to feed my infants both with the breast and with the bottle. This has introduced me to a variety of specially-designed bottles. Here is a brief synopsis of the best bottles for babies.

How to Burp Baby: The Best Burping Baby Positions

Burping Baby 1

Over the Shoulder Position

I generally begin in this position to burp. I love this position. Lay your baby over your shoulder (with your infant burp pad in place, of course!), so your collar bone presses against her tummy.

That pressure is vital to getting a good burp. She should be leaning comfortably against your chest, sitting on your arm.

If several fruitless minutes have passed and she still seems fussy, it's time to "break out the big guns" and try another position.


burping baby 2

Over the Lap Position

Place your burp cloth on your thigh (and perhaps one on the floor as well). Lay her on top so her mouth is over the rag and your knee is applying the vital pressure on her stomach.

Gently rub and pat her back until gas is released.


burping baby 3

Over the Hand Position

Sit your newborn on your lap with the palm of your left hand against his tummy and his chin resting in the "V" between your thumb and index finger (if you're right handed).

Lean him forward slightly, so that most of his weight is resting against your palm (providing that vital pressure).

If he is less than three months old, make sure you are supporting his neck. Gently pat his back with your right hand. Have your burp rag draped over your left hand for possible spit ups.


The Bottom Burp

Still fussy? Try helping her "bottom burp" by flexing her knees up to her chest a few times. She may pass a little gas and feel better.

If it seems like one position isn't producing a burping baby, try switching to another. I often will get the burp simply by adjusting her body to a different position.


When Should You Burp Your Infant?

If you are bottle feeding, you can choose to burp every few ounces. If you've chosen to breast feed, every 10-15 minutes is recommended (or when you switch breasts).

Personally, I look at Elena for my burping cues. If she's starting to fuss on the breast (or bottle) and is squirmy and frowning, that usually means she needs to burp. I remove her and burp for a minute. If nothing comes up, I put her back on the breast and let her continue feeding.

Burping baby at night is usually unnecessary, because babies are more relaxed and swallow less air. If she does seem fussy, though, burp her for a few minutes before putting her back down.

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It's truly amazing how much a little gas can upset their tiny tummies. There have been times when Elena has been unbearably fussy, only to release a little gas (barely even audible) and instantly calm down. Other times she seems just fine and then explodes in a burp that shakes the rafters.

Techniques like these have stood the test of time and almost always produce a burping baby. These tender moments are fleeting and precious, so burp often (even when unnecessary!).

All the photos on this page can be found at www.flickr.com and were used
according to licensing requirements.

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