For Parents of Newborns: 5 Tips for Burping Your Baby

mother carrying baby while making her burp

As a new parent, there’s a good chance that one of your most frequently asked questions is “Am I doing this right?” Believe it or not, most new parents ask the same thing.

From feeding your little one to burping them after every meal, there is a whole set of new things for you to master, so don’t feel discouraged if you feel overwhelmed.

Today, we’ll be covering a topic that most parents of newborns ask about - burping your baby after milk feeds.

Why do babies have to be burped?

baby drinking milk in bottle

As your baby is feeding, they’ll inevitably inhale air as they’re sucking and swallowing their milk. This causes an accumulation of gas in your baby’s stomach and in turn causes feelings of fullness and discomfort.

Burping helps to release this trapped gas and provide relief for your newborn.

When to burp your baby

Some babies may show discomfort by squirming, pulling away or crying, while others may not. In either case, it’s still recommended to burp your little one anyway.

As a guide, it’s a good idea to burp babies in between switching breasts if you’re breastfeeding, or pause halfway through the bottle if you’re bottle feeding. Be sure to burp them when they’re done feeding too!

In general, breastfed babies tend to require less burping because they swallow less air during feeding.

Do note that babies may regurgitate (aka spit up some of their milk) while you’re burping them, so you may want to prepare some burp clothes to clean up any potential regurgitation!

How to burp your baby

1. Upright burping

This is one of the most common ways of burping your baby. Hold them in an upright position with their head supported by one hand as they rest in between your shoulder and chin. Feel free to stand or sit comfortably while doing this.

With upright burping, place a burp cloth on your shoulder to absorb any possible spit (or vomit) if your little one regurgitates.

2. Sitting on your lap

mother patting baby's back while baby is sitting on her lap

For this method, place your baby sideways on your lap with their chest leaning slightly forward. Position your hand under their chin (not throat!) to support their chest and head. Gently pat them on the back across their shoulder blades to burp them.

A nursing chair can help you have a more comfortable burping time as well. For comfortable yet stylish nursing chairs, check out the ones from Babyletto and Davinci Baby here.

3. Facedown on your lap

On your lap, lay your baby on their belly with one hand under their chest for support. With your other hand hand, stroke their backs in a circular motion, alternating with light pats to encourage burping.

How long to burp your baby for

If your baby doesn’t seem to burp after around a minute or two of trying, your baby probably doesn’t have any more gas trapped in their stomach.

On the other hand, if your baby is still showing signs of fussiness, sometimes the air may just take some time to be released.

Be patient. Keep your baby upright and let nature do its job.

Choose your products wisely

baby bottle and stuff

If you find that your baby is very gassy, choosing the right type of bottle can help.

A nipple size that is too big for your baby can cause them to swallow too quickly, thus causing gassiness.

Baby bottles come with a variety of nipple options suitable for different age groups. Some bottles are also shaped to reduce the amount of air your baby consumes. Others have disposable liners, vents or straw-like systems that keep bubbles from being consumed by your baby as they drink.

So if you’re planning on buying baby bottles, ensure that the nipple size is appropriate for your baby’s age to reduce the amount of air swallowed as they feed.

Is my baby’s gassiness affected by my diet if I’m breastfeeding?

powdered milk and baby bottle