how to burp a baby | working methodologies for baby burp

A baby always shines and enlightens everything around. When you hold your baby for the first time, you think of the future ahead with a lot of joy and moments of pleasure.

Along with these unforgettable memories, you will have to endure some hard times too; especially when your baby will not act actually normal. Sometimes these problems might disturb him/her due to your negligence.

It is ominous that no-one will want their little one to have some fuss on purpose. It might be due to some reason that you never heard before. Your baby will cry, and you will not be able to identify the cause. One of them is Baby burp.

Some parents might laugh it off, but it is not their fault. A baby burp sounds a bit awkward. In reality, the truth is a lot different from what seems to be a funny thing.

Along with how to change a diaper, how to help yours for a good sleep etc. How to burp a baby? It is also an essential point that new parents should know! It requires a lot of practice and, perhaps, some patience too.

What is a baby burp?

New-born babies swallow air into their stomach due to the sucking technique, while feeding. This air needs to be excreted. A baby burp is a gentle process to help your baby excrete this air properly.

This air is basically in the form of gas bubbles. If not excreted properly, these gas bubbles will find a way out. Burps from the other end of your baby can create a lot of mess. They can produce distinct sounds and smells often.

Some of these un-usual burps are known as wet burps or ERPs, which can bring some stomach content along. It is also the answer to why to use a burp cloth while burping your infants.

Why baby’s need to burp?

Babies need to burp for the same reason as an adult has to. The air inside the stomach can make babies feel full even when they are not. A situation like these can often make babies weep.

Intake of air while feeding might not always be the reason. Breast-fed babies depend on mom’s diet also. Some allergic reaction and digestion might also be the reason for extra gas in your baby’s stomach.

If babies do not burp too often and continue to ingest air into their stomach, it can also affect a baby’s digestion. It can result in spit-ups. In rare cases, they may vomit too. Burping helps to get rid of this trouble-some air.

When do baby’s need to burp?

A baby burp is a technique to excrete air that a baby swallows while feeding or having a meal. There is no definitive time for all babies to burp. Some might need to burp during feeding, and some babies do not need to burp too often.

Usually, when you feel your baby is getting grumpy. Your little one might pull away while feeding or starts crying for no obvious reason. This is the time to try burping your baby.

There is no guarantee that a baby burp will always settle the problem. Other digestive issues may be the reason, but rarely.

How to burp a baby? 

Burping a baby is not rocket science. It just needs a little practice and some patience. To help your baby to burp; there are certain positions you must know to properly and gently burp your baby.

Over the shoulder- it is the easiest and gentlest of the positions. Grasp your baby over your shoulder, facing him/her towards you. Use one of your hands to hold the baby in such a way that it supports your baby’s whole body.

A more effective over the shoulder position is to have your baby’s belly right on your shoulder bone to have more gentle pressure. It requires care and proper technique to avoid any mishap.

Sitting on your lap- use your palm and fingers to support your baby’s body also head, allowing him/her to sit in your lap facing away from you.

Across your lap, facing downwards- laid your baby perpendicular to your body across your lap facing down. Baby’s belly should be on your knees. Use your hands to support your baby’s body. Do not let the head get lower than the rest of the body or blood will rush towards the head.

Tip: Choose any position, but must use a burp cloth to capture spit-up.

Once you have your baby in one of the above-mentioned positions, you are all set to burp your baby. Gently, pat or rub on your baby’s back for a while. In normal situations, you will realize when to stop to burp your baby.

Some babies might not burp after this procedure. You can try by changing the position. You might stop because it may not be needed at the time.

As explained by Dr. Forbis, “It is never wrong to stop if your baby does not burp for a minute or so. Your baby might not need to burp at the time, as all babies have different habits.”           

How to burp a sleeping baby?        

The majority of babies have a habit of falling asleep while feeding. It does not mean that they do not need to burp. So, the question is how to burp a sleeping baby?

It is not easy to burp a sleeping baby, but you have to. The following are some methods to burp a sleeping baby without waking him/her up.

1st Method- Using your shoulder:

It is very similar to over the shoulder method that is used when your baby is not sleeping.

  1. Hold your baby with his/her face on your shoulder. To provide support to your baby’s body, use one of your arms.
  2. Use your other palm to gently pat on your baby’s back between the shoulder blades.
  3. Rubbing is an alternative if gentle pats do not work.

This method is very useful for baby’s who sleep soundly. Light bouncing will awake your baby so, please avoid.

2nd Method- In front of your chest:

Mostly, the shoulder method might awake your baby. You can use this method if you undergo the same problem.

  1. Using your forearms, lift your baby to your chest height; One forearm under the back and one under the buttock.
  2. Try to keep your baby in curled position, avoiding the baby’s legs to stretch out.
  3. Use your palm that’s under your baby’s back to rub.
  4. If rubbing does not work. Gentle pats can be used with proper care.

3rd Method- Hip:

This method is suitable for those who feed their babies lying down. It also keeps the baby asleep because it does not need your baby to be upright.

  1. Place your baby over the belly or hip, so that, his tummy is in direct contact.
  2. Pat, your baby’s back between shoulder blades.
  3. Rub in a circular motion if necessary.
4th Method- Lap:

This type of methodology is suitable for those who are sitting on a couch or in a chair. Baby’s will stay asleep also.

  1. While you are sitting, turn your baby onto his/her tummy is in contact with your thighs.
  2. Keep your baby’s upper body slightly upright using your hand.
  3. Rub your baby’s back between shoulder blades or gently pat.
5th Method- Arm hold: 

This method is more suitable for young babies than older or larger babies.

  1. Gently, turn your baby from feeding position so that his/her tummy comes in contact with your forearm and head is on the bend of your elbow.
  2. The other hand is used to keep the baby stable.
  3. Rub or pat the back of your baby.

You can select any method to burp your sleeping baby. You can try alternative methods if one does not pay off. Try to find a suitable method; hence, you do not bother your baby every time around.

when to see a Doctor?

If your baby does not burp and is growing and feeding properly without any fuss—no need to visit a doctor. Spit-ups, toots, wet-burps are normal in younger babies.

According to Dr. Forbis, “You should visit your baby’s doctor when he/she has a high fever, diarrhea, bloody stools, or a lot of grumpiness. These are not symptoms for a baby that does not burp.”

Projectile vomiting or missile vomiting after feeding is not common. These are not usual symptoms for a young baby. Vomits can make your baby weak. An urgent visit to the pediatrician is necessary if these symptoms appear in your baby.

Frequently asked questions:

Is burping compulsory?

No, burping is not compulsory for all babies. Some doctors also do not recommend burping your baby. According to a study at the University of Glasgow, there was no major difference between the 71 babies that were under observation.

Half of these babies were allowed to burp for the first three months, and half of them were not. Burping did not reduce colic events, and no significant regurgitation events were observed in all babies.

What if a baby who burped before does not burp?

If a baby does not burp, you can try with changing positions. You might stop after trying two or three positions because your baby might not need to burp. It may be because your baby has not swallowed extra air.

Your baby might have developed the technique to excrete extra gas without your assistance as he/she gets older. It is better not to force your baby to burp.

When to stop burping your baby?

There is no significant age prescribed to stop burping your baby. It depends on your baby, whether he/she wants your assistance any more to burp or not. As your baby develops his digestive system, burping is not required.

“When your baby starts eating solid food. You will see this change in your baby as no further burping will be required. This is likely to happen when your baby is around 4 to 6 months old,” prescribes Dr. Landau.

 Can we stop extra air from going inside our baby’s stomach?

According to science and fact, you cannot stop the air from going inside your baby’s stomach completely (especially while sucking). You surely can avoid excessive intake of air by adopting proper methods to feed your baby.

Do bottle-fed babies require more burping?

It depends on your baby, not the way he/she is fed. If your baby swallows more air, it does not depend whether you breast-feed or bottle-feed your baby.

Usually, babies who bottle-feed have more chances to intake more air than babies who breast-feed, but then the ability to digest comes into play. Infants will require less need to burp than babies, no matter they are fed with a bottle or breast.

Some tips to avoid extra intake of air:

If bottle-fed

  • Use nipples with small holes. Fast feeding nipples causes more chances to swallow air.
  • Do not use old nipples that show any sign of wear and tear.
  • The angle of the bottle should be per the level of milk or formula in the bottle.
  • Check the flow before feeding your baby by tilting it on your hand for two or three drops.

If breast-fed

  • Comfortable feeding should be preferred. Change positions to find a comfortable position for you and your baby.
  • Check for fast let down of milk. It will gasp or pant your baby. Catch some milk on a cloth or towel until the flow slows down. Feed your baby afterward.
  • Baby’s lips should be properly spread around the nipple to reduce the chances of the intake of extra air.
  • Avoid frequent changes on the side while breast-feeding.


Many ways are prescribed to burp a baby. The best way is to experiment with different positions and find a comfortable and easy one for you, your little one. It is better than troubling your baby every time.

The same is the case with sleeping babies. No, method promises to satisfy every baby or parent/caregiver.

Scheduled visits to the baby’s doctor must be ensured to avoid any mishap. Proper feeding and weight gain are necessary for a young one to fight the diseases and infection.


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