Tori Kropp, RN / Baby Care Basics


When drinking breast milk or formula, your baby will swallow a fair amount of air. And when air bubbles form in his tummy, he’s bound to start fussing. Fortunately, you can help him pass that gas by learning how and when to burp him.

Breast fed babies, for example, need only be burped between breasts and at the end of each feeding. Bottle fed babies, on the other hand, should stop for a burping break after every couple of ounces. You may need to stop sooner if he shows signs of discomfort. If, after several minutes, you still don‚t hear a belch, give it up. No baby burps on every occasion.

Keep in mind that there is more than one way to burp your baby. The best technique is one that’s comfortable for you and your baby. Let me tell you about three tried-and-true methods. Try them all, and decide which works best for you.

The Shoulder Burp – Rest your infant’s head against your shoulder, using your hand and forearm to support her bottom. Be sure that her breathing is not obstructed. With the palm of your free hand, firmly (but gently) pat her back. You can also rub her back in an upward motion.

The Sitting Burp – Hold your baby so that he’s sitting upright. Until he has gained control of his neck muscles you’ll need to support his head by holding it slightly forward and cupping his chin between your thumb and forefinger. With your other hand, firmly pat his back.

The Lap Burp – Lay your infant across your lap, tummy-side down, with her arm extended and her head to the side. Raise one of your legs so that her head and chest are elevated. Use one hand to steady her and the other to firmly pat her back.tkrn