Burping a baby is essential because it gets rid of excess air in the gastrointestinal tract. Excess gas can lead to colic, feelings of fullness after a small volume of feed, and pain due to distension or contractions associated with feeding. Burping also occurs under the arms, at the neckline, back, midriff, and groin areas where gas can gather due to poor muscle control during feeding.
Burping a baby is carried out by holding them against your shoulder and rubbing their back gently until they burp. The head should be resting on your shoulder for support and if you are using one hand to support the baby’s jaw, use the other hand to rub their back. If you do not have experience or find it challenging to baby burp, you should seek professional advice. Please find out how to make the baby burp using these helpful tips.
1. Lay your child across your lap or seated upright on your forearm, resting their head against your chest. Ensure to support the neck and back; this will prevent choking if they vomit while burping. This position also prevents them from falling over if they lose balance which could happen when standing up or laying down flat on the floor.
2. Gently pat, rub or massage the child’s back in an upward motion that helps release gas bubbles trapped in his intestines. Dr. Benjamin Spock, M.D., the author of “Baby and Child Care,” gently tapping on the middle of a baby’s back is a comfortable way to release gas bubbles.
3. Rub your baby’s abdomen in a counterclockwise motion, allowing the muscles of the stomach and intestines to unwind and release the trapped air.
4. Lay your child down on their back with arms extended to either side. Place one hand just below the ribs and another above the belly button to feel for any unusual movements within his body that may cause discomfort or pain. Continue applying gentle pressure at points around the belly until you feel your child start to baby burp or belch, then ease off slightly so they can finish releasing gas naturally. If you are not sure if your baby has wholly removed all gas, try running cool water over his face, which often causes them to burp.
5. When holding your baby to burp, make sure his legs are bent and secure against your body so they don’t flail around while you rub or pat their back. This ensures your baby’s safety, especially when standing up or if you have to walk far with him in your arms. 6. If none of the previous methods work, place two fingers below the ribs on either side of the belly button without applying too much pressure. Move one finger slightly lower than the other until you feel your child release gas bubbles or belches. Repeat this process until all gas has been released from the intestines.
7. Try lying down flat on your back with knees bent, allowing gravity to aid in the process. Your baby should lie flat on your chest and stomach with his head turned away from you. Ensure to support the neck and back, which prevents choking should they vomit while trying to burp. 8. Place a hand under each armpit to lift the child slightly off of your chest so he is in a position where he can quickly release gas bubbles through belching. Try rubbing or patting his back gently in an upward motion that will help release gas bubbles that may have been trapped when he was lying down flat against you.
9. Lay your baby face up over one shoulder, resting his upper body weight upon your knee for comfort. In this position, apply gentle pressure to his stomach by placing two fingers just below his belly button. Move your fingers in a counterclockwise motion until you feel the baby burp or belch. Repeat this process until the gas has been relieved completely.
10. Try placing your baby over your shoulder with one arm under the child’s thighs and the other supporting his neck and head. In this position, put the finger on either side of the rib cage, using gentle pressure to massage areas where your baby may have trapped gas bubbles from eating or drinking too quickly. If applied correctly, this technique should make him release gas through burping or belching.
11. Feeding smaller meals more frequently throughout the day is another way to prevent uncomfortable amounts of stomach gas from building up within a tiny infant’s tummy.
12. Using a bottle nipple that releases air while your child drinks can help slightly reduce the number of gas bubbles trapped in their stomach. Although this solution is somewhat ineffective on its own, it is still worth trying before other more direct methods.
13. Try holding your baby over one knee while placing two fingertips on either side of his rib cage to apply pressure which will force him to release gas through burping or belching.
14. Place your baby so he is lying face down on an elevated surface, such as a table or countertop, using pillows for cushioning and support. Turn him so his chest is facing upwards and keep his head turned to one side so gas can escape through burping rather than vomiting and choking.
15. Using natural gas drops in the bottle that are “safe” for infants is another way to help release trapped stomach gases but can have adverse effects on children if used over a long period.
16. Offer your baby small amounts of water or milk after breastfeeding, which will help wash away any excess mucus collected in the back of the throat. Be sure you are burping him often after feeding, so he doesn’t choke on collected food particles.
17. Before feeding your infant, allow them to sit upright at an incline for 30 minutes to one hour while they swallow gases and food bits that would otherwise be released through burping or belching. This technique also helps reduce discomfort caused by acid reflux (the build-up of stomach acid in the esophagus).
18. Sit your baby upright after feeding so he can release gas through burping or belching. If you are breastfeeding, choose a comfortable position for both you and the child so he can continue nursing without interruption.
19. Lean your child forward at an angle of 45 degrees with his face facing downwards. Gently pat his back using one hand to encourage him to release trapped gas bubbles through burping or belching. This technique works well if your infant has just eaten or drank something containing large amounts of air bubbles.
20. Lay your baby’s tummy down over one leg while placing two fingers on either side of the rib cage to gently apply pressure which will help force him to release gas through burping or belching.
21. When feeding your baby, make sure the food is at a soft, mushy consistency. Food with large chunks can get caught in the throat and cause discomfort, leading to trapped gas bubbles.
22. If you think your child may have swallowed some air while drinking, hold him upright a few moments before laying him back down for a nap. This will allow any excess amount of air to escape from his digestive system naturally through burping or belching.
23. Avoid using bottles containing long, narrow nipples as these can contribute to increased amounts of air being swallowed when feeding. In addition to this, avoid attaching pacifiers to bottles as babies suck on these items without consuming which causes them to eat large amounts of air.
24. Feed your infant in a quiet, dimly lit room with few distractions to keep him from swallowing excessive amounts of air while eating. If you are breastfeeding, dim the lights and remove any jewelry or clothing that may make loud noise while feeding. This will help him focus on eating without discomfort rather than letting food particles slip into his throat when he swallows unawares, causing trapped gas bubbles in his stomach.
25. Try burping your baby every 2 minutes when breastfeeding. Although this method works well for infants who drink formula through a bottle, it leaves breastfed babies hungry and waiting too long between feedings, leading to increased gas production in the digestive tract and acid reflux symptoms.
Babies may swallow additional air when hungry and gulp large quantities of milk or formula too quickly. Reduce the amount of air consumed when feeding down to two ounces every five minutes instead of one ounce every three minutes to reduce the chances of swallowing air. Changing nursing positions between breasts will also help to expel more gas bubbles from your baby’s tummy. If you are breastfeeding, switching them from the football position over onto their side while they eat can also help release trapped gas bubbles before they cause any discomfort.
An alternative method for burping a baby is to use the classic two-handed technique, which involves supporting the neck and jaw with one hand while rubbing their back with the other hand. You can also keep your baby by using your forearm under their body while you are sitting in a cradling position facing them, ensuring that they are still supported at the neck and jaw area. By gently sliding your arm back and forth, it helps release trapped air from the stomach, which allows for easy burping of your baby.