If there is something every new parent has in common, it’s the desire for a happy baby! This can be a big struggle if you have a gassy baby who is fussy and difficult to calm down. Even more important, it can also be very uncomfortable for your baby. And we certainly wouldn’t want that! So, with all of the tips, tricks, and hacks swirling around the internet on how to burp a baby, we’ve decided to compile our best tips on the subject to make it easier on you. Here is our quick guide for parents filled with how to’s, best methods, and some additional tips and information you might find useful. So, grab your burp cloths and let’s get started!

Why Do’s

Is burping really necessary? In short, yes! Babies swallow air while feeding. That means they need to be burped to release that air. So, what happens if you don’t burp a baby? When a baby swallows too much air while crying or feeding, they are likely to become gassy, cranky, and, of course, uncomfortable. They are also likely to spit up. Aside from the mess, this can be unpleasant for both parent and child. Not to mention, if your baby spits up often, it can be tricky to keep track of how much they are eating to ensure proper nutrition. So for your baby’s health and comfort, burping is a necessary part of parenthood.

When To’s

Now that we know why burping is crucial, the next thing to know is when to do it. A great rule of thumb is to always burp your baby after their feeding is over. For babies who are a little bit more gassy, burp every time you switch sides if you’re breastfeeding and every 2-3 ounces when bottle feeding. Go ahead and burp your baby even more often if they seem especially gassy. If you are in the middle of a feeding and your baby is fussy, stop to burp your baby before you continue the feeding. Another important detail is that babies often wake up in the middle of the night cranky if they have an upset, gassy tummy. Burping your baby when they wake up at night can also help them get back to sleep.

Must Do’s

There are a few must do’s when burping your baby in order to keep them safe. Be sure to always keep their head and neck supported. Make sure their back and belly are straight. Gently rub and pat back while keeping your hand cupped instead of flat. Don’t keep trying to burp your baby for several minutes on end. If you try for a minute or two and they don’t burp, stop and come back later. If your baby seems uncomfortable with what you are doing to them at any time, stop and look for a gentler solution. Keep in mind, if your baby has colic and spends a lot of time crying, this could mean they are swallowing a lot more air while crying and make them even more gassy. Be sure to consult your pediatrician for more information and insights on the best way to burp a baby if they have colic.

How To’s

Are you ready to get started? Great! Be sure you are sitting upright in a chair and, yes, you’ll want a burp cloth! Here are three burping positions you can try to give your baby some much needed relief!

  1. The first position you can try is by putting your baby’s head over your shoulder with their chin resting on you. Just like a hug! Support their legs and body with your arms while they rest on your chest and give them gentle pats on the back. No burps yet? On to number two…
  2. Sit your baby upright on your legs and lean them forward a little bit over your hand while you support their lower body with your legs and their core and head with your hand. Then, pat them on the back. No luck? Let’s try number three!
  3. Lie your baby across your legs on their belly, making sure their head is up above their chest. You can elevate one leg just a little bit to achieve this. Then, with your arm holding them across the chest (resting your arm between them and your leg), you can support your baby’s entire upper body by gently holding their chin with your hand and cradling their chest with your wrist or forearm. Now, pat your baby’s back.

What To’s

If none of these positions work for you and you have tried for a couple of minutes, you might need a few tricks! One great way to help your baby feel better is tummy time. Have your little one lay on their belly while awake to help push the gas out. Another wonderful trick is to practice a gentle belly massage. Rub your hand across their tummy in a clockwise motion. Still nothing? Here’s a hack for you! Put your baby on their back and hold onto their ankles. Then, move their legs in a circular motion like they are riding a bike. This can be a great way to get them moving and release those little tummy bubbles. Remember, there is no single best way to burp a baby! The perfect method all depends on what works for your little one!

At Coastal Kids, our mission is to support parents through all aspects of their child’s health. Even when it gets tough! Burping a baby can be a real challenge. But don’t worry, we are here to help! We hope these tips, tricks, and hacks are useful. If you’ve tried and tested all of these solutions and nothing seems to work, be sure to reach out to your knowledgeable Coastal Kids pediatrician and they can offer advice tailor fit to your baby’s unique needs. To make an appointment, visit us at www.coastalkids.com