Burping your baby is an essential part of the feeding routine. It helps to ensure you have got rid of any excess air swallowed during feeding and if not properly burped or not burped often enough, this excess air can lead to spit up or gas. Gas can be a common cause of an irritated baby and can cause them to wake up during the night; if you suspect this it is a good idea to try burping them and putting them back to sleep. So, we know how important burping a baby is but let’s look at exactly how to burp a baby.
How to Burp a Baby
There are generally three methods for burping a baby which parents tend to use. However, it is always worth noting that what works for one baby might not work for another, so don’t get too hung up on the details.
- Lying on Their Belly Across Your Lap
Supporting your baby’s head and ensuring it is kept higher than their chest, lay your baby across your lap on their stomach. You can then use your free hand to gently pat or rub their back.
- Sitting on Your Lap
Your baby should be facing away from you. Place your palm flat against your baby’s chest and support their chin without putting pressure on their throat. Leaning them forward slightly, gently pat or rub their back with your other hand.
- Over your Shoulder
Rest your baby’s chin on your shoulder and support their upper body and head area with one hand whilst gently rubbing or patting their back with your other. This method allows you to walk around whilst burping.
You don’t need to spend too much time burping your baby, generally a few minutes is long enough. Whilst patting or rubbing their back, you can use a cupping motion with your hand as this tends to be gentler on them than a flat palm. It is likely your baby may bring some milk up whilst they burp, so make sure to have a muslin square ready.
Having Trouble Burping?
If you are struggling to burp your baby and they seem agitated; they may be crying, arching their back and clenching their fists; they may have trapped wind. In this instance, try lying them on their back and gently massaging their tummy. You can also move their legs as if they are riding a bike of some sort to relive the trapped wind.
If problems persist or this doesn’t work, it is best to consult your health visitor as they will have specific advice for you and your baby.