Having a baby entails a lot of additional responsibility, be it financially or timewise. As each new day passes, the baby learns something new and so do the parents. This also includes daily routine activities like feeding the baby and making sure that the baby is healthy and happy. Burping is an essential part of the same process. As such, it is important to know how to burp a newborn baby.

What is Burping and Why is it Important?

Burping plays a very important role for a baby because it serves the purpose of releasing the air trapped in the baby’s stomach. The air that the baby might have swallowed while feeding finds an outlet through burping. As a result of this the baby experiences less discomfort, crankiness and fewer gas problems. This also creates more place in the baby’s stomach for him/her to feed more effectively and to his/her full potential.

Though the burping requirement and pattern varies from baby to baby, as a general rule, breastfed babies require less burping than bottle-fed babies. This is because bottle-fed babies end up swallowing more air in comparison. Even among bottle-fed babies, the type of bottle used for feeding goes a long way in determining which baby needs to burp more and how often.

When To Burp Your Baby:

Usually, babies need to be burped during the first few months of feeding because they are still learning how to feed effectively. Beyond this point, most babies learn how to swallow lesser and lesser air. They also engage in more physical activity like sitting upright and thus, often burp on their own.

Generally, breastfeeding mothers take a break to burp the baby when they switch their breasts. Bottle-feeding parents often take a break to burp the baby depending on the quantity that the babies have been fed. Burping every 60 to 90 millilitres of milk fed is the usual practice. However, for babies with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), it is advisable to burp every 20 to 30 millilitres.

If the baby experiences discomfort while feeding, tends to be cranky, pulls away or moves uncomfortably, it may be a sign for you to burp your baby right then. However, if the baby seems content and sleeps peacefully during or after the feed, it is okay to let them be. In such a case, one should not force the baby to burp. If a baby suffers from colic symptoms or other spells of prolonged crying, it is natural for him/her to swallow more air while crying. Correct burping techniques go a long way in overcoming this.

How To Burp a Baby?

Parents are often faced with the dilemma of how to burp a newborn baby. Medical experts and paediatricians suggest that there are three different ways to burp a baby. Mothers or guardians may choose the one that suits them and their baby to decide as to which is the best way to burp a baby.

1. Chest or Shoulder Method:

In this method, one may hold the baby in one arm in a manner such that the baby’s chin rests on the shoulder. With the other, free arm, you should pat or rub the baby’s back gently and wait for the baby to burp. This position is very comfortable for the baby, and hence, it will be of no discomfort to him/her.

You may also hold your baby higher such that his/her belly rests gently on your shoulder. In such a situation, one must make sure that the baby is breathing normally. One must take care of the baby’s head and neck positions to prevent the baby from any harm.

The parent may place a cloth over their shoulder/back to prevent their clothes from being soiled by baby spit-up.