Burp your baby
Parenting Tips and Tricks

Top 8 Ways to Burp Your Baby

In this blog I will be sharing my top 8 ways to burp your baby safely and effectively.

Two weeks ago we discussed “wind” in babies, if you missed this article you can read it here.
Now that we understand how and why babies get wind and that it can be a painful experience, we often need to help a baby release this excess gas from their digestive tract – “burping your baby”.

Burp your baby

When to Burp your Baby

  • showing signs of being uncomfortable (will not feed and often babies will raise their legs or pull off or get angry)
  • takes a break from feeding at the bottle or breast
  • between breasts
  • after a milk let-down
  • after a feed

How often to Burp your Baby

To begin with, burp your baby at natural breaks – between breasts or halfway through a bottle and then at the end of a feed.

If your baby is a ‘windy baby’ then you may find you need to burp a little more frequently between feeds. For example, burp before a feed, after a milk let-down, halfway through one breast, between breasts and after the feed.
Trust your instinct.
You will get to know how often to burp your baby and when to continue the feed. Don’t force a burping session if your baby becomes upset about the stop in the feed as this may cause them to swallow more air – not a good thing!

How long to Burp for

Burping your baby can take anything from 5 seconds to 10 minutes plus. There really isn’t a burp clock to follow.

I have to admit burping is one of my least favourite tasks at feed time. My kids have never been easy burpers … EVER!

If your baby is showing signs of discomfort, I would persist with burping until you get at least one burp out or until you have reached your burping tether.
I have been known to take up to 10 minutes especially if I am in a hurry to get it over and done with – Murphy’s Law the more you want something to happen, the longer it takes.

For some lucky parents, your baby will burp on cue and without difficulty – wind may never be an issue!
For others, you will have to be more persistence and patient, especially if you don’t want to experience the air being painfully pushed through the digestive system as your baby tries to eliminate this gas through their bottom.

Top 8 Techniques to Burp your Baby

Every baby is different.

Always use gentle and slow movements with any burping technique and ensure your baby’s head is supported at all times. It is easier for a baby to burp if their back is completely straight.
Your aim is to wiggle the air up through the milk allowing it to be released through the mouth.

TIP: Have a burp cloth or towel close by.
My personal go to for burp towels is the terry towelling squares – the ‘old school’ flat cloth nappies.

With most burps your baby may bring up some milk or what feels like the entire feed – this is completely normal! Top up with milk if you feel it is necessary.

  1. Over your shoulder

    Aim: place slight pressure on their belly
    – Place baby high above your shoulder so that their belly is against your shoulder
    – Gently pat your baby’s back or rub in an upwards motion starting at the base of their spine and finishing at the shoulders

  2. Sit your baby on your lap ensuring a straight back

    Aim: allow wind to rise to the surface
    – Sit your baby on your lap so that their legs hang over the side of your legs (you will be looking at the side of their head/ear)
    – Support your baby’s head from the front with your open hand (your hand will cup their chin)
    – With your other hand, gently pat or rub their back in an upwards motion starting at the base of their spine

  3. Torso twist

    Aim: stretch your baby’s torso to allow wind to rise to the surface
    – Sit your baby on your lap so that you are looking at the side of their head
    – Ensure a straight back
    – Support your baby’s head from the front with your open hand and keep the other hand firmly on their back
    – Gently stretch their stomach by twisting their torso from left to right

  4. Rocking your sitting baby backwards and forwards

    Aim: allow wind to rise to the surface by rocking the milk in their stomach
    – Sit your baby on your lap
    – Ensure a straight back
    – Support your baby’s head from the front with your open hand and keep the other hand firmly on their back
    – Gently and slowly rock your baby backwards and forwards like a pendulum clock

  5. Circling your baby

    Aim: to allow wind to rise to the surface by moving the milk around in their stomach
    – Sit your baby on your lap
    – Ensure a straight back
    – Support your baby’s head from the front with your open hand and keep the other hand firmly on their back
    – Slowly and gently move your baby in a circular motion – clockwise and anticlockwise

  6. Bouncing your baby

    Aim: move wind to the surface by bouncing the milk up and down
    – Sit your baby on your lap
    – Ensure a straight back
    – Support your baby’s head from the front with your open hand and keep the other hand firmly on their back.
    – Gently bounce your leg up and down so that your baby bounces with your

  7. Put down, pick up

    Aim: to allow milk and air bubbles to move around naturally and then as you lift your baby you will naturally stretch their torso allowing air to make its way to the surface
    – Lay your baby down on their back on a flat surface and wait for 30seconds+ (or until your baby shows slight discomfort)
    – Pick your baby up under the arms, supporting their head and continue to burp your baby in your desired position

  8. Lay your baby face down

    Aim: place pressure on their stomach forcing air to exhale
    – Place your baby face down on your lap or on a flat surface
    – Ensure that your baby’s head is turned to the side
    – Gently pat or rub their back
    – Pick your baby up and continue to burp

Remember, it doesn’t matter how big or small a burp is … a burp is a burp!

Movement is key when it comes to burping your baby, so if one technique isn’t working try something else.

Good luck and may the burping angels be with you!

Feel free to share as this may help someone you know.

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Photo Credit: Kiah Lucey Photography

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