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How to Burping Your Baby: Useful Tips and Techniques

Burping your baby is a simple but important skill that can make your baby feel more comfortable and happy after feeding. It helps your baby release the excess air that they swallow while nursing or bottle feeding, which can cause gas, bloating, and spitting up. However, burping is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and some babies may need it more or less than others.

​Why Do Babies Need to Burping?

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Babies tend to swallow air when they eat from a bottle or breast. This can cause them to develop gas in their stomach, which can make them uncomfortable and fussy. Burping allows your baby to release some of that gas and relieve the discomfort. It also helps prevent spitting up, which can happen when the air pushes the milk back up.

Some babies may need to burp more than others, depending on how they feed, how much air they swallow, and how sensitive their digestive system is. Some babies may not need to burp at all, especially if they are breastfed and have a good latch.

How Do You Burping a Baby?

There are different ways to burp a baby, and you can try them all to see what works best for you and your baby. The main idea is to gently pat or rub your baby’s back while holding them in a position that allows the air to escape. Here are three common techniques that many parents use:

Over the shoulder:

Hold your baby upright with their head resting on your shoulder. Support their head and neck with one hand, and pat or rub their back with the other hand. You can also gently rock or bounce your baby to help the gas move. Tip: Cupping your hand slightly is gentler than a flattened palm.

Sitting on your lap:

Sit your baby on your lap facing away from you. Support their chin and chest with one hand, and pat or rub their back with the other hand. You can also lean your baby slightly forward over your hand to create more pressure on their stomach. Tip: Use repeated, gentle pats on your baby’s back.

Lying across your lap:

Lay your baby face down on your lap, perpendicular to your body. Support their head and neck with one hand, and pat or rub their back with the other hand. Make sure their head is slightly higher than their chest, so blood doesn’t rush to their head. Tip: Keep a cloth nearby in case your baby spits up.

In all positions, be careful not to put too much pressure on your baby’s stomach or chest, as this can make them spit up more. Also, avoid burping your baby when they are very sleepy or full, as this can disturb their sleep or cause them to vomit.

When and How Often Should You Burping a Baby?

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There are no hard and fast rules on when and how often to burp a baby. Some babies may need to burp during their feed, while others may need to burp after. Some babies may burp easily, while others may take longer. Some babies may burp several times, while others may burp only once or not at all.

The best way to know when and how often to burp your baby is to follow their cues and your instincts. If your baby seems restless, squirms, pulls away, or cries during or after feeding, they may have gas and need to burp. If your baby seems content, relaxed, and satisfied after feeding, they may not need to burp.

As a general guideline, you can try burping your baby every 5 to 10 minutes during bottle feeding, or after switching breasts during breastfeeding. You can also burp your baby at the end of the feed, or whenever they seem uncomfortable. However, don’t force your baby to burp if they don’t want to or don’t need to.

What If Your Baby Doesn’t Burping?

Sometimes, your baby may not burp after feeding, even if you try different positions and techniques. This is not a cause for concern, as long as your baby is happy and comfortable. It may mean that your baby didn’t swallow much air, or that they swallowed it deeper into their intestines, where it will eventually come out as a fart.

However, if your baby doesn’t burp and shows signs of trapped gas, such as crying, arching their back, drawing their legs into their tummy, or clenching their fists, you can try some other ways to help them release the gas. For example, you can:

  1. Lie your baby on their back and gently massage their tummy in a clockwise motion.
  2. Move your baby’s legs back and forth, like riding a bike, or press their knees gently to their chest.
  3. Give your baby a warm bath or apply a warm compress to their tummy.
  4. Use a pacifier or let your baby suck on your finger to help them relax and swallow less air.
  5. Talk to your doctor about using gas drops or probiotics, which may help some babies with gas.

​If these tips don’t work, or if your baby has other symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, fever, blood in the stool, or poor weight gain, talk to your doctor to rule out any medical issues.

​When Can You Stop Burping Your Baby?

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As your baby grows older and their digestive system matures, they will need to burp less often. Most babies outgrow the need to burp by 4 to 6 months of age, or when they start eating solid foods. However, some babies may still need to burp occasionally, especially if they drink from a bottle or eat gassy foods.

You can stop burping your baby when they can sit up on their own, or when they can burp by themselves. You can also follow your baby’s cues and your instincts to decide when to stop burping your baby. If your baby seems comfortable and happy without burping, you can skip it. If your baby seems gassy or fussy, you can try burping them.

What are some tips to prevent gas in babies?

Gas in babies is normal and usually harmless, but it may cause some discomfort and fussiness in some babies. You can prevent or reduce gas in babies by following these tips:

  1. Make sure the baby latches well on the breast or bottle, and avoid letting them suck in air.
  2. Use a slow-flow nipple or a bottle that reduces air intake, such as Dr. Brown’s Options+ Anti-Colic Bottle.
  3. Feed your baby before they get too hungry or cry, and avoid overfeeding or force-feeding them.
  4. Try different feeding positions and angles, and avoid laying your baby flat during or after feeding.
  5. Massage your baby’s tummy or move their legs in a bicycle motion to help release gas.
  6. Avoid foods that may cause gas in your baby, such as beans, cabbage, broccoli, dairy, or caffeine, if you are breastfeeding.
  7. Talk to your healthcare provider about using gas drops or probiotics for your baby, if needed.


Burping your baby is a simple and helpful way to make your baby feel more comfortable and prevent spitting up. However, it is not a must-do for every baby or every feed. You can experiment with different methods and timings to find what works best for you and your baby. And remember, burping is not a sign of how well you are feeding your baby, but how well your baby is digesting the feed.


Q: Why do babies need to burp?

A: Babies may swallow air when they feed from a bottle or breast, which can cause gas and discomfort in their stomach. Burping may help release some of the trapped air and make the baby feel better.

Q: How do I burp my baby?

A: There are three main positions to burp a baby: over the shoulder, sitting on the lap, or lying across the lap. In each position, support the baby’s head and neck, and gently rub or pat the baby’s back until they burp. You may also need a cloth or towel to catch any spit-up.

Q: When should I burp my baby?

A: There are no fixed rules on when to burp a baby. Some babies may need to be burped during or after each feed, while others may not need it at all. You can try burping your baby when you switch breasts or bottles, or when the baby seems fussy or restless.

Q: How long should I burp my baby for?

A: There is no set time limit for burping a baby. Some babies may burp quickly, while others may take longer or not burp at all. You can stop burping your baby when they seem relaxed, comfortable or fall asleep.

Q: How often should I burp my baby?

A: The frequency of burping a baby depends on the individual baby and their feeding habits. Some babies may need to be burped more often than others, especially if they are bottle-fed, eat fast, or have reflux. You can follow your baby’s cues and burp them as needed.

Q: What if my baby doesn’t burp?

A: If your baby doesn’t burp after a few minutes of trying, it may mean that they don’t have any air in their stomach, or that they have already burped silently. It is not a cause for concern if your baby doesn’t burp, as long as they seem happy and comfortable.

Q: What if my baby spits up when I burp them?

A: Spitting up is normal and common for babies, and it is not a sign of illness or overfeeding. It may happen when the baby burps, coughs, or cries, or when the stomach is too full. Spitting up usually decreases as the baby grows and their digestive system matures. You can reduce spitting up by feeding your baby in an upright position, avoiding overfeeding, and keeping your baby upright for 15 to 30 minutes after feeding.

Q: Will burping my baby reduce crying?

A: Burping may help some babies feel more comfortable and less fussy, but it may not reduce crying in all cases. Crying is a normal and natural way for babies to communicate their needs and feelings, and it may have many other causes besides gas, such as hunger, thirst, tiredness, boredom, or overstimulation. You can try to soothe your crying baby by feeding, changing, rocking, singing, or cuddling them, or by offering a pacifier or a toy.

Q: When can I stop burping my baby?

A: You can stop burping your baby when they no longer need it, which may vary from baby to baby. Generally, babies outgrow the need for burping when they are around 4 to 6 months old, or when they start eating solid foods. You can also follow your baby’s cues and stop burping them when they seem comfortable and content after feeding.