How to Burp a Newborn
New mothers worry about every little thing their baby does. When you already have children, you’ve been there, done that, so you don’t worry as much and you’re aware of what’s normal. But new mothers may not know what to do when their baby gets gas after feeding and gets fussy.
During the first few months of life, babies don’t move around much and need help to release the trapped air they may consume with feedings. Once you learn how to burp your little one after feeding, it’ll help your baby feel better, and you’ll feel more relaxed, too!
Keep reading for some tips on getting your newborn to burp, and learn more about how Tushbaby can help you out.
How to Get a Newborn to Burp
Table of Contents
- How important is it to burp a newborn?
- How to burp a newborn: positions
- How to burp a newborn that won’t burp
- How to burp a newborn baby fast
- How often to burp a newborn
- How long to burp a newborn after feeding
How important is it to burp a newborn?
Babies are usually born with an undeveloped sphincter in their esophagus. It's important to burp your newborn baby after breastfeeding or bottle feeding because they swallow air with their milk or formula, which gets trapped as gas in their tummy and needs to be released. When it isn’t released, it can hurt their tummy and make them cranky. Burping helps expel the air and prevents gas buildup.
Burping will also reduce their chances of spitting up and create more space for milk or formula in their tummy. Not all babies require burping, though. Some newborns will naturally release gas easier than other babies, and most babies burp readily on their own after 2 months of age.
How to burp a newborn: positions
There are several positions that are best for burping your baby, including:
Upright: Hold your baby with their head firmly against your shoulder. Support your infant’s head and back, and gently pat them on their back with your other hand. This is the most common form of burping that is used in hospitals as well. Feeding your baby in an upright position also helps reduce the intake of air while feeding.
Using a baby hip carrier like Tushbaby that conveniently transforms into a newborn-friendly nursing pillow will allow you to position your baby more comfortably so you can easily feed and burp them upright.
With your baby propped up in the upright position, colic and reflux is less likely. Colic is a persistent, painful condition that can affect newborns and is thought to be caused by an immature digestive system or possibly sensitivities to certain foods. Burping or massaging can sometimes help a baby with colic feel better. Reflux is spitting up, and is the backward flow of stomach contents into the esophagus, which is still developing in the first few months of life for a newborn. Burping can help the reflux, and most babies grow out of it eventually.
On Your Lap: Sit baby on your lap facing away from you while leaning baby’s weight slightly forward against one of your hands. Support your little one’s chest and head, cup their chin in your palm between your thumb and index finger, then use your other hand to gently pat your baby’s back or rub it in circular motions while they burp.
Keep in mind that facing baby forward (whether on your lap or in a carrier) on their own without such support can only happen after your baby can hold up their own head. Having strong neck muscles is a critical milestone that babies need to reach beforehand, and newborns don’t have this strength yet. Be sure to support them while burping face-out, and when they’re about 4-6 months old and can hold their own head up, they can face forward without much assistance.
Face Down: Lay your newborn on your lap tummy-side down with their head turned to one side. Support your baby’s head, ensuring it is higher than their chest, and gently rub or pat your baby’s back until they burp.
You may want a burp cloth handy for over your shoulder or near your baby’s mouth in case they spit up after burping. You can stash some burping towels into one of the five accessible Tushbaby storage pockets to have them ready after feedings.
How to burp a newborn that won’t burp
If your baby doesn’t burp after a few minutes of trying the previous techniques, change positions! There’s more than one way to burp a baby. Do what works for you as long as it is safe and helps your little one. Around 6-9 months, babies usually don’t need burping anymore because they can sit up well by themselves.
How to burp a newborn baby fast
Making sure your baby doesn’t get super fussy from that gassy tummy requires fast action. The fastest way to burp your baby is the upright method—that’s why hospitals and NICUs use it. But if it doesn’t work, try a different method. Feel your baby’s belly, because if it’s soft, it means all the gas is out. If it’s firm, they might still have gas and need more burping.
How often to burp a newborn
As you get to know your baby and are consistently feeding them, you’ll begin to anticipate the signs that they need to be burped. When they start to squirm, frown, or get fussy, they may feel gas bubbles building up inside of them. Burping your baby before the bubbles get trapped will relieve their tummy. You’ll soon be able to tell when your baby isn’t fussy anymore due to gas and then you can stop burping.
How long to burp a newborn after feeding
If you're bottle feeding, burp your newborn about every ten minutes during feeding and when you’re done feeding so the gas releases. When you're breastfeeding, burp your baby when it's time to switch breasts. A baby who has swallowed air may stop eating because they feel full from the air. Breastfed babies tend to need less burping because they take in less air than bottle feeders.
Keep your baby upright for at least 1-15 minutes after burping to prevent reflux. Once you learn to burp your baby and relieve that gas, your baby will be happy after burping, and so will you!