Bottle feeding has its advantages, a huge one being that it gives you more freedom and flexibility when it comes to feeding your baby. But like everything in the world of parenting, the good things often come with some messy (and gassy) downsides!
We all know how uncomfortable trapped gas can be, so you’ll want to do everything you can to help your little one get rid of it. Keep reading to find out the best way to burp a baby, what to do if your baby won’t burp, and some baby burping techniques to try. We’ll help you banish those baby bubbles because everybody hates having gas, especially in little tummies!
How To Burp A Baby
When your baby drinks from their bottle, they’ll also swallow any air bubbles present in the milk. These pesky little bubbles can irritate your baby’s tummy and make them feel full even when they aren’t. This makes burping pretty much essential during every feeding.
Focus on the left side of your baby’s back—this is where their stomach (and those bothersome bubbles) are! Gently rub and pat your baby to help get the air out. Most babies will be okay with a soft touch, but others may need just a slightly firmer pat to get things moving.
It’s worth noting that your little one might be kicking up a fuss at the start of feeding time due to a trapped bubble. If you suspect this, you can try burping them immediately to try help prevent imminent upsets!
What To Do If Your Baby Won't Burp
Sometimes the gas won’t budge, and the baby won’t burp. Unfortunately, some babies find it easier than others to release that trapped gas.
If your baby isn’t burping and they still seem to be uncomfortable with gas, try laying them down in a comfortable spot and massage their tummy. You can also try to move their legs in a cycling motion to try and work out some of the bubbles—this is known as ‘biking out the burp’!
Remember, it’s important to be patient with your baby when burping. We’ve all experienced first-hand just how long it can take trapped air to work its way out. Now imagine experiencing it for the first time!
When To Stop Burping A Baby
A bottle-fed newborn should be burped between every 2-3 ounces of milk until they’re around 6 months old. You’ll find that your baby will probably need burping less and less as they grow older. They’ll become a feeding pro and start to sit upright on their own—they may not even need your help with burping at all!
Regardless of whether or not your baby shows this kind of independence, you must always help them along if they seem to be struggling to burp.
While there’s no exact age for when you should stop burping your baby, you’ll probably notice less of a need for it between 4 and 6 months. Once your baby starts to eat solids, this change will become even more apparent.
Baby Burping Positions and Techniques
Knowing the best positions and techniques for your baby is key to ensuring a smooth and effective burping session.
Here are three of the best burping positions to try to help get all that unwanted air out:
- Hold your baby and let their chin rest on your shoulder. Gently pat or rub your baby’s back with one hand, making sure their head and shoulders are supported with the other.
- Lay your baby face down on your lap. Softly tap and rub your baby’s back with one hand and support their chin with the other. This is the best method for burping a sleeping baby.
- Place your baby on your lap while they face away from you. Support their chest and chin with one hand while you gently pat their back with the other. It helps to lean them forward a little in this position.
Once you’ve tried these methods a few times, you’ll probably find that one of them works better for your baby than the others.
Now that you’re familiar with the how’s and why’s of burping, here are some of our top tips for working that air out successfully every time:
- Save your clothes by placing a burp cloth over your shoulder or knee. Because the one time you don’t protect your outfit is probably the time you’ll get a major spit-up!
- If you’re formula-feeding your baby, you can minimize the number of air bubbles in the milk by swirling the formula with the water, or gently mixing with a spoon. A shaken-up bottle is a one-way ticket to the gassy city!
- Opt for baby bottles with anti-colic venting systems specifically designed to draw air away from the milk. No bubbles = no tears!