Feedings are very special time spent with a new baby. As well as the sense of closeness and connectedness it brings, learning the ins and outs of feeding for the first time can come with many questions, including how to burp a newborn baby.
Burping a newborn is not always as simple as patting a baby’s back. There are ways to burp a baby to ensure that he or she is properly getting all of their gas out. This article will address the essential information on burping a newborn, as well as any other burp-related questions you may have. Seek a second professional opinion if you have any remaining questions or concerns.
Why do babies burp?
First thing’s first: why do newborns need to burp in the first place? When babies feed, they tend to swallow air. Burping helps to alleviate the gas in their bellies from swallowing this air and can help prevent spitting up, crankiness, and gassiness. It’s best to burp a baby frequently to help avoid any milk coming back up after eating.
How to burp a newborn
We’ve covered why burping is important, so now let’s look at how to get a baby to burp. Parents should cup their hand and gently pat the baby’s back repeatedly until he or she lets out a burp. It’s important to cup the hand to ensure that the patting is gentle enough for the baby, as opposed to patting with a flat palm.
When it comes to knowing how long to burp a baby, it’s really up to the newborn! But it shouldn’t take very long – usually only a few minutes. For the first six months or so, the baby should be held in an upright position for 10 to 15 minutes after feeding. This can help keep the milk down but parents shouldn’t be too concerned if their baby does spit up sometimes! That’s when the burping towel comes in handy.
The different ways to burp a baby
Every baby is unique and there really isn’t one best way to burp a newborn. These methods are a good place to start:1
1. Sitting upright with baby on chest
In this position, parents rest the baby’s chin on their shoulder and support his or her back with one hand. With the other hand, parents can gently pat the baby’s back. This position is best done in a rocking chair or while gently rocking the baby.
2. Holding baby upright on lap or knee
Using one hand, parents can support the baby’s back and head by cradling the chin and resting their palm into his or her chest. As they gently support the baby’s chin and chest, they can use their other hand to pat the back. However, parents should take caution to not grip the throat, but rather gently hold the chin.
3. Holding baby belly-side down on lap
Another option is to lay the baby down on his or her belly across the lap. Ensure that the head is higher than the chest and gently pat the baby’s back until he or she burps.
Our baby burping tips
Here are some of our tips on how to get the most out of burping a newborn:2
Burp during feedings. In addition to burping after feedings, parents may choose to burp their baby during feedings if he or she seems fussy or gassy. When bottle feeding, burp the newborn every two to three ounces. And for breastfeeding, burp between each breast alternation.
It’s important that parents continue burping the baby after feedings in addition to during!
Burp an extra-gassy baby more often. If a baby is on the gassier side, spits up a lot, or has gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), try burping him or her every ounce for bottle feeding and every five minutes for breastfeeding.
Curious as to how long to burp a newborn? Every baby is different, but holding the baby upright for up to 15-20 minutes after feeding should help the milk stay down.
Minimize the amount of air swallowed. Gassiness and spitting up come from when babies swallow air during feedings. While swallowing some air is inevitable, there are ways to prevent an excessive amount from being swallowed.
Whether the baby feeds from a bottle or both breast and bottle, this anti-colic bottle with an AirFree vent is designed to help your baby swallow less air as they drink, by drawing air away from the nipple. Reducing the amount of air your baby ingests can help with common feeding issues, such as colic, reflux, and gas.
Time to start burping
Feeding is a wonderful moment for parents to bond with their baby. Every baby and mother is different, which is why it can take time and practice to discover the best way to burp a newborn baby.