Burping Baby

Baby has arrived and there are so many things to learn! New parents usually have many questions about  feeding, pooping, peeing, and sleeping. You try and ask about the most important things, but sometimes the appointment with the health care provider or public health nurse comes and goes and you realize you’ve forgotten to ask something – like how to burp baby. 

You are not alone. Many parents wonder about burping. (1) “Do I need to? How do I do it? How often? When? What if I forget?”  Take a deep breath! You’ve got this! 

Burping the baby helps to relieve gas because babies take in air when feeding, especially when very young. This can occur with either breast or bottle feeding. Gas that stays in baby’s tummy can enter the rest of the digestive tract and cause them to be uncomfortable or gassy. At least try to burp the baby. The key word is ‘try’. 

Not every baby will give you the burp you are waiting for. There are ways to encourage it. You can do this by varying the baby’s position and rubbing or patting babe’s back with a free hand. 

  • Sit baby on your lap, facing sideways, with your index finger and thumb of one hand under baby’s chin, lean baby forward and pat. Baby is securely held in this position. 
  • Or try the traditional shoulder position. Baby’s tummy leans on your shoulder, with your arm under baby’s bum, securing their knees against your body. 
  • Have baby lay tummy down along your arm, head at your elbow with your hand holding baby’s leg secure while cradling baby to your body. 
  • Finally, lay baby tummy down, across your legs, ensuring baby’s face is turned to the side.

It is best to try to burp breastfeeding babies between alternating breasts and at the end of the feed. For babies feeding from a bottle, burping every 1-2 oz and at the end of the feed will help to bring those burps up.(3) If exhaustion takes over and you forget to burp your bundle, don’t worry. Sometimes babies burp on their own. All you can do is ‘try’ to help get rid of those gas bubbles.


  1. Healthline. (2020, April 16). When Do You Stop Burping a Baby? Retrieved from Healthline Parenthood
  2. Healthline. (2018, September 6). Illustrated Guide for Burping Your Sleeping Baby Retrieved from Illustrated Guide
  3. HealthLinkBC. (2019, August 22). Burping a Baby Retrieved from HealthLinkBC

Submitted by Shelley Hlymbicky RN, IBCLC for the Middlesex-London Community Early Years Partnership


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