Do babies need to burp after each feeding
Burping Your Baby (for Parents)
Reviewed by: Madhu Desiraju, MD
Primary Care Pediatrics at Nemours Children's Health
en español Hacer eructar a su bebé
An important part of feeding a baby is burping. Burping helps to get rid of some of the air that babies tend to swallow during feeding. Not being burped often and swallowing too much air can make a baby spit up, or seem cranky or gassy.
How to Burp Your Baby
When burping your baby, repeated gentle patting on your baby's back should do the trick. Cup your hand while patting — this is gentler on the baby than a flat palm.
To prevent messy cleanups when your baby spits up or has a "wet burp," you might want to place a towel or bib under your baby's chin or on your shoulder.
Try different positions for burping that are comfortable for you and your baby. Many parents use one of these three methods:
- Sit upright and hold your baby against your chest. Your baby's chin should rest on your shoulder as you support the baby with one hand. With the other hand, gently pat your baby's back. Sitting in a rocking chair and gently rocking with your baby while you do this may also help.
- Hold your baby sitting up, in your lap or across your knee. Support your baby's chest and head with one hand by cradling your baby's chin in the palm of your hand. Rest the heel of your hand on your baby's chest, but be careful to grip your baby's chin, not the throat. Use the other hand to pat your baby's back.
- Lay your baby on your lap on his or her belly. Support your baby's head and make sure it's higher than their chest. Gently pat your baby's back.
If your baby seems fussy while feeding, stop the session, burp your baby, and then begin feeding again. Try burping your baby every 2 to 3 ounces (60 to 90 milliliters) if you bottle-feed and each time you switch breasts if you breastfeed.
Try burping your baby every ounce during bottle-feeding or every 5 minutes during breastfeeding if your baby:
- tends to be gassy
- spits a lot
- has gastroesophageal reflux (GER)
- seems fussy during feeding
If your baby doesn't burp after a few minutes, change the baby's position and try burping for another few minutes before feeding again. Always burp your baby when feeding time is over.
To help prevent the milk from coming back up, keep your baby upright after feeding for 10 to 15 minutes, or longer if your baby spits up or has GERD. But don't worry if your baby spits sometimes. It's probably more unpleasant for you than it is for your baby.
Sometimes your baby may awaken because of gas. Picking your little one up to burp might put them back to sleep. As your baby gets older, don't worry if your child doesn't burp during or after every feeding. Usually, it means that your baby has learned to eat without swallowing too much air.
Babies with colic (3 or more hours a day of continued crying) might have gas from swallowing too much air during crying spells, which can make the baby even more uncomfortable. Check with your pediatrician before giving your baby anti-gas drops.
Reviewed by: Madhu Desiraju, MD
Date reviewed: June 2022
How and When to Burp Your Baby
A key part of your baby's feeding routine is burping him. Your baby may swallow lots of air while feeding, and burping can help remove some of that gassiness and ease his fussiness. It may also help prevent him from spitting up.
Find out how to burp your baby, and pick up some tips on making burping more effective.
How to Burp Your Baby: Positions to Try
Here are three burping techniques that have stood the test of time. After trying each of them out, you’ll probably settle on one that works best for you and your baby:
Hold your baby upright against your chest with his chin on your shoulder, all the while supporting him with one hand as you gently pat his back with your other hand.
Place your baby on your lap with him sitting up, all the while supporting his head and chest with one hand while you softly pat his back with your other hand.
Lay your baby on your lap with his belly faced down, all the while supporting his head so it’s higher than his chest, and pat his back.
Tips for Burping Your Baby
Try these tips the next time you need to burp your baby:
Use repeated, gentle pats on her back.
Cup your hand slightly as you pat her, as this is gentler than using a flattened palm.
Drape a towel or bib over your lap or shoulder to protect your clothing as you burp your baby, in case your baby spits up (sometimes called “wet burps”).
Now that you know how to burp your baby, and these tips help you do so effectively, here’s a helpful visual guide:
How Long Should You Burp Your Baby?
There is no specific length of time needed for burping your baby. The more important factor is how often you burp him. With that in mind, burp your baby frequently throughout feeds, even when it looks like he doesn’t need to be burped.
Waiting until after a feeding to burp your baby may mean your little one has swallowed too much air and may be fussier, so it’s better to stop feeding every so often and try to burp your little one. You could also try paced bottle feeding, which slows the flow of breast milk or formula from the bottle, which could help prevent gas.
Here are some tips for burping your baby during a feeding:
If you’re bottle feeding (which can include formula feeding or offering expressed breast milk), you’ll want to burp him after every two to three ounces of milk.
If you’re breastfeeding, burp your baby each time he switches breasts. Some breastfed babies may not need to burp as often, as they may not swallow as much air.
If your baby hasn’t burped after some time, go back to feeding. Not every baby burps every time you want him to burp.
If your baby shows any of the following signs, you may want to burp him more regularly — for example, after every ounce of milk during bottle feeding or every five minutes during breastfeeding:
He is gassy
He spits up frequently
He has Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
He seems very fussy.
After a feeding is over, keep your baby in an upright position for 10 to 15 minutes. This can help prevent him from spitting up. You may need to burp him longer if he does spit up or has been diagnosed with GERD.
Other Instances When Burping Your Baby Might Be Beneficial
If your sleeping baby wakes suddenly and you suspect it may be because of gas, burping her might help relieve the pressure and help her fall back asleep.
A colicky baby, who may cry for three or more hours per day, might have gas from all the air she’s swallowed during one of these crying spells. You may consider burping her to see if it helps comfort her.
We hope these tips can help you burp your baby during feeding time to ensure she’s more comfortable.
Don’t forget to stock up on plenty of diapers, which you will surely need after all these feedings and burpings. Get rewarded for your Pampers purchases by using the Pampers Club app to earn rewards like coupons, gifts, and gift cards.
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Breastal feeding - completely special time for mom and her newborn baby. Together with the feeling of closeness and affection that feeding brings, understanding its nuances cannot but raise many questions, including the question of how to help an infant spit up. Regurgitation in a newborn is by no means always the result of a simple pat on his back.
In this article, we'll talk about the basics of helping a newborn spit up, as well as other questions you may have about spitting up.
Why do babies spit up?
Let's get it straight: why do newborns need to burp in the first place? During feeding, children usually swallow extra air - this is called aerophagy. Spitting up helps prevent this air from entering the intestines, as well as vomiting, gas, and crankiness in the baby. To avoid the return of milk after feeding, you should give the baby the opportunity to burp more often.
How to help a newborn spit up?
During the first six months, the baby should be kept upright in a column for 10-15 minutes after each feed. This will help keep the milk in his stomach, but if the baby occasionally burps anyway, parents need not worry. While carrying your baby in an upright position, you can put a baby diaper or wipes on your shoulder to keep your clothes clean.
We've already seen why spitting up is important, now let's find out how to help your baby spit up. Parents should gently pat the baby on the back with a hand folded in a handful until he burps. Folding your hand into a handful is important because clapping with a flat palm may be too strong for an infant.
Every baby is different and there is no one right position for spitting up. To get started, you can try the following options:
- Sitting position with the baby on the chest. In this position, the parent puts the baby's head with his chin on his shoulder and with one hand supports the baby under the back. With the other hand, you can gently pat the baby on the back. This method is most effective in a rocking chair or when the baby is gently rocking.
- Holding the child upright on your legs. With one hand, parents can hold the baby by the back and head, supporting his chin and placing his palm on the baby’s chest, with the other hand, you can gently pat him on the back. At the same time, it is important to be careful: do not press the child on the throat, but only gently support his chin.
- Holding a baby on your lap while lying on your tummy. Make sure his head is above his chest and gently pat your baby on the back until he burps.
Here are some tips on how best to help your newborn spit up:
- Let your baby spit up during feeding. If the baby is restless or has swallowed air, it is worth giving him the opportunity to burp during feeding, and not just after.
- When bottle feeding, let the newborn burp after every 50-60 ml.
- When breastfeeding, let the baby burp at every breast change.
It is important to let your baby spit up after eating, even if he spit up during feeding!
If your baby is gassy, spit up more often. Also, if he vomits frequently or suffers from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), have him spit up after every 30 ml bottle-feeding or every five minutes while breastfeeding.
How long should a baby be held for it to burp? It's different for everyone, but generally keeping a newborn upright for 15 to 20 minutes after a feed helps the milk stay in the baby's stomach.
Minimize the amount of air you swallow. Gas production and regurgitation result from aerophagia during feeding. The baby will inevitably swallow air, but there are ways to prevent it from swallowing too much. Whether you bottle feed your baby or combine breastfeeding with bottle feeding, the Philips Avent anti-colic bottle with AirFree valve is designed so that the nipple is always filled with milk without excess air, even in a horizontal position, thus preventing the baby from swallowing excess air during feeding.
Reducing the amount of air your baby swallows can help reduce your baby's risk of colic, gas, and spitting up.
Breastfeeding is a wonderful time to strengthen the bond between parent and baby. Every mom and every baby is different, so learning to help your newborn burp properly can take time and practice.
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Tips on how to calm a crying baby
Crying is a way for a baby to communicate, but despite its naturalness, it is not out of place to try to calm a crying baby. It is logical that parents will have a question: “How to calm the child?” This may seem like a daunting task at times, but understanding the reasons will help you learn how to soothe a crying baby. Remember: you are doing great. We just want to give you some useful tips to help ease your worries.
If you have any questions or concerns about your baby's crying, seek medical advice. Sometimes crying can be a sign of an existing medical condition, so it's best to pay attention to any additional symptoms right away.
Why does your baby cry
Baby crying is not only natural but also expected, especially during the first three months of life. Babies usually cry for an hour every day for the first few weeks. At about six weeks old, your baby may cry for up to two hours a day, and from eight weeks on, again for about one hour a day. However, remember that all babies are different and cry differently! 1
Crying is a way of saying something is wrong. When it comes to learning how to soothe a crying baby, it's important to understand what exactly is causing her anxiety. Your baby may cry if: 1
- he is hungry;
- the baby is troubled by belching or bloating;
- need a diaper change;
- he wants to sleep;
- wants to be picked up or rocked;
- baby is hot or cold;
- baby has colic;
- feels uncomfortable: wants to roll over, pressure on diaper or clothes, or tight swaddling interferes with baby;
- the baby is teething.
If your baby cries for more than three hours a day and more than three days a week, he may be suffering from colic. However, this is not a reason to panic, and there are several ways to soothe a child with colic. Find out here about colic, its symptoms, and how to soothe a baby with colic.
If you think reflux (regurgitation) may be the cause of your crying, you can learn more about the different types of reflux and how to manage it here.
Be sure to contact your child's doctor if your baby seems ill or has the following symptoms in addition to excessive crying: 1
- shortness of breath or cough;
- crying worse when the child is picked up or moved;
- increased irritability or lethargy.
How to soothe a crying baby
Once you have ruled out some potential causes of crying, you will have a better idea of how to soothe your baby. The most important thing to remember is not to get upset and stay as calm as possible.
Here are some tips and tricks on how to calm your baby: 2
1. Swaddle your baby.
One of the most useful techniques to soothe a crying baby is swaddling. When doing this, make sure that you do not cover the child's head and do not overheat him. Don't swaddle your baby too tight: swaddling too tightly can interfere with your baby's natural body position, breathing, and blood circulation: your baby may not like it, causing him to cry. Don't swaddle your baby when he starts to roll over, which usually happens around four months of age.
2. Take the child in your arms and comfort.
When your baby is crying, it's natural for you to want to pick him up. And when your newborn cries for no reason, he probably wants to be picked up. If you're trying to calm your baby at night, try keeping him upright or in a rocking chair until he falls asleep. Any gentle strokes or vibrations can be very soothing.