How often to burp a baby while feeding
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.
How and When to Burp a Newborn
Reviewed By Melinda L. Winterscheid, M.D.
While it might not be the most glamorous of tasks, burping your baby is important for his or her comfort. When babies are feeding, they take in air, which can build up and make them uncomfortable, causing you to find yourself with a fussy, squirmy child.
When to Burp Your Baby
How much a baby needs to burp will vary from baby to baby. If you're burping a newborn after breastfeeding, the baby will typically burp less because they swallow less air. Most babies will outgrow the need to be burped by 4-6 months of age.
You can often tell that a baby needs to be burped if he or she is squirmy or pulling away while being fed. This being said, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents try to burp their baby:
- When a nursing mother switches breasts or
- Every 2-3 oz. if being bottle-fed (60 – 90 mL)
Pausing to burp frequently slows feeding and reduces air intake. However, if your baby has not successfully burped after a few minutes of trying, switch methods or give up and continue with the feeding. It is possible that your baby doesn’t actually have to burp. The best method for burping will generally differ for babies and parents – use the method that works best for you.
There are three popular methods for burping newborns and babies. All will require a burping cloth to protect from spit up or wet burps and a gentle patting motion across a baby’s back to coax out the burp. The main difference is how the baby is held. Take care to support the baby’s head and neck safely and move the baby slowly and gently.
- Place a burping cloth or towel on your shoulder and/or back.
- Rest your baby’s chin or belly on your shoulder. (If opting for the belly, make sure that your baby can breathe easily. Parents may benefit from trying this option after their baby has better head/neck control.)
- Support and hold your baby in place with one hand, while using the other to gently pat your baby on the back.
- Place a burping cloth or towel across your lap and put a bib on your baby.
- Using your palm to support your baby’s chest and your fingers to support his or her jaw (not throat), place your baby sitting on your lap, facing away from you.
- With your free hand, gently pat your baby on the back.
- Place a burping cloth or towel across your lap.
- Lay your baby across your knees, perpendicular to your body.
- Use one hand to support your baby’s head so that it is higher than the chest. This will prevent blood from rushing to the head.
- With your free hand, gently pat your baby on the back.
More information about feeding and burping your newborn:
When to be Concerned About Spit Up
Feeding Your Newborn
Is My Baby Eating Enough?
Newborn Pediatrics;Lactation Consultation
Why does the baby spit up after breastfeeding?
Every mother has experienced this phenomenon to some extent - this is completely normal, because in the first months the baby's eating habits are just beginning to form. What are the causes of regurgitation? Can this be prevented? What is considered normal, and when should you see a doctor? Let's find out!
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Often the cause of regurgitation depends on the chosen method of feeding: whether the mother is putting the baby to the breast or feeding from a bottle.When breastfeeding:
- Overfeeding the baby. If the baby eats too much, then the excess milk comes out naturally.
- Incorrect breastfeeding technique, as a result of which a large amount of air enters the baby's stomach along with milk. Try to hold the baby so that he completely grasps the nipple and at the same time can breathe freely through his nose.
- Features of the digestive system of children at an early age. In infants up to a year old, the muscles of the esophagus are not yet fully formed, so regurgitation is often a natural process.
- An abrupt change in the position of the child. After feeding, do not turn the baby over, squeeze, swaddle or swing in the stroller.
- Intestinal disorders such as bloating, colic and other causes that prevent normal digestion.
- In rare cases, serious diseases of the digestive system.
Note that regurgitation is more often observed not in newborns, but in children aged about 4 months.Formula-fed:
- Abrupt transition from breast milk to formula.
- Unsuitable size and opening of the nipple, due to which the baby takes in a lot of air.
- Tendency to overeat. You should follow the rules of nutrition for babies.
- Inappropriate milk formula. Perhaps the child simply does not tolerate it well, consult a doctor about changing baby food.
Valio Baby's adapted milk formulas are as close as possible in composition to breast milk and contain prebiotics, as well as vitamins and microelements necessary for intestinal health. All components of Valio Baby are natural. A balanced composition allows you to maintain the level of cholesterol in the child's body at an optimal level. The mixtures are designed for three age categories, taking into account the peculiarities of the development of babies in a given period:
- from the first days of life to six months;
- for babies from six months to 1 year;
- and for children over 1 year old.
If the baby is lying on his back and starts spitting up, immediately turn him over on his stomach, or pick him up - this will prevent food from entering the respiratory tract.
If your baby seems to be uncomfortable while feeding, or if he comes off the breast and starts crying, let him burp. This can be done in two ways:
- Place a washcloth over your shoulder to keep it clean. Hold the baby on your chest so that his chin rests on your shoulder. Gently stroke or pat your hand on his back.
- Place the cloth on your lap. Turn the baby over on the tummy and position it perpendicular to your body. Support your chin with one hand and pat or rub your back with the other. Please note that the child's head should be higher than other parts of the body so that blood does not rush to it and food does not reflux into the respiratory tract.
As a rule, spitting up 6-8 times a day (in small portions) does not pose a health risk. Over time, when the baby's muscles get stronger, he will better absorb food. Most children stop spitting up after 6-7 months, but in some situations this problem persists up to one year.
If the spitting up is persistent and strong, prevents weight gain, the child cries after this process, then you should consult a doctor. Such symptoms may indicate that the baby has irritated walls of the esophagus.
Call a doctor immediately if your child is vomiting violently and profusely. This may indicate either the presence of food poisoning, or a disease associated with deformation of the internal organs.
If an infant vomits with greenish bile, this may be a sign of intestinal blockage, which requires urgent hospitalization and possibly even emergency surgery.
If your newborn is spitting up a lot after feeding, follow these guidelines:
- Do not breastfeed while baby is squatting or in a car seat as milk or formula may not reach the stomach.
- Create a calm atmosphere. Keep noise and other distractions to a minimum. If the baby is distracted and disturbed by something, there is an increased risk that he will swallow large amounts of air with formula or breast milk. For the same reason, do not let the baby be very hungry.
- Make sure that nothing is pressing on the baby's tummy. Make sure his clothes and diaper are not too tight.
- Avoid driving immediately after feeding.
- Hold the baby for about 30 minutes. upright after eating.
- When breastfeeding, make sure that the baby is properly latching onto the breast (his lips should cover not only the nipple, but also the areola, as far as possible).
- If you are feeding formula or bottled milk, make sure the opening of the nipple is not too small as this can prevent the baby from drinking and cause air to be swallowed. The hole should not be too large, so that the child does not choke.
- Do not overfeed your baby. Try feeding him less milk or formula. Watch the reaction. The baby may agree to drink a smaller volume at a time, however, will want to eat more often.
If regurgitation occurs frequently, after each feed, consult your physician.
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Why does the baby spit up after feeding?search support icon
Regurgitation is a common condition in newborns and infants and is most often a normal variant. However, it is not uncommon for parents to worry if their baby is spitting up frequently, believing that it is due to nutritional or health problems in general. Sometimes these fears are not unfounded, and regurgitation really has a pathological origin. What is its cause and when should you really consult a doctor about this?
Regurgitation — Return of a small amount of food (uncurdled or partially curdled milk) from the stomach up the digestive tract: into the esophagus and further into the oral cavity. According to statistics, at least 1 time during the day can spit up at least 50% of babies from 0 to 3 months, more than 60% of children 3-4 months, and 5% of children spit up until the year 1 .
Regurgitation in newborns is considered a physiological process. It is caused by a number of factors, including:
- Features of the structure of the upper digestive tract in babies
- In newborns and infants up to a year of age, the stomach has a spherical shape. It holds a small amount of food, besides, the release from it into the duodenum is slower in comparison with children after the year 2 .
- Weakness of the lower esophageal sphincter that separates the esophagus from the stomach
- Normally, the lower esophageal sphincter should tightly "close" the esophagus, allowing food to pass into the stomach and not allowing it to enter back into the upper digestive tract. However, in young children (up to a year), the muscles of the esophageal sphincter are poorly developed, and it does not do its job very well 2 .
- Slow movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract
- The neuromuscular system of newborns is immature. It does not ensure the proper movement of food through the esophagus, causing regurgitation.
One of the important risk factors contributing to regurgitation in newborns is aerophagia. This is the swallowing of large amounts of air during feedings. This happens when the baby is not properly attached to the breast, the mother has a lack of breast milk, or the bottle is in the wrong position in the child who receives the mixture. The size of the opening in the nipple also matters - if it is too large, the newborn swallows a lot of air 3 .
With aerophagia, the baby becomes capricious, restless immediately after feeding. Noticeable bloating. If the baby spits up immediately after a feed, the milk (or formula) remains practically fresh, uncurdled 3 .
Promotes post-feeding regurgitation and baby's predominantly horizontal position during the day, combined with relatively high intra-abdominal pressure 4 . Therefore, the correct position of the baby after feeding is so important. To avoid regurgitation of an excessive amount of stomach contents, after feeding, it is necessary to hold the baby in an upright “column” position for some time (10-20 minutes), lightly patting on the back and allowing excess air to “exit”.
Regurgitation in many newborns can be triggered by other situations in which pressure in the abdominal cavity increases and stomach contents are thrown into the esophagus, in particular 3 :
- tight swaddling;
- stool disorders, in particular constipation;
- long, forced cry and some others.
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How can you tell the difference between normal spitting up and vomiting?
Sometimes regurgitation is considered a manifestation of disorders in the digestive tract of children. Due to the constant reflux of acidic stomach contents into the upper sections, inflammation and other complications may develop, including growth retardation, a decrease in hemoglobin levels, and others. Therefore, it is important for parents to understand where the line is between physiological and pathological regurgitation 1 .
If the mother is worried that her baby is spitting up, keep track of when this happens and count the total number of spit ups per day. Normally, regurgitation usually occurs after eating (the child burps after each feeding), lasts no more than 20 seconds and repeats no more than 20-30 times a day. With pathology, the problem manifests itself at any time of the day, regardless of when the baby was fed. Their number can reach 50 per day, and sometimes more 1 .
The amount of discharge during regurgitation also matters. With normal, physiological regurgitation, it is approximately 5 - 30 ml. If this volume fluctuates between 50 and 100 ml, it is already defined as profuse vomiting. When the range of the jet of vomit is up to 50 cm, doctors talk about "vomiting a fountain." A variant of atonic vomiting is possible, when the contents of the stomach flow "sluggishly". It occurs with atony of the stomach (decrease in muscle tone of the stomach wall) and disruption of the esophagus 1 .
Vomiting in babies is a warning sign. Doctors are especially alarmed by repeated vomiting, a fountain, with an admixture of bile, in combination with constipation. Vomiting can lead to the development of dehydration, acid-base imbalance and other consequences, therefore, if it occurs, you should urgently contact a pediatrician to find out the cause and begin treatment. A doctor's consultation is necessary if the child is spitting up a lot (more than 15-30 ml at a time), with a frequency of more than 50 episodes per day 1.3 .
Physiological regurgitation: symptoms
Neonatal regurgitation, which is considered normal and not of concern to pediatricians 3 :
- usually lasts for a certain period of time;
- is characterized by slow, "passive" leakage; if the baby spits up a fountain, it is better to consult a doctor;
- has a sour smell of curdled milk;
- occurs without the participation of muscles - the baby does not strain during regurgitation;
- does not affect the general well-being of the baby.
How can I help a newborn who vomits frequently?
If the baby is healthy, no medication is prescribed for spitting up. To help the child allow simple measures based on lifestyle changes and feeding.
- Frequent feeding of the baby
It is known that babies are more prone to spit up if their stomach is full. To improve the situation, it is recommended to feed the baby more often, avoiding oversaturation, best of all - on demand 5 .
- Correct feeding technique
Every feeding, the mother must ensure that the baby does not swallow too much air during suckling. When sucking, there should be no loud, smacking, clicking sounds. You also need to control that the baby captures the nipple along with the areola.
- Choosing the right bottle and nipple
If the newborn is bottle-fed and receiving formula, it is important to choose the right bottle and nipple. The hole in it should be such that the milk flows out in drops, and not in a stream. The nipple must not be filled with air
New Anti-colic bottle with AirFree valve
The AirFree valve prevents air from entering the baby's stomach.
- Baby standing upright after eating
To allow air that has entered the digestive tract during meals to escape, it is important to keep the newborn upright for 10-20 minutes after feeding 4 .
- Ensure the correct position of the baby during sleep
To reduce the negative impact of the acidic contents of the stomach on the esophagus, it is necessary to put the baby to sleep in the supine position. The side or prone position, which many pediatricians used to recommend, is no longer recommended. It was found to be associated with an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome 5 .
If parents notice alarming symptoms, such as spitting up too often or large volume, etc. , it is important to consult a pediatrician without delay. This will allow you to identify the real problem in time and help the baby grow up healthy and happy.
1 Zakharova I. N., Andryukhina E. N. Regurgitation and vomiting syndrome in young children // Pediatric pharmacology, 2010. Vol. 7. No. 4.
29014 Nagornaya V., Limarenko M. P., Logvinenko N. G. Experience with the use of domperidone in suspension in young children with regurgitation syndrome // Child Health, 2013. No. 5 (48).
3 Zakharova IN Regurgitation and vomiting in children: what to do? //Pediatrics. Supplement to Consilium Medicum, 2009. No. 3. S. 58-67.
4 Zakharova I. N., Sugyan N. G., Pykov M. I. Regurgitation syndrome in young children: diagnosis and correction // Effective pharmacotherapy, 2014. No. 3. P. 18-28.
5 Vandenplas Y. et al. Pediatric gastroesophageal reflux clinical practice guidelines: joint recommendations of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) and the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) //Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition.