Is it ok for baby not to burp after 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

What if my baby doesn't burp after feeding?

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Whether your baby is breastfed or you are bottle-feeding, if you’re exclusively using breast milk or supplementing with infant formula, you’ve probably had some questions about burping. We are often asked from new parents everything from how to burp a baby to how often you need to burp a baby.

Let’s talk all things burping!

Table of Contents

  • Does my baby need to burp?
  • What would happen if you didn’t burp your baby?
  • When should I burp my baby?
  • How do I burp my baby?
    • Burping tips for newborns
    • What should I do if my baby doesn’t burp?
    • When can I stop burping my baby?
    • Using a baby feeding journal
    • Everything to know about burping an infant

    Does my baby need to burp?

    It’s commonly believed that infants need to burp to get rid of extra gas in their stomachs. 1 The idea is that babies don’t know how to burp on their own and that babies may be bloated or fussy if we don’t help them get that air out.

    In fact, it’s so common for people to burp their babies during and after feeding that many of us have never stopped to wonder if it’s necessary.

    What would happen if you didn’t burp your baby?

    It turns out there’s actually been a study that looked at this question in healthy infants, and it found that burping a baby does not decrease the rate of newborn colic and actually may increase spitting up in young infants. So, burping may not be as necessary as we thought.2

    However, lots of people are likely to continue to burp their infants and may feel it’s helpful. It may also offer a nice little break in the feeding routine. So let’s discuss the when and how of burping.

    When should I burp my baby?

    Most experts recommend burping your baby after they take 1-3 oz of formula or while changing breasts if you are breastfeeding. They also recommend burping them again at the end of the feeding.2,3

    How do I burp my baby?

    Over your shoulder burping

    Over the shoulder burping is a common burping style, and many people use it. Place your baby with their chest against the front of your shoulder and gently rub or pat their back. Your shoulder makes a nice place for your baby’s chin to rest with this technique.1  

    Sitting up on your lap burping

    This position is a simple one that can be used at any time. Sit your baby upright on your lap and lean them forward a little bit. Support their head by placing your hand against their chest and cupping their chin with your palm. Make sure your are holding their chin and not their throat. Your other hand can be used to rub or pat your baby’s back.1

    Facedown on your lap burping

    Place your baby on their belly across your lap while supporting their head with your hand. Make sure their head is a little higher than their body, then use your other hand to rub or pat their back.1 

    Burping tips for newborns

    Now that we’ve gone through a few how-to’s, let’s review some other helpful advice. 

    • Remember to be gentle with your baby. Infants don’t have great head control, so make sure they are supported and handled gently.   
    • Don’t forget to have a baby burp rag or bib handy during burping. Catching a spit up before it hits your clothes and your baby’s outfit can save precious clean up (and laundry!) time.
    • Extra clothes are always a must with newborns. Try as you might with the burp rag, things don’t always go perfectly. Be sure to pack extra clothes for your baby when you go out in case this happens to you.
    • Remember- that burp may have escaped another way or not need to come out at all, so don’t try for too long or stress if you don’t get that satisfying result. 4

    What should I do if my baby doesn’t burp?

    Now that you know your baby may not need to burp for any medical reason, you may have guessed that the answer to this question is…probably nothing!2

    Just like adults, if there’s air in your baby’s belly, it will make its way out, either from the top or the bottom. There’s no harm in not helping this process along unless your baby’s healthcare provider has told you it’s important for them to burp.5

    When can I stop burping my baby?

    Most babies can burp on their own around 2 months of age.3

    Using a baby feeding journal

    A baby feeding journal can be helpful if you need to keep track of what your baby is eating and how often. You can also record items like burping, spitting up, and colic symptoms so you can discuss them with your baby’s healthcare provider. Remember, if anything about your baby’s eating, burping, or activity are concerning, always call your baby’s healthcare provider for advice.

    Everything to know about burping an infant

    Getting your baby to burp can be challenging and perhaps not as necessary as we’ve always thought. If you’re in the habit of burping your baby or your baby’s healthcare provider has recommended that you do this, try the tips above to help things go smoothly.

    And if that burp doesn’t happen, don’t stress!


    1- Burping your baby | Nemours Kids Health

    2- A randomized controlled trial of burping for the prevention of colic and regurgitation in healthy infants | Child: care, health and development

    3- Burping a baby | Kaiser Permanente

    4- You don’t need to burp babies | McGill Office for Science and Society

    5- Debunking old wives’ tales: do babies need to burp after feeding? | University of Utah

    The content on this site is for informational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Discuss any health or feeding concerns with your infant's pediatrician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay it based on the content on this page.

    How to help the baby when regulating

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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. nine0015

    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 aerophagia. 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. nine0003

    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:

    1. 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. nine0044
    2. 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.
    3. 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. nine0015

    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. nine0015

    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. nine0003

    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. nine0015

    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.

    Articles and tips from Philips Avent

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    Baby does not spit up after feeding: what should I do?

    Why doesn't the baby spit up?

    In the first months of life, the baby's digestive system continues to develop. In the children's body, the work of the cardiac sphincter, a circular muscle, has not yet been established, which does not allow food to penetrate from the stomach into the esophagus, and from there into the oral cavity. Most often, burping in babies occurs due to the fact that during feeding they swallow air or overeat. This is completely normal, but not mandatory. If the baby does not spit up, then you feed him properly, and he absorbs food well. You definitely should not worry if the baby eats well, gains weight and is not naughty after feeding. nine0003

    Important! Sometimes regurgitation is irregular. For example, a baby burps once a day or every few days. This condition is also considered normal if the baby burps milk in the amount of two or three teaspoons. This is easy to check: pour three tablespoons of water on the diaper and compare the stain with how much milk the baby burped.

    When should you worry? If the baby does not spit up after feeding, but at the same time coughs, grimaces, writhes or is naughty, it means that excess air still got into the esophagus and the baby cannot get rid of it on its own. Another alarming indicator: the baby began to lose weight, his appetite worsened, within an hour after feeding the baby starts crying loudly or he is tormented colic . In this case, the baby needs to be shown to the doctor and proceed with simple actions that will help the baby spit up the remnants of food.

    Place the baby on the tummy before each feeding. This must be done on a flat and firm surface. If the baby refuses to lie on the changing table or sofa, you can put it on your lap, just be sure to hold the baby by the back and watch him carefully. nine0003

    The baby should then have a tummy massage. In order for him to be able to get rid of gases, you need to drive your palm around the baby's navel clockwise, slightly pressing.

    Do not start feeding when the baby is crying. First you need to shake it a little in your arms and calm it down. Otherwise, the baby will swallow air and will experience discomfort during meals.

    Feed your baby on demand and keep a close eye on how he eats each time. The child should wrap his lips around the entire nipple and areola, tightly pressing against your chest with his forehead and chin. In this case, the baby should breathe freely. If you are bottle-feeding, hold the bottle at a 45°C angle and do not shake. nine0003

    While breastfeeding, watch your baby suckle. If at first he swallows rhythmically, and then stops and starts to get nervous, carefully take him off your chest and lift him vertically, pressing him lightly with one hand so that his chin is on your shoulder. The baby should soon burp out excess air. If this did not happen, and the baby continued to act up, stand up and hold him with a “column. You can lightly pat the baby on the back. When he burps, resume feeding. nine0003

    After the baby has finished eating, hold the baby in a “column” again for five to ten minutes until the baby regurgitates food. If this does not happen and the baby is calm, then excess air has not entered his esophagus. If the baby is nervous and crying, gently turn it over to a horizontal position and after a while take it again with a “column”.

    Babies often fall asleep immediately after feeding. In this case, the child does not need to wake up. It is enough to hold him in your arms at a slight angle so that his head is raised.

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