8 Effective Techniques for Burping a Gassy Baby

Updated on April 22nd, 2020
how to burp a baby

Tummy troubles and gas is a common concern for most newborn babies. Infants tend to be gassy during their first few months because their GI tract is still underdeveloped and they tend to gulp in a lot of air when they are feeding. According to the Mayo Clinic(1), episodes of colic tend to peak in infants when they are about 6 weeks old.

One of the first skills that you’ll need to pick up as a new parent, therefore, is to learn to burp your baby. Learning to burp your baby can take time and needs practice. But it’s also something that you shouldn’t fail to do! If your baby has bubbles of gas trapped in his or her belly, it could make him excessively fussy and irritable. Here are some of the best tips on how to burp a baby and treat infant gas naturally.

Did You Know!

A bottle-fed baby may burp more than a baby who is breastfed as they tend to feed faster.

How to Burp a Baby with Natural Methods & Treat Infant Gas

1. Over the Shoulder Technique

The over the shoulder technique is one of the best ways to burp a baby who has pain from gas built-up in their tummies. As the baby is held against the parent’s chest, it exerts gentle pressure on his tummy and helps to facilitate the easy release of gas.

How to do it?

  • Hold the baby up so that his chin rests on your shoulder.
  • As you do this, support the baby’s bottom with one hand.
  • Gently pat your baby’s back with the other hand for a few minutes until the baby burps.

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 2. Seated Lean Technique

baby doing Seated Lean Technique
Image:ShutterStock

The seated lean technique is another parent-recommended technique for burping a baby. Most parents find that seating the baby on their lap and leaning him in different directions, help the baby to relax and brings out the air bubbles.

How to do it?

  • Seat the baby on your lap or across your knee and bend him slightly forward at the waist.
  • Use the palm of your hand to cradle your baby’s chin so that you are adequately supporting his chest and head.
  • Gently stroke or pat the baby’s back with the other hand.

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 3. Belly Flop Technique

The Belly Flop Technique is one of the basic burping(2) positions. This position again helps to put pressure on the baby’s tummy and force wind and trapped gas to be released.

How to do it?

  • Lay the baby on your lap with his tummy facing down.
  • The baby’s head should be supported so that it is at an angle higher than his or her chest.
  • Gently rub your baby’s back with the other hand to release any trapped gas.

 4. Baby Massage

Baby Massage
Image:ShutterStock

A massage can be quite soothing for your baby’s painful and bloated tummy. If your baby has been crying for hours and is squirming in pain, try massaging the gas out.

How to do it?

  • Lay the baby on a mattress or soft surface.
  • Using a nourishing organic oil or any other edible oil, gently massage in a clockwise motion.

[Read: Home Remedies to Treat Baby Acne]

5. Bicycling

This burping technique is pretty straightforward! The idea is to simply move your baby’s legs as if he was riding a bicycle. The movement helps to apply pressure on the baby’s lower abdomen and release gas.

How to do it?

  • Carefully lay your baby on her back.
  • Hold the baby’s legs in your hand and gently move back and forth as if he were cycling.
  • Hold each leg in position for at least 5 seconds and make sure that you are applying some pressure on the baby’s abdomen.

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 6. Bouncing out the burp

The bouncing technique can be fun! Although it may be more appropriate for older babies who can hold their heads up.

How to do it?

  • You’ll need your exercise ball for this technique
  • Hold your baby against your chest with one hand supporting your baby’s back and the other holding his neck and head in place.
  • Sit securely on your exercise ball and slowly bounce up and down.

 7. Tummy Time

Tummy Time
Image:ShutterStock

Tummy time can not only help your baby develop strong shoulder, back and neck muscles, but it can also ease gas and alleviate any pain in your baby’s tiny stomach too. This burping technique is particularly recommended for colicky babies.

[Read: How to Stop Thumb Sucking with Natural Remedies]

How to do it?

  • The best position for colicky babies is to lie them belly-down on your forearm.
  • Support the side of the baby’s head with one hand and allow his arms and legs to hang loosely on either side of your arm.
  • You can also lay your baby on your tummy or chest or place him on a safe, flat surface for some cushioned pressure on the baby’s tummy that can force those stubborn burps out.
  • Start with short periods of about 2-3 minutes and you can gradually allow your baby about 30 minutes of tummy time every day.

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 8. Gripe Water

If none of the above burping positions seem to be working for your baby, try baby gripe water. Gripe water is a liquid supplement that contains sodium bicarbonate and herbs such as ginger, fennel, cardamom, clove, and peppermint, etc.

How to do it?

The following are the recommended dosages:

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  • For newborns and infants (2 weeks-1-month-old)-Half a teaspoon (2.5ml)
  • 1 month to 6-month-old babies- One teaspoon (5.0ml)
  • 6 months and older- 2 teaspoons (10.0ml)

Gripe water can be given up to six times a day.

If you find your baby fussing in the middle of a feeding, it is most likely due to discomfort from swallowed air. Whenever you find your baby fussing or crying, try to burp him right away. Keep your burp cloth handy and always remember to focus on the left side of your baby’s back when burping him!

[ Read: Cure Colic in Babies ]


FAQs

1. Why Do Babies Cry While Burping?

Babies are prone to acid reflux as their GI tract is still underdeveloped. Sometimes, the acid coming back up can irritate or hurt the baby’s esophagus causing him or her to cry while burping.

2. Why Do Some Babies Vomit While Burping?

Spit-up or vomiting is common among babies who are less than a year old. This normally happens due to reflux i.e when the baby’s stomach is full, the stomach contents can sometimes flow back up the baby’s food pipe.

3. When Can I Stop Burping My Baby?

There is no definite age to stop burping a baby. Although, a baby’s digestive system typically starts to mature around 4-6 months and burping will become less of a necessity.

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