How to burp a baby

If your baby looks uncomfortable, in pain (such as grimacing or crying) or has stopped feeding unexpectedly and won’t re-start, it could be that she has wind and needs a little helping hand in getting rid of the gas. There are a few ways you can do this, you will probably find that one position is more affective than the others.

4 Ways to burp your your baby

  • Over your shoulder: Firstly, place a muslin or something similar over your shoulder, lift your baby so his head is resting on your shoulder, support his head and neck so he doesn’t fall backwards, gently pat his back (very softly) or rub patiently in a circular motion. There is no need to bounce or rock your baby at all. In fact, standing still is much better! Once your little one burps, look him in the eyes and give him a big smile and a kiss.
  • Sitting upright: You need to be seated comfortably for this position. Sit your baby on your lap and support his head and neck so he is leaning forwards slightly, with your other hand gently rub his back in circular motions, the pressure on his tummy from being seated and your gentle rubbing of his back will encourage any trapped air to make its way out.
  • Over your lap: Some babies find it easier to burp when lying flat. An easy, safe way of doing this is to lie your little one on your lap, ensure her head is supported and gently pay her back it rub in a circular motion. You may find she lifts her head when burping, again, plenty of smiles and kisses are always well received after a big burp.
  • Across your forearm (newborns only): This is a fantastic position if your newborn seems particularly uncomfortable or if she suffers from colic. Slowly and carefully place your newborn onto your forearm with her head in the palm of your hand. Her legs and arms should be free to dangle and her stomach should be flat against your arm. Place your free hand on her back to ensure she is safe and won’t slip off. If you are doing this for the first time, it may be safer to try it whilst sitting on a bed. There is no need to pat or rub whilst in this position, don’t do it if your baby is too heavy, too big or too wriggly for you!
  • A little tip; If you feel your baby is uncomfortable but am unable to burp him, it may be that he needs to release some air/gas from the other end. Try lying him flat on his back and gently bending his knees up towards his tummy, hold them there for a few seconds and bring then back down again. After doing this a few times you can also try rubbing his tummy in a clockwise, circular motion, this helps the digestive system and can help to alleviate minor constipation issues.