New parenthood brings about a lot of new responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is feeding your new baby. Because babies gulp air while eating and they have trouble getting the air out on their own you will need to burp your baby often. Knowing how to do that can be hard, especially if your baby is having trouble and needs some different positions to help him or her out. You can quickly and easily learn several methods and tips for burping your baby to help get out the most stubborn of burps.

Why Is Burping Important?
Air gets trapped in the stomach of a newborn really easily. They don't have the system to handle it and it can give them a horrible tummy ache. It can make them feel yucky and make them fussy. To counter act the air, burping is necessary. Many babies need to be burped at least once after a feeding and some a lot more then that. This helps force the air back up and out, eliminating the pressure.

How Often Should I Burp My Baby?
Each baby is different and some need to be burped more the others. In the beginning you should burp your baby after 1 ounce of formula or breast milk fed in a bottle or after the first breast is finished if you are breastfeeding. If your baby is fussy or spits up a lot then it is a good idea to increase how often you burp them. Sometimes spit up is caused from air being trapped and forcing its way up with fluid.

Shoulder Position.
The most common position to burp a baby is sitting (or standing up) with the baby on your shoulder. One hand then holds the baby's bottom while the other gently but rhythmically pats the back. Often this is a comfortable position for both you and your baby. It is also pretty good at forcing the air up and out of the baby. It is a good idea to place a burp cloth, towel, or blanket under your baby to cover your shoulder. This will catch spit up that may occur and will protect your clothing and make it easier to clean up should he or she spit up.

Sitting On Your Lap.
Another position available is to sit the baby on your lap, lean him or her over a little, and support them with your hand on their chest and your fingers holding their chin. Gently pat their back and or rub it in a circular motion. You may want to have a cloth or bib on your fingers should she spit up. This position becomes even easier as they gain the muscles to support their neck on their own. You can also rotate them a little bit to help move air about if you are having a really hard time getting the burps out.

On Their Belly.
Carefully lay the baby down on their belly. Make sure they are in a position where their head is supported and isn't dangling off your lap. It is a good idea to also make sure the you have a blanket, cloth, or something you don't mind getting spit up on under them. Then gently pat their back and rub it in circular motions. This is a very effective position for getting stubborn burps out. However, it isn't always the most comfortable of positions.

The "Tick Tock".
A final burping position that has a lot of support from parents all over is the "tick tock" method of burping. In this case you will want to put your hands under your child's arm pits and hold them this way. Support the head with your fingers. Hold the baby up at your face level and let their feet dangle. Gently rock them to the right and then to the left. Repeat a handful of times and the air is likely to come up.

Night Time Burping.
At night you should try to keep things as simple as possible. Keep the room dark for feeding and changing your baby. Often times your baby will stay sleepy during this time. Their feeding will be slower and they are less likely to gulp air. This means that they are less likely to have a lot of air in their stomachs. You can choose to burp less often and to do so while gently rocking your baby for relief.

Additional Tips.

  • Burp your baby if he or she becomes fussy during a feeding. Often this is a sign that they are having trouble with too much gas in their stomachs.
  • Try to only feed your baby when he or she is slowing down. If they are eating quickly then stopping will likely upset them and cause them to swallow more air.
  • If your baby is fussy and you don't think he or she should be hungry yet then you should try burping them before offering food. Often times they will settle down with feeding because it is comforting, but they may still need to burp.
  • If your baby has a lot of gas, spits up a lot, or is fussy a lot trying burping him or her more often. Burp every five minutes during breastfeeding and burp every 1/2 to 1 ounce from a bottle.
  • If your baby doesn't burp after three to five minutes of patting their back in one position then try another one and give it a few minutes. If they still don't burp then allow them to continue feeding.
  • Always burp the baby after a feeding as well as a couple of times during the feeding.
  • Massaging your baby's belly may also help a baby who has trouble burping or who has tummy aches from them.
  • Having the baby on your shoulder and walking with them can also help out with getting out burps because of the rhythm of the movement.

When Can I Stop Burping My Baby?
Often this depends on your baby. Most babies only need to burp until they can sit up on their own. This often happens around five or six months of age. However, some babies need to be burped past this age. If your baby spits up after this age, has lots of gas, or is fussy after this age you can always burp them to help with the problem.

Burping won't be a long term part of your life, lasting only the first several months, however it is an important part of your life and will help make feeding and caring for your baby easier. Getting the air out of your baby's stomach will help them eat better, keep them more comfortable, and make it less likely that they will be fussy.