Burping is a very important part of feeding in Babies. While being fed, babies usually tend to swallow some air, which is normal, and can be rid of by making them burp. That’s why the one common question paediatricians get asked often by first-time parents is, “How to properly burp a baby after feeding?”
During the first couple of days, your newborn is not fed much and will therefore not burp much. During this time however, you can kind of try burping him by practicing the movements.
3 Ways to Properly Burp a Baby after Feeding – Step-by-Step
1. Sitting on Your Lap
Step 1: With one arm, hold your baby in such a way that his chin rests on the arch between your thumb and index finger.
Step 2: As his chin rests, your thumb should be supporting one side his jawline and point towards his ear, and your index finger should be supporting the other side of his jawline and point towards the other ear.
Step 3: The remaining three fingers should be tucked under his arm.
Step 4: With your other arm, hold the back of his neck. This hold will not only support his neck, it will also prevent him from falling if he were to suddenly arch back.
Step 5: Lift your baby up such that his body gets stretched, so that the oesophagus, which is the feeding tube vertically above his stomach, is stretched straight as much as possible.
Step 6: Placing him back on your lap, bend him forward (away from you).
Step 7: Pat his back gently but firmly and/or rub his back upwards a few times to burp.
Note: You can do this when your baby is sitting on the floor too.
2. Over Your Shoulder
Step 1: Lift your baby.
Step 2: Place him over your shoulder making sure his head clearly above the shoulder.
Step 3: Try to (adjust and) get his back as straight as possible.
Step 4: Pat his back gently but firmly and/or rub his back upwards a few times to burp.
3. Lying Across Your Forearm
Step 1: Place your baby on your forearm.
Step 2: Make sure that his mouth is facing outward (away from you).
Step 3: Pat his back gently but firmly and/or rub his back upwards a few times to burp.
When you pat, make sure that you’re doing it (gently but) not too gently so that your baby has a good burp.
The advantage of this technique is that while it comfortable for your baby, it gives you the comfort and freedom to sway with him or even walk and move around with him.
Attention Dads: While all these three methods can be done by both moms and dads, this method suits dads in particular.
The Importance of Pause While Burping Your Baby
While it is indeed important to know how to properly burp a baby after feeding, it is also critical to pause between feeding.
The pause you give, that is the amount of time you wait between two feeds is in fact more important than trying to get him burp.
That’s why you should give him about two to four minutes in between feeds, which is the pause, and only then continue feeding. If he’s starting to fall asleep on the breath or on the bottle (not everyone knows the right way to bottle-feed a baby), a nice way to wake him up would be to make him burp and then continue feeding.
Swallowing too much air and subsequently not burping adequately can make the baby cranky, gassy or even spit up. It is normal, therefore, if he spits up while you try to make him burp.
The spit up usually comes out of the mouth and sometimes even through the nose. As long as it looks kind of milky or yellowish in colour, you don’t have to worry.
But if the spit up happens such that it is forcefully thrown out, or if it is greenish in colour, there could be a reason for concern and you should immediately let your paediatrician know.
Learning how to properly burp a baby after feeding is one among the first skills every first-time parent will have to learn.
While you making him burp is very important and valuable so that he can be fed well, the best part is that every time you do it, his bonding with you keeps growing – thanks to the sensory stimulation of touching, patting and rubbing he experiences as you hold him close.
Related Article | 5 Major Reasons for Low Breast Milk Supply
Disclaimer: The content in this page and across this website are for informational and educational purposes only. In case of any concerns about your child’s growth and development, please contact your professional child healthcare provider.