A baby may be uncomfortable after feedings if he or she has swallowed air during the feeding. Burping helps get rid of air that the baby has swallowed.
- Burp a breastfeeding baby when you switch breasts during feeding.
- Burp a baby who is bottle-feeding after each 1 fl oz (30 mL) to 2 fl oz (60 mL) of fluid.
- Burp the baby after the feeding is finished.
- If the baby has problems with gas or spitting up, you may burp the baby more frequently.
- Most babies burp readily on their own after 2 months of age.
To burp a baby:
- Place the baby in an upright position, such as over your shoulder or in a sitting position on your lap. If you place the baby on your lap, place your hand under the chin to support the baby's head.
- Gently rub or pat the baby's back. The baby will not always burp each time you do this. Wait a few minutes and try again.
- Sometimes formula or breast milk comes up with the air when the baby burps. A clean washcloth, cloth diaper, or bib can help keep you and the baby clean during burping.
To help the baby swallow less air during bottle feedings:
- Make sure the formula is not too hot or too cold.
- Hold the bottle so no air gets into the nipple.
- Sit the baby upright in your arms when feeding.
Current as of: September 8, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
John Pope MD - Pediatrics