How To Burp a Newborn Baby?

Babies tend to inhale a lot of air and experience gas build up with increasing activities. They could take in air when crying, feeding, or sucking. Most times, babies can get rid of some of these air but not all. The air left can build up and cause them discomfort if they are not released. To relieve this discomfort, it is important to know how to burp a newborn baby effectively.

Burping is a technique that helps babies release trapped air from their bodies. There are different approaches and it often takes time but the comfort it provides the baby makes all the difference.

In this article, we will be discussing why babies need to be burped, what happens when they do not burp and ways to correctly burp your baby.


Why Can’t I Get My Newborn To Burp?

Most parents approach burping with skills they may have acquired from other parents, older parents in the family, or techniques shared by other caregivers. When the approaches do not work, they are often led to believe the technique is wrong, or that they are doing it wrong.

Sometimes, a baby’s inability to burp has nothing to do with you or the burping technique used. The digestive system in babies is still quite fragile and as such, their immature muscles and nerves can make burping a tough task.

When babies are still very young and you feel the need to help them release air build up, be patient and try out all the recommended burping tricks you know.

Excessive air intake can also lead to build up and make burping more difficult than normal. This can happen when babies are fed too quickly. It can also happen when babies swallow air while feeding, crying, or sucking their pacifier.

Another practice that contributes to air build up and makes burping difficult is lying the baby down right after feeding. This can trap the gas and restrict its free flow upwards. Overfeeding also contributes as it makes digestion slow and causes air to be trapped.

Babies may also be unable to burp due to conditions like gastroesophageal reflux. This is a condition where the stomach acid flows back into the esophagus. This movement prevents free passage of air up the canal. Colic too can make babies generally uneasy and further complicate the burping process.

Other conditions like cleft palate and tongue tie can make latching difficult and lead to an increased air intake during feeding.

Read Also: How to Burp a Hard-to-burp Baby 


What Happens If a Baby Doesn’t Burp?

When babies do not burp, gas builds up in their gastrointestinal area leading to physical discomfort which can make them increasingly irritable and fussy. It can also lead to increased spit up episodes as this is a common way babies deal with digestion related discomfort.

Babies may also experience difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep because of the increasing discomfort due to gas build up. This can exacerbate to cranky, prolonged crying and increased air intake.

It can also lead to the display of colic like symptoms and the situation being mistaken for colic. Trouble with feeding is another common resulting problem. Babies may reject feeding, both breast feeding and bottle feeding due to  abdominal/intestinal discomfort.

In other instances, it may result in longer feeding sessions due to interruptions during feeding. Babies can become inconsolable when they have to deal with the pain from the gas.

Some babies may lose their appetite and start to reject food leading to an inability to meet their daily nutritional needs. Where this persists, babies may face issues arising from nutritional deficiencies.

An overlooked issue is the sleep deprivation this mostly causes parents as they have to wake more often to soothe the baby and offer them comfort.


How Long Do You Burp a Newborn For?

The duration for burping a baby varies and can depend on factors like the baby’s feeding habit and age. For some babies, burping may have to last for about 10 to 15 minutes before they can successfully release gas.

Ideally, burping should be continued until the baby releases gas. The baby’s cues can serve as a guide for what is working and what’s not working.

Burping can also be done halfway through feeding to help release the trapped air before feeding is continued. It can be repeated again after feeding to release additional air that may have been taken in during the second half of the feeding session.

Some parents may chose to create burping or feeding breaks during feeding sessions. This may last like a minute or two to help the baby burp at intervals while feeding. This method ensures that the little air taken in is released quickly and it minimizes the chances of build up.

Positioning is another thing that may elongate the length of the burping. Babies can be placed on upright positions as these are optimal positions for gas release. Also, more than one burping sessions may be needed per time so the person burping should approach this exercise with patience.

Where you chose to burp your baby after night feeding, employ techniques like patting and this should be done carefully in order not to disrupt the baby’s sleep.


How To Burp a Newborn Baby?

Burping a newborn baby requires care, caution, and patience. This is because the procedure is likely to take time with most babies. To get started, you need to be adequately prepared. Thankfully, there is not much that is needed. All you need is to set out a comfortable location for burping as well as burp clothes to clean up spit ups.

When starting, place your baby in an upright position. Allow their head to lean on your shoulders while you support the head and neck with one hand. Then place the other hand at the bottom to support the baby. Once you two have settled into the position, resume patting or rubbing the baby’s back, from the lower back to the shoulder and back.

Do this gently, slowly, and rhythmically alternating positions and taking your time in areas that gives the baby more relief based on their cues.

Another position you can try is the upright position with their head leaning onto your shoulder. Then you can move your hands across their back comfortably either rubbing or patting.

Alternatively, you can sit the baby up on your lap while their body faces away from you. This style gives both you and the baby space between yourselves. Then, use one hard to support the chin and chest, while the other hand pats or rubs the back.

Ensure to keep the chin up while at it to prevent the head flopping as this may block air passage. Also, the chin up position keeps the airways clear facilitating the release of air.

In addition, you can try out different methods like rubbing, tapping, and so on. You must observe the baby closely all through and stick to techniques that gives your baby the most comfort.

Read Also: How Many Burp Cloths Do I Need for Baby?


How Can I Get My Newborn To Burp Faster?

Adult life is filled with plenty of time constraints. While you need to give your baby all the care they need, doing this while saving time will go a long way. Some tips to help you get your newborn to burp faster include:


Put your baby in the right position before you begin burping. There are many recommended positions that you can try out. Also, being attentive and knowing the positions that work best for you baby will help you save time.

Use The Right Technique

When burping, the hand movement should be done upwards or in the direction of the release. You can stick to patting or rubbing or combining both during a burping session.

Space Feeding and Burping Time

While burping can be done at any time, if you wish to save time and get the gas out as quickly as possible, spacing burping and feeding time will help. By doing this, you allow the gas to rise to the top of the stomach before stimulating its release.

Give Feeding Breaks

Feeding breaks are avenues to carry out burping exercises. It also creates room to switch sides whether you are bottle feeding or breast feeding. These changes help the baby to latch on better and reduce the intake of air.

Motions for Air Release

You can get the baby into certain motions that complement burping like rocking, swaying or waking. These motions help in releasing air bubbles.

Burp In Between Feeding

One of the benefits of creating feeding breaks is to give room to burp the baby in between feeding. This makes burping sessions shorter and more successful as they prevent gas build up.

Try Out Different Positions

Trying out different burping positions like sitting on your lap or holding them facing out and supporting the chin and chest can help shorten burping sessions.

Tummy Time

Tummy time or tummy exercises can be fun moments for babies. When they are relaxed and at ease, releasing trapped air may be easier for them.

Infant Massage

The are plenty of very soothing infant massage techniques that can help in the releasing of trapped air. You can make use of oils in the process to promote comfort and easy gas release.



Air or gas build up can be a source of great discomfort for babies. Knowing how to burp a newborn baby and release the air can be very soothing and comforting. There are recommended approaches to achieve the best results and they can be done at regular intervals.