Along with all of the good stuff they’re guzzling, there’s a good chance your little one will gulp down air while feeding. This is totally normal, and burping or winding usually helps release this excess gas, making your baby more comfortable. But what should you do if your baby won’t burp? Let’s find out.
In this article 📝
- What do I do if my baby won’t burp after feeding?
- What if your baby still doesn’t burp?
- Should I worry if my baby doesn’t burp?
What do I do if my baby won’t burp after feeding?
First things first, mama: don’t worry if your baby doesn’t always burp. Some babies love doing their best Homer Simpson impression, while others don’t burp regularly — or at all.
That said, many infants do get trapped gas while feeding. Some tell-tale signs your baby may need a hand getting rid of it include:
- Grimacing while feeding
- Wriggling or fidgeting during meals
- Refusing to drink any more, even if they’re not full yet
- Spitting up more than normal
What happens if your baby doesn’t burp?
You might be worried that your baby will end up with stomach problems if they don’t burp, but that’s not the case.
The trapped air will find its way out, one way or another.
You may have a cranky baby on your hands for a while, but it won’t get more serious than that.
What’s the best way to burp a baby?
Several positions can help to get trapped gas moving.
Note: Before we get to these newborn burping techniques, it’s a good idea to sling a burp cloth over your shoulder (or preferred position) in case your little one brings up more than a burp.
- Gently lift your baby to your shoulder while supporting their neck and head. Pat and rub their back.
- Place your baby on your knees with their tummy facing the floor. They may look like they’re doing a Superman pose across your knees. Pat their back from this position.
- Carefully support your baby’s chest and sit them on your lap, facing away from you. Lean your baby forwards and pat their back with your free hand.
For all these positions, try cupping your hand rather than patting them with a flat palm.
This may be a gentler and more effective technique for burping, particularly for newborns.
What if your baby still doesn’t burp?
So, you’ve tried patting, rocking, and just about everything else, but that belch just won’t budge. Here are some tips to get things moving if your baby still won’t burp.
- Try burping your baby during rather than after feeding. If you’re bottle-feeding, every two to three ounces is a good marker. If you’re breastfeeding, try burping your little one when switching breasts.
- Place your hand lower on your baby’s back so it’s aligned with their stomach area rather than at the back of their ribs. This should help target the correct area to release trapped gas.
- Strap your little one into a sling or baby carrier and move around the house. The motion may help get things moving.
If none of the above does the trick, don’t despair. Here are a few more techniques worth trying:
- Baby massage: Lay your baby flat on their back with their legs in the air. Slowly bring their legs towards their tummy or move their legs like they’re pedaling a bicycle. You can also massage their tummy in clockwise circles to encourage burping. Baby massage has lots of other great benefits, too!
- Wait: It might just take a bit of time for your baby’s milk or formula to go down. Waiting 10 minutes or so before burping could be an effective way to get some babies to burp.
Should I worry if my baby doesn’t burp?
If your little one still won’t burp – and they don’t appear to be in any discomfort – they may just be a non-burping kid, and that’s okay.
But if your baby seems regularly uncomfortable or distressed during feeding, and you can’t quite eke out a burp, it might be a good idea to speak to your doctor.
As a first step, they’ll probably talk to you about common conditions like acid reflux or food sensitivities.
Want to chat burps and more with your fellow mamas? Download Peanut.
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