Burping a baby helps to release gas and feel more comfortable. Babies who are still nursing at night can fall asleep during or after a feed, but they still need to burp before that, and if that's not possible, you'll have to burp them without waking them up. So learn how to do this here, and find ways to keep your child with less gas so they don't have to do it too often at night.
Method 1 of 3: Holding the baby over your shoulder
Step 1. Place a clean cloth over your shoulder or chest when burping your child
Arrange the cloth so that it is under the baby's chin so as not to soil your clothes. Preferably, use a large cloth to have a clean tip to also wipe the baby's mouth and nose after burping.
Tip: If you don't have a mouth towel, use a small blanket, cloth or towel.
Step 2. Hold your child against your chest, with your chin over your shoulder
If he is sleeping in your arms after a feed, carefully transfer him to your shoulder, positioning him so that his chin rests on your shoulder with the cloth. To do this, place one hand under the baby's bottom to support his weight and place the other hand against his back.
- If you are sitting in a rocking or reclining chair, lean back slightly to position your child without waking him up.
- Support baby's head with the hand on his back, if necessary, in case he makes a sudden movement during sleep.
Step 3. Tap your child on the back to help him burp
With your hand on the baby's back, gently pat it until it burps. Don't hit him hard, as this won't make him burp any faster, and it can wake him up more easily.
If you are sitting in a rocking chair, rock your child to help calm him down and keep him asleep. If you're in a normal chair or standing, rock back and forth a little to calm him down
Step 4. Place your child in the crib after burping
After he burps, carefully place him on his back in the crib slowly to avoid waking him.
Leave the crib with just a sheet, no heavy blankets, pillows or plush toys to avoid choking hazards for the baby
Method 2 of 3: Picking up the baby
Step 1. Pick up your child on your lap, keeping his/her head above stomach level
Arrange the baby so that he has his chest and stomach facing down and each leg on one side of your arm that supports the baby's body. Raise your leg under your child's chest a little (about 5 cm) so that his head and chest are slightly above stomach level.
Place a muslin cloth on your lap under your baby's mouth so you don't get dirty when he burps
Step 2. Adjust your child's head so that he can breathe more easily
If his mouth or nose is against your leg, turn or lift his head slightly so that his mouth and nose are uncovered. Use your hand to gently support the baby's head as you adjust it.
Do not place your hand on your child's neck or throat while adjusting his head so as not to hold your baby's breath
Step 3. Gently pat your child on the back until he burps
Pat him on the back carefully until he burps. Don't hit hard, as this won't make you burp faster, and it can wake you up more easily.
It may burp almost immediately or take a few minutes
Step 4. Put your child back in the crib after burping
After he burps, carefully place him on his back in the crib, with only a sheet on the mattress, slowly to avoid waking him.
Never place bedding, pillows or large stuffed animals in your baby's crib as they increase the child's risk of suffocation
Tip: If your child has gas and suffers from colic (if he cries for three hours or more daily), he may be gulping air while crying. When in doubt, talk to your child's pediatrician to learn how to treat colic and improve your baby's comfort.
Method 3 of 3: Lessening the need to burp the baby
Step 1. Burp your child if he squirms or becomes agitated while you are nursing him
Since most babies cannot tell when they are full, it is essential to understand the child's body language to recognize when they are gassy and need to burp. In general, babies tend to squirm during breastfeeding, become agitated and visibly uncomfortable when they are already satisfied.
- If you have been trying for a few minutes to make your child burp, but without success, it may be that he is agitated because of something else, such as having a dirty diaper, for example.
- If your child shows signs of discomfort due to gas arching his back, for example, put him on his back and massage his belly or simulate pedaling a bicycle with his legs to release the gas.
Did you know?
Your child may be able to burp on his own at around four to six months, so you may not even have to worry so much after that.
Step 2. Track your child's burping after meals
Note how often he needs to burp after each feed and keep meal times in writing. If your child doesn't burp a lot during the day, chances are you won't have to worry about burping a lot at night.
- Breastfed babies also tend to burp less than bottle-fed babies.
- If you are feeding him a bottle, look for those special ones that eliminate the air during sucking to reduce the amount of air that is trapped in the baby's belly.
Step 3. Put your child to burp after changing the breast or every 60 to 90 ml of milk taken
In general, most breastfed babies need to burp before moving to the other breast and also when they finish breastfeeding. This amount of milk is also valid for babies who are bottle-fed, and you should stop feeding every 60 to 90 ml for them to burp.
The more often your child burps while breastfeeding, the less you need to burp him after he sleeps
Step 4. Don't force your child to burp if he feels comfortable after a feed
It's okay if he doesn't burp after each feed, as long as he feels comfortable and not bloated. He may burp during the next feed or even afterward, which is also good.