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Guide for the Care of Children Online Manual

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How to burp your baby

Burping varies from baby to baby. Many babies need to bring up the air they swallowed while feeding or crying. Not all babies need to burp.

Tip

Have a burp cloth or two handy at each feeding.

There are many different burping positions you can try. You will want to rub or gently pat your baby’s back until you hear the burp. Be sure to support your baby’s head and neck.

  • Position 1: sitting on your lap Sit your baby upright on your lap. Cup your baby's chin between your index finger and your thumb. Lean your baby forward just a bit while you rub or tap her back.
  • Position 2: up on your shoulder Place your baby facing the front of your shoulder with her chin close to the top of your shoulder. Use one hand to support your baby’s bottom. Use your other hand to support her back while you rub or tap.
  • Position 3: lying across your lap Lay your baby across the top of one or both knees. Support your baby’s head with the palm of your hand. Use your other hand to pat or rub her back.
Position No. 1: Sit your baby upright on your lap.

Position 1:
Sit your baby upright on your lap.

Position No. 2: Put your baby against your shoulder.

Position 2:
Put your baby against your shoulder.

Position No. 3: Lay your baby across your lap.

Position 3:
Lay your baby across your lap.

Breastfed babies

Burp your baby after the first breast. Try to burp for one minute. If your baby doesn’t burp, she doesn’t need to.

Formula-fed babies

Sometimes milk flows so quickly that a baby has to gulp to keep up with the flow. This leads to swallowing air.

No. 1: Sit your baby upright on your lap

No. 1: Sit your baby upright on your lap

No. 2: Put your baby against your shoulder.

No. 2: Put your baby against your shoulder.

No. 3: Lay your baby flat across your lap.

No. 3: Lay your baby across your lap.


 

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5 Years Old, fifth edition

To avoid awkward sentences, instead of referring to your child as "he/she" or "him/her," this guide will alternate between "he" or she" and "him" or "her."

First published: 02/01/2010
Last updated: 01/01/2014

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Health Coon Rapids Clinic