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How To Burp A Newborn Made Easy

How To Burp A Newborn Made Easy

How to burp a newborn made easy for parents to prevent messy cleanups.  After all, Newborns need to burp a lot, but they don't always know how to do it independently.

This can make things frustrating for both you and your baby. When your little one starts screaming because they are uncomfortable from having swallowed air, follow these tips to help them along:

Rub The Baby's Back

Do this in a circular motion, but take care not to press too hard. Don't rub too fast or slow, and avoid rubbing your child's head or face in this manner as well—you don't want to hurt them!

Regina Ramos (Pelton), Materials and Data Specialist, College Of American Pathologists

father carrying a newborn baby in the house during golden hour

Position The Baby Over Your Shoulder

  • Standing or sitting, place the baby on your shoulder with its head leaning against your neck.
  • Use one hand to support the baby's head and the other to gently hold each leg securely at its ankle.
  • Place a towel around your shoulders if you'd like to protect your clothing from spit-up or milk stains from leaking out of the baby's mouth when they burp (you could use two towels for extra protection).
  • Be sure that both hands are supporting the weight of the baby with firm pressure on their back; this will help them feel secure and comfortable while they burp.

Derek Fenwick, Senior Director of Human Resources, Infinity Rehab

Use a Different Position

Try holding the baby upright. You can try having your newborn over your shoulder, but if they don't stay put, try putting them in an upright position on a bed or other flat surface.

If this doesn't work, cradle the baby. This means having them lying on their back with their head resting on their arm and knees bent up to support their torso.

Nazzi Bayhaghi, Co-Founder, SympathyCare Hospice

newborn baby sleeping on white cotton

Burp Over Your Lap

  • When burping your newborn, you should place them on your lap with their head facing down.
  • You can hold their feet, so they don't kick out while they're being burped.
  • Then, gently lift their chin and hold it in place for a few seconds before lowering the baby's head back to your lap.

Kyle Rose, Senior Program Manager, Atlas Lift Tech

Try a Few Gentle Pats On The Back

Patting is an excellent option for many parents, but it's important to remember that it shouldn't be done too hard or too fast.

Patting should be gentle and gradual, not intense and sporadic. Also, never pat your newborn immediately on the back.

Instead, try patting gently on their shoulders, then move closer to the baby's back when you're ready to begin burping them.

Marcello Cugno, Founder, Mind Matters Counseling

mother resting on bed with her baby sleeping on top

Give It Some Time And Stop Trying To Force It

Babies can be fussy and gassy, so they won't always burp easily. If you've been trying to make the baby burp for at least fifteen minutes and it still doesn't happen, stop trying to force it.

Take a break for a few minutes before trying again. If the baby is still upset after another fifteen minutes, try again.

If your baby is still fussing after several attempts at burping, don't despair! Your pediatrician may recommend that you try placing your newborn baby boy in an upright position as they sleep to help alleviate gas pressure.

Sheyla Riaz, Founder, The YOU Initiative

Burping By Hand

  • Holding your baby upright against one arm with their head resting against your shoulder helps prevent them from swallowing too much air as he leans forward.
  • Then use two fingers under their chin as leverage so you can pry open their mouth slightly—but not enough that they start choking (which can happen if they're too young).
  • With one hand supporting and opening up their jaw, use three fingers of the other hand and press gently into his stomach where it meets the breastbone.
  • Press against this spot repeatedly until you hear a giant burp escape them!

Van Popp, Senior Strategic Sourcing Analyst, Tower Health

parents admiring a sleeping baby in a white jacket on the bed


The main difference between burping a newborn and an older baby is that you can worry less about accidentally stretching the little one's neck beyond their abilities—they're more flexible, but not so much that you should feel hesitant about it.

You should always burp your baby after they have eaten to help prevent spitting up and to reduce the risk of colic.

You know your baby best, so you'll be able to tell whether or not they need to burp.

If you're having trouble burping them and you're sure it's not a problem with digestion (which comes later in infancy), then don't worry about it!

As long as the baby is happy, healthy, and seems like they're getting enough milk, there's no need to force them to burp.

Samantha (Samii) Emdur, Registered Nurse, Children'S Hospital Of Philadelphia

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Alex Smith

Alex Smith, author

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