How To Burp A Newborn Baby That Won’t Burp

August 18, 2023

So, you’ve got a newborn baby who just doesn’t seem to want to burp, huh? Well, don’t you worry, because we’ve got some tips and tricks up our sleeve to help you handle this tricky situation. We understand that burping a baby is essential to prevent discomfort and gas, but sometimes those tiny little ones just don’t cooperate. In this article, we’ll walk you through some tried and tested methods to help you burp a stubborn newborn, ensuring both you and your baby can enjoy a peaceful and comfortable day ahead.

Different burping techniques

Shoulder burping

One popular technique for burping a newborn baby is the shoulder burping method. To use this technique, simply place your baby’s chin on your shoulder and support their bottom with your hand. Gently pat or rub the baby’s back in an upward motion. The pressure from your shoulder against their tummy can help to release any trapped air.

Sitting upright burping

Another effective technique is to have your baby sit upright on your lap while supporting their head and neck. Make sure your baby’s back is straight and their chin is slightly elevated. Use one hand to support their chest and the other hand to pat or rub their back.

Laying on your lap burping

The third technique involves laying your baby face-down across your lap. Make sure their head is slightly elevated and supported by your hand. Use your other hand to pat or rub their back in an upward motion. This position can help to apply gentle pressure to their tummy, encouraging them to burp.

Preparing for burping

Choose a comfortable location

Before you begin the burping process, it’s important to choose a comfortable location for both you and your baby. Find a quiet area where you can sit or stand comfortably for an extended period of time. Some parents find it helpful to use a nursing chair or a rocking chair with armrests.

Ensure a calm environment

Babies are sensitive to their surroundings, so it’s important to create a calm and peaceful environment for burping. Dim the lights, reduce noise levels, and eliminate any distractions that may overstimulate your baby. Creating a serene atmosphere can help relax both you and your little one during the burping process.

Have a burp cloth ready

Babies can sometimes spit up or have small amounts of milk or formula come out during the burping process. It’s a good idea to have a burp cloth or bib handy to catch any mess. This will help keep both you and your baby clean and comfortable.

Engaging the baby

Gently massage the baby’s back

Massaging the baby’s back can help stimulate their digestive system and release trapped air. Use gentle circular motions with the palm of your hand, starting from the shoulders and moving down towards the lower back. This can provide a soothing sensation for your baby and encourage them to burp.

Pat or rub the baby’s back

Another way to engage the baby during the burping process is by patting or rubbing their back. Use a gentle yet firm motion, and pay attention to your baby’s cues. Some babies prefer a rhythmic patting motion, while others respond better to a soft rubbing motion. Experiment with different techniques to find what works best for your baby.

Provide a comforting touch

Babies thrive on touch and physical contact. During the burping process, it’s important to provide a comforting touch to your baby. This could include placing your hand on their back or lightly cradling their head. Physical contact can help your baby feel secure and calm, making the burping process more effective.

Using gentle pressure

Support the baby’s head and neck

When burping your baby, it’s crucial to support their head and neck to avoid any discomfort or injury. Place one hand under their chin and the other hand on their chest. This will provide stability and ensure your baby’s airways are clear during the burping process.

Put a hand on the baby’s chest

To help encourage burping, put a gentle hand on your baby’s chest while supporting their head and neck. This can provide a slight pressure on their diaphragm, making it easier for air to escape. Make sure the pressure is gentle and not too forceful to avoid any discomfort for your baby.

Apply gentle pressure on the baby’s tummy

Another technique to try is applying gentle pressure on your baby’s tummy. Place your fingertips lightly on their abdomen and apply a small amount of pressure in a circular motion. This can help to stimulate the digestive system and encourage any trapped air to escape.

Changing positions

Transition from one position to another

Sometimes, switching positions during the burping process can help stimulate the baby’s digestive system and facilitate burping. If one position isn’t working, gently transition your baby into another position and continue with the burping techniques. This movement can help relieve any discomfort your baby may be experiencing and improve the chances of a successful burp.

Try alternative holding positions

If the traditional burping positions aren’t working, don’t be afraid to experiment with alternative holding positions. For example, you can try holding your baby in a football or rugby hold, where their body is tucked under your arm with their head facing down. This position can provide extra support and relieve pressure on their tummy.

Utilizing motion and movement

Rocking the baby gently

Babies often find motion soothing, so gently rocking your baby during the burping process can be helpful. You can rock them back and forth in your arms or use a rocking chair or glider. The rhythmic movement can aid in releasing trapped air and provide a calming effect for your baby.

Walking or swaying with the baby

Taking a stroll or gently swaying with your baby can also help with burping. The combination of movement and the upright position can encourage burping and relieve any discomfort your baby may be feeling. This technique is particularly useful if your baby tends to be more active or fussy during the burping process.

Using a baby swing or bouncer

If your baby is especially resistant to burping, you can try using a baby swing or bouncer. The gentle rocking motion of these devices can mimic the feeling of being held and provide the necessary stimulation for burping. Always ensure that your baby is securely fastened and supervised while using these devices.

Taking breaks

Give the baby a break

If your baby is becoming fussy or distressed during the burping process, it’s important to give them a break. Sometimes, babies need time to calm down and settle before attempting to burp again. Take a few minutes to cuddle and soothe your baby, allowing them to relax before continuing with the burping process.

Try again after a few minutes

After giving your baby a break, try burping them again after a few minutes. Sometimes, a short break can make all the difference and allow enough time for any trapped air to move through their digestive system. Be patient and persistent in your attempts to burp your baby.

Offer comfort and reassurance

During breaks in the burping process, it’s essential to offer comfort and reassurance to your baby. Cuddle them, sing a lullaby, or use soothing sounds to help them relax. Reassure your baby that you’re there for them and that you understand their needs. This emotional support can make the burping process easier for both of you.

Encouraging relaxation

Create a soothing atmosphere

In addition to providing comfort and reassurance, creating a soothing atmosphere can greatly aid in relaxation. Dim the lights, play soft music or white noise, and eliminate any distractions that may disrupt the calming environment. A serene atmosphere can help your baby calm down and release any tension, making burping easier.

Use gentle sounds or white noise

Certain sounds can have a calming effect on babies and help them relax during the burping process. You can try playing white noise or using a sound machine that mimics womb sounds or gentle rainfall. These sounds can help drown out any external noises and create a peaceful environment for your baby.

Try infant massage

Infant massage is not only beneficial for bonding but can also help with digestion and relaxation. Gently massaging your baby’s tummy in a clockwise motion can help stimulate the digestive system and relieve any discomfort or gas. Make sure to use gentle pressure and seek guidance from a certified infant massage therapist if needed.

Consulting a healthcare professional

Seek medical advice if burping persists

If you’ve tried various techniques and your baby is still having trouble burping, it’s important to seek medical advice. Persistent difficulty with burping could be a sign of an underlying issue, such as acid reflux or a gastrointestinal disorder. A healthcare professional can assess your baby’s condition and provide appropriate guidance.

Ask for guidance from a pediatrician

Your pediatrician is an excellent resource for any concerns or difficulties you may have with burping. They can offer personalized advice based on your baby’s specific needs and recommend techniques or treatments that may be more effective. Don’t hesitate to reach out for support and guidance from a healthcare professional.

Consider alternative options

In certain cases, alternative options may be necessary if traditional burping techniques are not effective for your baby. For example, your pediatrician may suggest trying anti-gas drops or other medication to alleviate gas or reflux symptoms. It’s essential to discuss any alternative options with a healthcare professional to ensure the safety and well-being of your baby.

Practicing patience and persistence

Remember that every baby is different

It’s important to remember that every baby is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Finding the right burping technique for your baby may require some trial and error. Be patient with yourself and your baby as you navigate this process and find the approach that works best for both of you.

Stay calm and patient

Babies are highly intuitive and can pick up on your emotions. It’s crucial to stay calm and patient during the burping process to create a relaxed environment for your little one. Your calm presence will help your baby feel secure and more likely to burp successfully.

Keep trying different techniques

If one technique doesn’t work, don’t be discouraged—there are many techniques to try. Keep experimenting with different positions, movements, and techniques until you find what works best for your baby. The key is to remain persistent and open-minded, adapting to your baby’s needs as you continue the burping journey together.

Sandra McNeil, PhD.
Sandra McNeil, PhD.

Sandra has over 13 years of experience as a child psychologist, both as a practitioner and researcher. She has a Bachelor's in child psychology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and then she did her master's in Psychology in Education (focused on Children & Families) at Columbia University, NY. She has been writing for health and child-related publications for over 5 years now.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply

      Baby Cribs Central