5 Ways To Burp A Baby That Won’t Burp

how to burp a baby

Simple ideas that may help to burp a baby that is hard to burp

Can’t get baby to burp? Your baby’s little sound of a burp is one of those small joys of being a new mom. But for some parents, getting their little beings to belch is hard.

Burping your baby helps them to get rid of any air ingested while feeding. It also prevents the baby from having excess gas as well as spitting up.

Some babies will actually burp on their own, without needing any extra help, while others will need a little more assistance to burp.

Bottle fed babies tend to burp a lot as compared to breastfed babies because they swallow so much air when feeding.

If you realize your bottle-fed baby is burping often or they are gassy, you probably need to check on the type of bottle you are using.

A good breastfeeding bottle should be able to vent out air so that your baby doesn’t swallow too much of it.

What Is The Perfect Time To Burp A Hard To Burp Baby?

The ideal time to burp a newborn is while they are feeding or immediately after to help them expel excess gas. For a mom who is breastfeeding, burp your little one while changing breasts.

For bottle-fed babies, burp the baby after they have taken 60ml of formula or milk. It’s important to burp your baby, but I know there are some newborns won’t burp no matter what you do.

If that’s your baby, don’t beat yourself up. As long as they are okay, that’s all that matters. Not all babies need burping.

A mom holding her baby while seated

What To Do If Baby Doesn’t Want To Burp

If your baby is hard to burp, you can try the following techniques to help get things going. These are tried and tested burping methods that even your granny swears by them!

Before you start burping your bundle of joy, you will need some good quality baby burping clothes. Grab some of my favorite ones from amazon.

Sitting on your lap

Place a burping cloth on your lap and a bib on your little one. While supporting the baby (chest and head) sit him on your lap as he faces away from you. Using the other free hand, gently pat him on his back.

Lower on the chest

Gently lift your little one in an upright or semi-upright position and ensure the baby is on the chest. This is best achieved while seated down. I prefer being on a rocking or the dining chair as then I can sit upright perfectly.

Since babies love to curl their knees up to their tummies in a frog-like position, this will also help them fart. Hold their heads properly and be patient as you wait for that elusive gas release.

If newborn won’t burp, this may be a perfect position to let that belch out if you are patient enough.

On the arm in a sloth-like position

Once you are done feeding, and your arm doesn’t ache, lay baby on the arm, making sure your baby’s tummy is pressed beneath the arm.

Support their legs with your fingers and the head on the crook of the elbow. This position will exert pressure on their stomach, prompting a burp. You can also gently massage their back if your baby wont burp after feeding.

Massage the baby

Lay the baby on their tummy on a flat but firm surface. Apply pressure on the baby’s back and massage them up and down gently.

You can extend the massage to the shoulder blades to make the little one more relaxed. A gentle massage should help if your infant won’t burp any other way.

Over the shoulder

This is probably one of the most common burping methods. Simply hold your baby upright vertically with the head over your shoulders.

Make sure you have a burping cloth over your shoulder. Gently rub his back until he lets out a burp.

A woman holding her baby

Across the lap

Place the baby on his tummy across your lap while the head is turned to either side. Ensure the baby is steady then gently rub as you pat his back.

These are the basic methods of burping babies; there have been so many variations of these that people have come up with to help babies burp.

But What If Even After All The Effort, You Can’t Get Baby To Burp?

Here are a few tips and tricks on how to burp a baby that won’t burp.

Calm the baby down

A mother calming down their baby

If your baby is crying or is fussy, you may have to soothe them first. Try rocking, slow swinging, or just anything that calms them.

You know your little one better than anyone else. Find that sweet spot that calms him.

Once the baby is well settled and relaxed, you can now try burping him.

Switch positions

If you have tried either of the above burping methods and they haven’t worked, there are a ton of variations for the methods described. Try changing positions to see the “magic method” that works.

However, before switching positions, ensure you have tried each method for at least 10 minutes.

Since your baby is hard to burp, I’d recommend you try burping him in positions that give some extra pressure on his little tummy as you rub and pat him.

In addition, burping him twice as he feeds may help. Once mid-feeding while changing boobs, and then again once he’s done.

Baby wearing

Get your favorite baby wrap after feeding and wear your little one on your chest until he burps.

While you wait for that burp to come out, you can do other errands in the house or go for a walk. These movements have a bouncing effect that help the baby release gas.

Bicycling

bicycling to burp a baby that is hard to burp

This is usually a great way to help a baby fart , but can also be used to help your hard to burp baby release gas. Lay the baby on their back and lift their legs in a rhythmic movement that mimics bike pedaling.

This will put some pressure on different parts of the abdomen causing the baby to burp and fart as well.

Burp Your Newborn When Not Feeding

Often, we burp babies during or after feeding them. However, you can burp your little anytime. If your baby seems uncomfortable and is fussy, a burp may be what they need.

Infants also swallow air when they use the wrong pacifier, are overstimulated, or if they cry a lot.

How Can I Burp A Sleeping Baby?

I know the last thing you want to do is to wake your newborn who has drifted to sleep after breastfeeding to burp them. Newborn babies need to be burped after feeding so that they can belch out the gas they had swallowed while feeding.

Though it might be tempting to put the baby back in her crib without burping, it’s not a good idea as they may likely wake up in pain a little later.

Even though your baby may look fine, for some babies, it’s important to get them to burp before putting them back to sleep.

Burping a sleeping baby is the same as burping a baby who is awake. The only thing you need to be careful about is to go slow on the burping to keep your little one asleep.

Pick styles that are easy on the baby. For example, you can place the infant over the shoulder and support his head with your hand while the crook of the arm supports his bottom.

While in that position, gently rub his back. This should help him release gas.

You can also lay the baby face down on your lap or the bed. Make sure the head faces sideways so he doesn’t choke should milk come from the nose or mouth when he burps.

Rub the infant on his back, being careful not to wake him up. Sometimes, he may not release a burp sound but spit out milk, which also helps in getting rid of excess gas.

What also worked for me during night feed was to take my baby off the boob before the end of the feed, burp him and then put him back on the boob for some minutes just to get him to drift to sleep. It worked like a charm.

How Long Will Burping Baby Take?

Burping is usually a matter of a few minutes, if not seconds. For easy to burp babies, the burp will come out as they feed. However, for hard to burp baby, it may take a little while. You may have to help by trying some burping technique to get that gas out finally.

You can also get clever by not letting your newborn sleep while nursing. Once he is well-fed, get him off the breast or bottle while he is still drowsy, burp him then put him down on his crib to sleep.

However, this trick will only work if you start it on him when he is younger. The results may be a little different for an older baby.

For babies with GERD, they may not sleep for about 30 minutes after feeding and will likely keep spitting up. There are the normal spit-ups, but if you notice your newborn is always cranky and uncomfortable, they probably are experiencing acid reflux. It is a good idea to voice your concerns to your pediatrician.

How Do I Prevent Excess Gas In A Newborn?

The best way to avoid too much gas in infants is by ensuring the baby doesn’t swallow too much gas when they are feeding. When your newborn feeds too quickly, chances are he will ingest a lot of air.

Here are some ways to help reduce the amount of gas your little one swallows during feeds.

For breastfed babies:

Avoid nursing the baby when they are too hungry. A hungry child will suckle too fast, therefore, swallowing excessive gas.

Be careful about milk letdown from the breast. If your milk comes out too fast when your baby starts to suckle, he will end up gulping it quickly, therefore, swallowing excess gas. If you have such a problem, take your baby off the breast for a few minutes. Then catch the excess milk with a haaka breast pump. Once your milk flow slows down, nurse your baby.

Try different nursing positions. Some babies will swallow less gas when breastfed in a certain position. Talk to your lactation consultant for help with breastfeeding positions.

Latch your newborn correctly. A good latch ensures the baby doesn’t struggle to breastfeed, which can make him ingest a lot of air.

 For bottle-fed babies

Before giving your infant a nipple, test the flow. Hold the bottle upside down and let some drops flow out.  If the milk comes out too quickly, that may mean the nipple is too big or it’s worn out. You may need to replace it.

Newborns need slow nipple bottles. Always use the right nipple sizes for your baby according to their age. A nipple that lets out milk fast will likely make your baby swallow air.

Hold the bottle in an angle that allows minimal airflow into the formula or milk as they feed.

Include Your Spouse In Breastfeeding Through Burping

There is no better way to involve your other half in breastfeeding than by helping you to burp your newborn, who’s hard to burp.

If you have breastfed for an hour, your arms will feel tired, and your partners help is more than welcome. It is also a great time for the two to bond.

Forget About The Burp Altogether

Some babies just won’t burp no matter what you do and no one knows why! I know this can be frustrating for a new mom, but do not beat yourself up for it.

If your baby doesn’t burp and you have tried every trick you know, then it’s probably their fault;not yours.

Often, as moms, we blame ourselves too much for things that are out of our control. If the little dude won’t burp, move on with your life mama! As long as the baby is okay and isn’t fussy, there is absolutely no reason to get worried.

But What If The Baby Seems Uncomfortable?

Talk to your doctor about it. He may recommend gas drops or gripe water after feedings or suggest a position that works perfectly for a baby that won’t burp.

And just to make you feel a little better when you can’t get baby to burp, there is little scientific evidence that justifies any benefits of burping a baby.

When To Stop Burping Your Baby

Burping a burp resistant baby can be frustrating. But this is just for a short while and soon, your baby will no longer need your help to burp.

In about 6-9 months, he will be able to sit on his own and thus, will not need to be burped.

Some babies will actually outgrow the need to be burped even at 4 months, others will take a little longer.

Every baby is unique, so be keen on your little one’s behavior.

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