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How to burp your baby

Most new parents today have little or no experience of burping a baby, and handling that tiny body can seem daunting at first. Successfully burping a baby is an art form that can be easily mastered with practice and patience. To help get you started, here is our burping 101.

Why do babies need burping?

Babies tend to swallow air during feeds and may also gulp air whilst crying. Bubbles of air in a young baby’s stomach can cause them considerable discomfort and lead to them feeling ‘full up’ before they have finished a feed.

Do all babies need burping?

Some babies seem to suffer from wind more than others. Bottle fed babies tend to experience more trouble with wind than breastfed babies because they have less control over milk flow. However, many breastfed babies still require burping.

How can I tell if my baby needs burping?

It is a good idea to try burping your baby if they stop in the middle of a feed and begin to cry, or if they squirm, grimace or generally appear uncomfortable after a feed, particularly when lying down.

When should I burp my baby?

If your baby seems to be feeding happily then there is no need to interrupt them. Wait until they unlatch from your breast or their bottle naturally and then take advantage of this pause to burp your baby. You should also attempt to burp your baby at the end of every feed.

How long should I spend trying to burp my baby?

If your baby hasn’t burped after a few minutes, it may be a sign that there is no trapped air and you do not need to continue. However, if your baby still appears uncomfortable then you should try burping them in a different position. If you think your baby is having extreme difficulty in bringing up wind and is often appears distressed after or during a feed, contact your GP or health visitor for further advice.

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