Burping your baby
Updated January 17th, 2023
Babies often swallow air while feeding, which can make them uncomfortable. This happens with breastfed and bottle-fed babies. Burping helps get rid of air that the baby has swallowed.
Burp your baby:
- part way through the feed and then again after feeding.
- burp your baby, when he seems uncomfortable.
- burp a breastfeeding baby when you switch breasts during feeding.
- more often, if the baby has problems with gas or spitting up.
Signs that your baby may need to burp:
- arches the back
- gets fussy or cranky
- pulls away from the bottle
- slows or stops sucking
Hot parent tips:
- Watch your baby for hunger cues and feed before baby is so hungry that he is crying. Crying babies swallow a lot of air which can cause discomfort and spitting up.
To burp a baby:
- Place the baby in an upright position. See the pictures below for good burping positions.
- Gently rub or pat baby’s back with a cupped hand. The baby will not always burp each time you do this. Wait a few minutes and try again.
- Sometimes formula or breast milk comes up with the air when the baby burps. A clean face cloth, cloth diaper, or bib can help keep you and the baby clean during burping.
Try these positions to burp your baby:
To help the baby swallow less air during bottle feedings:
- Make sure the formula is not too hot or too cold.
- Sit the baby upright in your arms when feeding.
- See our page Bottle-Feeding 101 for tips on bottle-feeding.
Most babies burp on their own after 2 months of age.