Parenthood is a period that is fraught with anxiety. It is especially so for first-time parents. A baby’s every move is put under a microscope, every sneeze or cough inciting anxiety in the parent. However, burping is one of the most misunderstood facets of first-time parenting.  

Burping is the act of expelling gas from the stomach through the mouth. It is the body’s natural way of getting rid of excess gas in the stomach, hence relieving pain and discomfort. 

Burping babies often happens after feeding, regardless of whether they have been bottle-fed or breastfed. Any air the baby may have swallowed during feeding gets released during burping. There are many things a new parent will ask about burping, like how do I burp my baby the right way? How should I hold my baby during burping? What are the best, easy to use burp cloths for my baby? 

While there’s not one picture-perfect way to burp your baby, every chosen method converges at some point. Read on to learn about the common methods of preparing your baby for burping and how the burping process works exactly.

Newborn baby in comfortable pajamas sleeping on a beige blanket

Burping Methods

Here are the most common burping methods that you can try with your baby:

Method One – Over Your Shoulder Method

Make sure that you’re holding your baby upright and supporting it by holding its bottom. You should ideally have their chin resting on your shoulder. Holding the baby upright can prevent them from regurgitating breastmilk or formula. Being upright also enables air to rise to the top of the stomach and thus is easier to bring up through burping, all thanks to gravity.  

Method Two – Sitting On Your Lap Method

Another way to burp your baby might involve them sitting on your lap. If this is the method you choose, ensure the baby is seated straight, their head and neck supported by your other hand. Your hand should be under the baby’s chin and not their throat.

Method Three – Face Down On A Flat Surface

You can also burp your baby while it is lying down. If you choose this method, make sure that your baby lays on their stomach on a flat surface. You can pick a changing table or bed for this. Make sure to support their head before you begin the burping process. 

The Burping Process

Whichever your burping method, ensure the baby’s head and neck are properly supported so they’re as comfortable as they can be. You can then begin to pat or rub their back gently. Massaging your baby’s back is not only comforting but also helps relax their muscles, aiding the burping process. 

How To Pat Or Rub?

The patting or rubbing motion should start from the lower back. From there, you should work your way up to the shoulder blades. Remember that when burping a baby, comfort is vital. Gently rocking the baby lets them relax and feel comfortable during and after burping.  

When you are rocking your baby, ensure you have a burp cloth at hand. A burp cloth is an absorbent towel that protects you and your baby from leftover milk during or after burping. A burp cloth is usually placed over the shoulder or the lap of whoever is holding the baby. Unlike disposable items like baby diapers, a burping cloth is often washed and reused. Continue reading for some tips on choosing the right burp cloth.

What To Consider In Burp Cloths 

Here are some of the most important factors to consider when finding burp cloths:

  •  Material

Some clothing materials might irritate a baby with sensitive skin. These may include ones with rough and, in some cases, synthetic fabric. When considering burp cloths, look for materials with a low likelihood of being an irritant. 

  •  Durability

A good burp cloth must withstand the wear and tear of constant washing and use. Check out the reviews of the product you’re eyeing to have an idea of its durability.

  • Size

When choosing a burp cloth, consider one large enough to cover the entire span of the baby while holding it. A good burp cloth should typically cover your chest and shoulder. 

  • Absorbent capabilities

How absorbent is your burp cloth? It should have a high absorbent rate to ensure the drool does not get to your clothes when holding the baby. 

Aside from the abovementioned qualities, consider the number of burp cloth you’ll get as well. Ideally, you should purchase several burp cloths so you can always have an extra at hand when you need it.

Parting Shot:

After following any of the burping methods mentioned and discussed above, the process ends when you hear or feel the baby burp. It is, however, not uncommon for the baby not to burp after every meal, so don’t force your baby to burp. It’s a natural process that will eventually happen. Also, remember that burping should be as comfortable as possible. Don’t slap or apply too much pressure on the baby’s back. If your method of choice elicits discomfort from the child, try another approach. 

Joan Collins

Joan Collins is a passionate writer who takes pleasure in writing all things motherhood. She is currently enshrining her experiences as a mother in an upcoming book. Joan loves reading, writing, hiking, and storytelling.