Saturday, January 27, 2007

Daddy Magic: How to burp your baby

Burping your baby can truly be an artform.

The burp is important for three primary reasons:

(1) The baby will avoid spitup

(2) The baby will avoid prolonged discomfort

(3) Your baby will be happier and healthier

Let's look at #3. Why would a successful burping methodlogy make a happier and healthier baby? The answer is actually a process of how the burping affects the countenance and health of your child:

(1) A baby who is burped quickly and easily will eat faster.

(2) Since the baby eats faster, the parent is much more likely to feed the baby more at each sitting.

(3) This allows you to feed the baby less often, on a schedule that looks like this: 4AM, 8AM, 12PM, 4PM, 8PM, 12AM, where you eventually drop off the 12AM feeding, followed by the 4AM feeding (so your baby sleeps for 12 hours at night).

(4) The more sleep your baby gets in one chunk, the happier your baby is, and the happier you are when you are around your baby. The baby sees that you are more happy, and she is more likely to be happy as well: you are teaching her how to be happy by example.

Now that you know that the burp is important, how do you burp a baby?

There are 5 core ingredients to successfully burping a baby:

(1) Position
(a) Vertical
(b) Vertical then to horizontal (on his back), then to vertical
(c) On his stomach, with his arms and knees placed under his body (this decreases SIDS)

(2) Patting - Firm and methodical patting on his back

(3) Movement - Up and down vertical movement that is methodical and fast, but subtle

(4) Time - It is often a waiting game. Sometimes the vertical positioning alone is all you need to do, and then you wait for three minutes. Patience is a virtue!

(5) Timing - Timing is important. You should be pumping the bottle in your baby's mouth. As soon as he isn't sucking on the bottle (when he has drank a lot), it means he is ready to burp. Immediately get him in position. Once done burping, if he hasn't finished his bottle, feed him some more until he is completely done. He should go through two "rounds" of burping. Each "round" of successful burping means two good burps, often right after each other.

Burping an infant:

Burping an infant is the classic form of burping.

(1) Place a burp rag on your shoulder.

(2) Put your baby over your shoulder so that her mouth is right over the rag.

(3) Firmly pat your baby on her back. You should do this a little harder than most people do at a regular tempo, but not too fast.

(4) After doing this for awhile, firmly rub your infant's back.

(5) If your baby is crying or is not burping after trying this method, try laying her down and then picking her back up for more. This adjustment in horizontal/vertical positioning will help her as she learns to use her digestive system.

On her stomach:

A good alternative for an infant or baby is to lay her on her stomach. Please do the following...

(1) Place your baby on a soft surface (maybe on a blanket that is on the carpeted floor; if you don't have dogs or crazy toddlers)

(2) Lay a burp cloth directly under her head.

(2) Place her arms under her chest. This will lessen the physical body pressure that she is putting on her diaphragm. This is important whenever placing your baby on her chest because of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). The #1 cause of SIDS is when babies sleep on their stomachs--they suffocate.

(3) Bend her knees so that her legs are also holding some of the pressure of her body's weight.

(4) Let her lay in this position for awhile and periodically move her gently back and forth, up and down, and move her legs around a bit. This may help relieve some of her gas pressure.

(5) If she is crying or if this method isn't working revert back to the infant method above or do the baby method below.

Burping a baby:

If you've gotten your infant used to burping, then you can get your baby to become an expert at burping. =^)

(1) Place your baby in a sitting position on one of your legs. Have him sit facing one of the sides, like sitting side-saddle on a horse.

(2) Place a burp cloth directly in front of him. Use that hand to hold his front and to hold the burp cloth in front of his mouth.

(3) With your other hand, steady his back.

(4) Move your leg up and down by rolling your foot upward and downward from your heel to your toes. Do this at a very fast but very subtle rate of movement. The slow and extreme movement would create more of a ship or airplane type of feeling, which is more likely to make your baby spit up.

(5) If your baby is crying (our first baby cried a lot during the burping process), sing/hum while you move your leg. Use a fast-paced western song. You will be surprised how babies are ready to listen to music and forget their discomfort.

(6) After doing this for awhile, stop your leg to see if just the vertical position will help her burp.

(7) After waiting, bend down and hug her with your burp rag arm, your neck, and your body. Use your hand at her back to firmly and methodically pat her (not too fast), just like you would if she was over your shoulder.

(8) Then go back to the "horsey ride."

(9) If she is still crying or isn't burping, try the infant or stomach methods above.

Persevere! You have to teach your baby how to burp, and once you do, it will get a lot easier. I'm adding this to the sleeping categories because a burping baby is an eating baby who is a sleeping baby.



Anonymous said...

Check out a simpler step by step guide at

Albert Jett said...

Thanks for sharing your information. Its look great.
How to burp a baby