Burping your baby can feel very awkward in the beginning! You want to find a technique that works successfully to get your baby’s bubbles up while also feeling comfortable for you. Here are a few of my favorite burping positions and why I prefer them!
Since my Type A personality drives me to count as I burp baby, I usually gently pat baby’s back about 30 times then rub baby’s back up and down about 30 times. I alternately repeat both motions three times before switching to a different burping position to see if it will bring better results. Another suggestion if baby has a burp stuck is to try changing his diaper or lying him down to swaddle. The change in position from sitting to lying down sometimes will help to release a burp once baby returns upright again.
Burp Sitting Upright
My favorite way to burp a newborn is sitting baby upright on my lap while I support his chin and neck with one of my hands and pat or rub his back with the other. I find this technique to be the easiest when baby is really little, but it is also a great go to even as he grows. Sitting baby in your lap and leaning him forward with his chin in your hand, helps to compress his stomach and push gas bubbles out while you are patting and rubbing his back. You can also incorporate the use of a pacifier to help with burping in this position too. If your baby is really having a hard time burping, sucking on a pacifier while you gently pat or rub their back in this position can help get a stubborn bubble up and out!
Over the Shoulder Burping Position
My second go to burping position is to place baby upright resting on my shoulder. You want to try to keep his chin at about shoulder level and support his head from swaying with one hand while alternating between rubbing and patting his back with the other. You can also stand up and bounce or “dance” with baby in this position to help get a stubborn burp to release. This method is particularly useful for a fussy baby because he can snuggle close to you, and if you are bouncing or dancing with him over your shoulder, this can often help to soothe baby while also burping him.
Bouncing Burp Method
To burp your baby using this last suggestion, you need to have a yoga /exercise ball for you to sit on. Hold baby in the same position as you did for the over the shoulder method and use one hand to steady baby’s head. Then, place the other on his back or bottom while you gently bounce in a sitting position on the ball. This technique is another excellent one if a burp is being really stubborn, and it is two fold in purpose. Often baby will find this bouncing motion very soothing. and it may help to lull him back to sleep easily particularly after a nighttime feeding.
To learn more about burping positions and feeding baby during his first month read Chapter 10 of Newborn 101 written by Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny’s founder, Carole Kramer Arsenault! If you are looking for additional care and help with your newborn, consider hiring a Newborn Care Expert or Lactation Consultant. We are here to support families through the journey of parenthood.
About The Author
Courtney Poirier is a veteran Newborn Care Expert with Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny. She has many years of experience with sleep conditioning and coaching in daycare & home settings. Prior to working with babies, she was an elementary school teacher. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and their two sons. One is seven years old and the other is nine years old.