How to Burp an Infant

The appropriate burping of infants is as important as feeding them. Improper burping can lead to gas and discomfort for the infant. Following a few steps can assist in the prevention of discomfort and irritability in your baby.

Things You'll Need

  • Burp cloth


    • 1

      Hold your baby in one of two ways for proper burping. The first way is to place a burp cloth on your shoulder to protect against soiling, then place the infant on your shoulder. The second way is to place the infant sitting up on your thigh. To properly burp the baby in this position, place your thumb under one of the infant's armpits and your ring finger and pinky under the other. The remaining two fingers of that hand should be placed against the baby's jaw. Place the burp cloth under the infant's chin. Always support your baby's neck and head when burping.

    • 2

      Pat your baby's back firmly. Using too much force can be harmful for the baby, while not using enough force can lead to ineffective burping. It is sometimes helpful to pat up and down the baby's back. There is an indefinite range of times you should pat the baby's back to get a burp. Sometimes just a few pats is adequate; in other instances, it may take a lot more.

    • 3

      Rub your baby's back, if patting doesn't work. The rubbing motion can be circular or up and down. In theory, you are trying to move the baby's gas out of her system. Thus, try to rub the entire back. Use this step interchangeably with step 2 until the baby burps.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be patient. Burping can take awhile. At the same time, it is important to prevent the infant's discomfort.
  • Burp your formula-fed baby every 2 to 3 oz., and burp your breastfed baby when you switch breasts and at the end of each feeding.
  • Never shake your baby to try to get a burp. Failure to support your baby's neck or head during burping could harm your baby.
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  • Photo Credit infant, baby image by Natalja from

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