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All babies swallow some air when they drink milk and if this air collects in the stomach it can cause discomfort after the feed.  Burping will also help reduce the chance of regurgitating predigested milk by expelling the air.  A breastfed baby tends to swallow less air than a bottle fed baby as the baby tends to get a more constant flow of milk as they suck at their own pace until they feel satisfied they have had enough.  Whereas with bottle feeding there is more chance of air bubbles in the bottle or gulping rather than controlled sucking.

Below describes the Burping technique and the different Burping Positions which usually prove effective in releasing trapped air after feeding.   Also covered is some other methods that can be used if the trapped air becomes stubborn and difficult to release.

The Burping Technique

The most common burping technique is gentle patting around the shoulder blade area on their back.  Also some parents find stroking up and down or circular strokes around the upper back helps.  Do this for about a minute or until hear a burp sound.  See video below.

Burping Positions

Holding Them Upright Over Your Shoulder

Hold your baby in an upright position with their head over your shoulder.  Helps to have a burp cloth over your shoulder in case they regurgitate milk.

Sitting on Your Lap

When they are sitting on your lap support your baby’s head and neck by making a C shape cup with your thumb and fingers around their chin and jaw making sure to not put pressure on their throat.  Have a burp cloth ready near by in case they regurgitate any milk.

Lying Over Your Lap

This technique is an option if they are struggling to burp in the upright position.

Stubborn Gas Removal Techniques

If you are finding the burping positions at times then trying these techniques can help:

Gentle Bouncing

Gentle bouncing your baby on your lap can help with digestion and releasing trapped air by helping air bubbles to move:

  • Support their head with your hand in same manner as the ‘Sitting on lap’ burping technique
  • Gently bounce or sway baby from side to side until they burp

Baby Tummy Massage

Baby Massage techniques focused on improving digestion and releasing trapped air can be really helpful for babies to release trapped air especially when it is not releasing with the common Burping techniques.   Our ‘Learn Baby Massage’ Guide includes videos to help you learn these different massage techniques to ease Trapped Air and Gas.

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