It isn't really
all that difficult
All that is required
is a bit of persistence
Hold the baby so that his or her tummy lies on the
front of your shoulder and his arms hang down your back.
Both you and the baby should feel very comfortable.
Gently pat the baby's back with the heel of your
hand, gradually moving upwards. Continue until you are
rewarded with a resounding belch. Patting the
left side of the baby's back (which would be on your
right) is better. Do not pat too hard, especially
out of frustration; although the baby can possibly
tolerate it, it makes more sense to avoid a trip to the
Stop patting periodically.
Occasionally, if both you and the baby are lucky, the baby
will burp as soon as you stop patting.
Lie the baby on his or her back for a moment. Then pick
him or her up and resume patting. Sometimes the
jostling helps to move around the gas and produces a burp.
It's true that it might take an awfully long time
before the baby burps. The baby may do something more
interesting like spit up or have a bowel movement
first. These can in most cases be considered as good as
burps. However, with this in mind, there are two errant
beliefs that need to be rebutted:
- Some people will tell you that their babies don't need
to be burped.
This is ridiculous. Babies get gas. They're not experts
at getting rid of it, and they need your help. Who are the
- Even some parenting books will say that if the baby
hasn't burped by such-and-such a time, he or she has
probably nursed so efficiently that he or she didn't
swallow any air bubbles and couldn't possibly have a burp.
Another absurdity. After a feeding, the baby
always has a burp. That's one of the things that
the baby does. What these books are likely referring to is
that the baby is probably feeling more discomfort from so
many minutes of being knocked on the back than from the
gas that is trapped.