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Burping your baby: Your top questions answered

If your baby appears uncomfortable after feedings, despite your efforts to relieve their gas, it may be time to consult with their doctor.

It’s late at night, and you’ve been patting your baby’s back for what feels like an eternity, hoping for a burp.

We’ve got you covered with some burping facts and techniques to help your baby if gas is causing them discomfort.

At what age can you stop burping your baby?

When babies eat, they inhale some air. Breastfed babies normally take in a little less air than bottle-fed babies, but your baby will take in some air regardless of how you feed them. This air might make your baby feel gassy and uncomfortable. The good news is that, according to experts, most babies can stop being burped by the age of four to six months.

What is the best way to burp my baby?

Babies can be burped in a variety of ways and while being held in various positions. If you believe your baby needs to burp but are having difficulty with one position, try switching positions.

If your baby hasn’t burped after about a minute, you can generally move on or try again later; just keep an eye out for any signs of discomfort (e.g., wriggling, pulling away).

Can burping my baby help reduce colic?

According to research, burping does not reduce colic episodes and actually increases spit-up in healthy babies.

What if burping isn’t sufficient?

Burping your baby may not always be enough to alleviate their discomfort. If your baby appears to be unhappy due to gas, there are several alternatives to burping that you can try. These are a few examples:

Bicycle their legs

Laying your baby on their back and moving their legs as though pedalling a bicycle can help gas escape.


Massage may improve your baby’s circulatory and digestive systems, aiding gas and constipation.

Change their bottle teat size

If you are feeding your baby with a bottle, the size of your nipple may be causing your tot to take in more air. A nipple that releases milk too quickly or too slowly may result in your baby gulping for air or sucking additional air from the bottle. Most baby bottles offer varying teat levels for different age ranges (usually slow flow for 0+ months, medium flow for 3+ months, and fast flow for 6+ months), meaning you can judge which teat size might be the best based on your baby’s age.

Shop around for the right bottle

No one bottle has been found to be the best for reducing colic, eliminating acid reflux, or reducing gas and spit-ups. However, some brands focus on venting and air management methods.

Change formula

Switching formulas might be worth a shot if your baby has excess gas. Speak to your baby’s paediatrician for formula recommendations.

If breastfeeding, talk to your baby’s physician about whether your diet could be causing your baby’s digestive problems.

Can gripe water help ease gas?

Before using gripe water (or gas-alleviating drops), consult with your baby’s paediatrician. While it is unusual, your baby could have an allergic reaction, and ingredients can vary widely from brand to brand (especially if you intend to use gripe water).

Can gas be a sign of a medical condition?

Suppose your baby’s burps involve excessive spit-up. In that case, projectile vomiting, or your infant appears to be in distress when burping, consult with their doctor, who can help you rule out other possible reasons, such as gastroesophageal reflux illness (GERD). Your child’s doctor can also advise you on how to alleviate your baby’s specific problems.

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