7 Tried & True Ways to Burp a Baby

Wendy Robinson | Nov 24, 2015 Baby
7 Tried & True Ways to Burp a Baby
Image: iStock.com/skynesher

baby burp shoulder

There are few things as satisfying to the parent of a baby as the sound of a well-fed little one letting out a loud burp. While burping in public might be considered rude for adults, for babies it's both adorable and a sign that hopefully everything is nice and settled in baby's tummy. Once that good old burp is let loose -- and yes, it can be a while if baby is not ready -- a restful nap or happy playtime can ensue.

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There are many factors that can influence if a baby is going to let out a burp, and if they don't, it can be a pain for everyone. From the way the baby is held, to how forceful a parent pats baby's back, these are all ways that a mom or dad can get tripped up when trying to get baby to let it out. Sometimes those good burps are hard to come by from the standard "put baby on a shoulder and pat the back" method, so we've collected a few other methods of gas relief that will help baby let it all out.

We asked parents for their best burping advice. Some parents admit that their burping technique took a little finessing to get right, but once they did -- perfect baby burps every time. Read on for some of the more creative ways to get a frat-guy-style belch out of the little angel!

burp baby

  • Tummy-Down Burp


    © nmaxfield/iStock

    "My baby never burped on my shoulder, but was a champ if I laid her on my lap or cradled her in my arms and then patted her firmly on the back. It also sometimes helped if I gave her some light pressure on her belly at the same time. I just needed to remember to put a burp cloth on the floor or on my legs in case the burp was a little too successful." -- Miranda K., mom of Stella, 10 months

  • The Joystick


    © Aldo Murillo/iStock

    "When the normal back patting didn't work, we tried a move we called 'the joystick': sit the baby in your lap in an upright position, supporting the head if they are still little, and then gently move her around like a joystick. We'd do back, forth, then circle a few times and then pat some more. It seemed to help push the air out." -- Mary C., mom of Clara, 12 months

  • Rock-a-Bye Baby


    © RuslanDashinsky/iStock

    "When my son was having a hard time burping, I'd try it again in the rocking chair. The patting plus the back-and-forth motion seemed to really help him produce a burp, which was good because he was a gassy little sucker." -- Marion S., mom of Jaxon, 2 years old

  • Dad Magic


    © martinedoucet/iStock

    "When our baby was first born, I could not get him to burp for anything, but my husband always got one out of him. I eventually figured out that I was just being too soft and gentle with my pats. This sounds weird, but my advice is either A) Have your partner try it or B) Don't be afraid to use a little more pressure than you might think you need!" -- Jessie G., mom of Karl, 4 months

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  • Stair Climb


    © ferrantraite/iStock

    "We had a 'happy spitter,' so burping was key for us. I found that burping him while moving in some way seemed to get the job done with less spit-up. One thing that always seemed to work was burping him while walking up and down stairs. I think he liked the bouncing motion, and, hey, it was good exercise for me too!" -- Pammie L., mom of Oliver, 14 months

  • Yoga Ball Bounce


    © LuminaStock/iStock

    "Use an exercise ball! Sit baby on your lap, put a hand firmly on the belly, and do some energetic bouncing to help that air out. This works better for an older baby who can support her own head, I think. If the ball didn't work, I'd also try laying my daughter on the floor and helping her do some baby sit-ups. I'd put my hand on her back to help lift her to do a crunch, and that would push the air out." -- Jennifer R., mom of Moira, 9 months

  • Posture Adjustment


    © sellingoutstieglitz/iStock

    "When I was first home with baby and couldn't get him to burp, I started crying and begging him to burp! Of course, that didn't work. Eventually, I learned to gently press on his belly and lower back at the same time. This forced him to sit up a bit straighter which seemed to help." -- Laura N., mom to Gus, 11 months


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