It is important for fathers to remember; gas and bowel discomfort are a primary source of pain and angst for children in the early days.

While in most cases mothers take the lead in baby feeding, if a father is taking over burping duty or even bottle feeding the child to give his partner a break, it is important to do it right.

While these tips and methods provide a general guideline, it is important to seek the advice of a qualified medical professional or childcare expert before attempting them.

Facts & Things to Remember:

  1. Babies produce gas, a lot of gas. 
  2. Unlike adults, babies do not have the ability to burp and need the assistance of a parent.
  3. Swallowing air, the digestive process and sometimes even allergies are the culprit.
  4. You may need to burp your baby even when they haven’t had a meal in a while.
  5. There are three basic methods to burp your baby. It is important to experiment with the different styles and identify what works best for you and your baby.
  6. Pat gently, there is no need to pound hard. Always support your babies neck.
  7. It may be necessary to burp the baby multiple times during a feed and after.
  8. For newborns and infants, keep them in the upright position for at least 10-15 minutes after a feed to help prevent milk from coming back up. Longer may be required for children diagnosed with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
  9. If your child does spit up, don’t be alarmed. It’s likely more unpleasant for you than it is for them. 
  10. By the age of 2-3 months your baby will need less burping as they will be spending more time awake, in a stroller and infant seat.

The Methods:

1. Over your shoulder

This is the most popular method and requires you to simply hold your baby over your shoulder. Face your child outward and use one hand to rub their back to bring out the gas. It may be necessary to encourage and manoeuvre the gas to come out. Switching shoulders might do the trick.

2. Sitting on your lap

Sit your baby on your lap and support their chest and head with one hand. Support their chin in the palm of your hand and rest the heel of your hand on their chest. Do not grip their throat. Use your other hand to gently pat their back and help release the gas.

3. Laying on your lap

Lay your baby down on your lap, with their belly against you. Give their head the necessary support and make sure it is higher than their chest. Rub or pat your baby’s back gently.

Our guide is meant to outline the need to know facts. Always consult with a qualified medical professional or childcare expert when taking important decisions regarding your child’s health.

Reviewed by: Julie Mallon

Date reviewed: 6th January, 2019

Impress your partner with key facts, take better co-parenting decisions and be 'in the know'. Visit our Partners & Parents resource center for more.


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