by maipham

December 5, 2021

why a baby won't burp

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I need to give credit to my husband right from the start. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t know that my son needs to burp after every feed and I wouldn’t know how to burp him safely.

Yeap, I was impressed and surprised at how my husband burped my son, and in return, my son did burp and acted more relaxed after it.

Not as cool and collected as my husband, I was scared shitless when he taught me to burp my son. I was scared that I could hurt his spine, or somehow break his neck, or somehow damage his ribs when patting him. Dang, my son was so soft and fragile.

Sometimes, even when I tried to burp my son, he just didn’t do it. And I didn’t know what to do.

Is burping required after every feed? 

Do I need to burp if I breastfeed? Do I need to burp if I bottle-feed my baby?

How to burp a baby properly? 

Why a baby won’t burp? 

What if a baby doesn’t burp and fall asleep? 

And many many more.

Ok, relax mami. In this article, we will go through those questions, one by one so that you don’t have to scratch your head when your little one spits.

Benefits of burping

baby spits

Newborns have immature digestive systems, which may cause gas. The main purpose of burping your baby is to push the gas in the baby's digestive tract out.

Your baby swallows air all the time, no matter how hard and careful you try to reduce it.

  • When he cries, he swallows a large amount of air
  • During breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, air and milk can both enter the baby's stomach
  • Wrong breastfeeding position, causing them to swallow a lot of air

Air trapped in the digestive tract of children can cause children to have bloating, discomfort, vomiting, and reflux. Many people see children crying and vomiting after eating, misunderstanding that the child has a disease without knowing that the child is simply having gas.

This is when you need to burp your little one. Burping will help:

  • Push the trapped air out of the body
  • Help children feel comfortable, comfortable, not full, eat more, sleep well
  • Avoid vomiting, spitting milk

How to burp your baby properly

There are several ways to burp your baby. Choose the one that you are most comfortable with.

Method 1: Put a clean towel on your shoulder, hold your baby, and rest your baby's head on your shoulder. With one hand, you hold your baby, the other hand rubs his back in a circular motion or gently pats it in the direction from the bottom up to burp him.

why a baby won't burp

Method 2: Put a clean towel on your lap. Support your baby's chest and head with one hand by cradling your baby's chin in the palm of your hand. Rest the heel of your hand on your baby's chest, but be careful to grip your baby's chin, not the throat. Use the other hand to pat your baby's back. You should let your baby sit slightly forward to make the burping process easier.

why a baby won't burp

Method 3: Let the baby lie face down on your arm, making sure the baby's head is higher than the chest, then use your palm to rub in a circle on the baby's back. Or you can put your baby on his stomach on your lap, with his belly on one leg and his head on the other, patting his back or gently rubbing it to help him burp.

why a baby won't burp

Method 4: When the child is stronger, can keep the neck straight, you can hold your baby in front of your chest so that his face is facing out, one of your hands is placed under the baby's bottom, the other hand is around the baby's abdomen to create a slight pressure. You can stand and walk gently, the combination of hand pressure and movement will help the air from the baby's stomach to be released effectively.

why a baby won't burp

Note that when patting your child's back, you should do it gently, strong back-patting will scare the child and will not increase the efficiency of pushing the gas in the child's stomach out.

Burping your baby: things to note 

Prepare a burping cloth  to wipe your baby’s mouth. When burping, he can spit some milk out.

Choose a convenient burping position, which can support the baby's head and neck firmly, ensuring safety.

Regularly burp your baby, even when feeding at night or during the day.

How long should you burp your baby?

How long it takes to burp your baby depends on the amount of gas in the baby's stomach. Normally, if after patting for 10-15 minutes, the baby still does not burp, you should change position and continue patting your baby's back.

Change your baby's feeding position: When your baby hiccups a lot after bottle feeding, you should change the baby's position to avoid air in.

Why a baby won’t burp? 

why a baby won't burp

Sometimes you will notice that no matter how long you try to burp him, he doesn’t burp as much as he often does (or should do). Then you start to question your burping technique.

If your baby doesn’t have signs of gas or discomfort, or he doesn’t get frustrated and cry, it is likely that he only swallows just a little bit of air and he somehow already burps it out. Or he simply doesn’t need burping at that time.

So if your baby won’t burp but shows no signs of discomfort, don’t worry.

What if a baby doesn’t burp and fall asleep? 

Your infant likely gets sleepy often, especially after you feed him. Sometimes he fell asleep during feeding, without you burping at all.

So what if a baby doesn’t burp and fall asleep? what do you do?

First of all, you should not wait until the end of feeding to burp your little one. Burp him more often than that. If your baby takes 45 minutes to feed, try to burp him at least 2 times during the feeding.

If your baby doesn’t burp and fall asleep, but he has no signs of discomfort, it is okay too.

What if my baby cannot burp whatsoever?

what if baby doesn't burp and falls asleep

If these methods don't work and your baby shows signs of trapped wind (crying, arched back, drawing legs into tummy, clenched fists), try lying them on their back and gently massaging their tummy. Also, move your baby's legs back and forth – like they're riding a bicycle. 

Do I need to burp if I breastfeed? Do I need to burp if I bottle-feed my baby?

As I mentioned above, you should burp your little one at every feeding, no matter if you breastfeed or bottle-feed.

Final word

why a baby won't burp

Although burping is needed to help your baby push air out of his stomach and make him feel comfortable, don’t stress out if your baby won’t burp. Sometimes, it just means he doesn’t need to.

However, make sure you watch your baby carefully to see signs of discomfort, fussiness, or gas. If you cannot burp him, or even after burping, he still feels uncomfortable and fussy, make sure you consult a doctor.

About the author 

Mai Pham

Mai Pham discovered her passion for writing a few years ago and she never stop thinking about it ever since. She finally took the leap and created Live a Worthy Life to brag about her smart ass (mainly just for fun). Enjoyed the fun writing brings, now with her new interest in everything-baby-related, she created Mommy Instinct, to tell mamas that it's ok that they mess up, that they don't know what the hell they are doing, and that it's okay to sit back and relax for a while.

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