What are the 2 Main Positions for Burping a Baby?
There are many positions and techniques to burp a newborn or baby but there are only two positions I use because they are effective and keep your baby upright, which results in less posset and throw ups.
The Knee Position
Tips for technique
Sat on your outer knee with baby’s head upright and back straight, not curved, the placement of your baby’s bum on your knee will help with this, use the same supporting hand (on the front of your baby’s body) and knee, for example; left hand, left knee.
Support and lift from your baby’s torso, a newborn baby doesn’t have the stomach muscles to lift themselves and burps come up with much more ease if your baby’s body and head is straight. The tips of your fingers will support a bobbing head. If your baby is sleepy their body will be floppy, so wake before winding.
Apply slight pressure on the stomach which will help push the gas out with both hands, from the front by supporting and the back with rubbing and patting.
Over The Shoulder Position (or as I like to call it, the Top Spot.)
Tips for technique..
Straight back and legs down, not frog like.
Keep your baby’s head in line with your head and not flopped into your chest or over your shoulder.
Squeeze your baby’s bottom into your chest instead of supporting from underneath, which then puts a little pressure on your baby’s tum. Then rub and pat.
This position is also the calming position so if your baby falls asleep easily this won’t work.
How do I make my baby burp faster?
The more focused, active the feeding and alert a baby is the easier the burp will come up, especially at the beginning of the feed. Burps get harder to release towards the end of a feed. This is partly due to having a stomach full of milk with the air bubble but also because digesting the milk creates more gas.
Make sure your baby is awake and upright then it’s up to you to put the hard work in. If you get a stubborn air bubble then lay your baby flat for a minute ( this helps bring up gas) then try burping by moulding your hand to your baby’s back and changing the pattern and speed of rubbing.
Elevation such as burping walking up stairs often works well. Or as a last resort, a 5 minute break and nappy change to give the stomach a break. This is a good technique towards the end of the feed.
If the stubborn burp is at the start of the feed then give a little more milk to try and dislodge the air bubble.
Reducing the level of gas will also speed up the burping process. Follow a gas free diet when breastfeeding (list of food in my book and blog post What not to Eat when Breastfeeding). The frequency of feeds and structure of your feeding routine will also help reduce gas levels. Spacing out feeds to allow the gut to empty rather than frequently topping up the gut can have a positive impact on digestion.
You may also find interesting….