Content Map Terms

Burping a Baby


A baby may be uncomfortable after feedings if he or she has swallowed air during the feeding. Burping helps get rid of air that the baby has swallowed.

  • Burp a breastfeeding baby when you switch breasts during feeding.
  • Burp a baby who is bottle-feeding after each 30 mL (1 fl oz) to 60 mL (2 fl oz) of fluid.
  • Burp the baby after the feeding is finished.
  • If the baby has problems with gas or spitting up, you may burp the baby more frequently.
  • Most babies burp readily on their own after 2 months of age.

Sometimes breast milk or formula comes up with the air when the baby burps. A clean face cloth, cloth diaper, or bib can help keep you and the baby clean during burping.

To burp a baby:

  1. Place the baby in an upright position.

    Try placing the baby over your shoulder or in a sitting position on your lap. If you place the baby on your lap, place your hand under the chin to support the baby's head.

  2. Gently rub or pat the baby's back.

    The baby will not always burp each time you do this. Wait a few minutes and try again.

Try these tips to help your baby swallow less air during bottle feedings:

  • Make sure that the breast milk or formula is not too hot or too cold.
  • Hold the bottle so no air gets into the nipple.
  • Sit the baby upright in your arms when feeding.


Current as of: March 1, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
John Pope MD - Pediatrics