When can you stop burping a baby? Discover the signs and milestones that tell you when you can finally stop burping!
It’s the one task you’ve done from Day One: burping the baby.
You hoist him over your shoulder or sit him on your lap with baby’s chin in the palm of your hand. You rub his back in a circular motion using gentle pressure, your burp cloth or towel nearby to clean those wet burps. And for many newborns, burping is necessary—otherwise, you’re dealing with excessive spit up and cranky naps.
But after a while, burping doesn’t feel as urgent as it did a few months ago, leaving you wondering when you can stop.
As a first-time mom, I didn’t know what age you stop burping a baby, whether they were bottle-feeding or breastfeeding. It didn’t help that I’d hear about moms who stopped within a few weeks, while others were still burping their one-year-olds.
Maybe you haven’t been burping your baby as often because he seems to burp on his own. He even gets mad when you try to burp him, but you worry he might wake up with gassiness if you don’t. Whereas he used to burp within the first minute or two, now 10 minutes will pass and he still hasn’t burped.
And considering how often babies eat, it’d be great if you didn’t have to spend several minutes burping as well, especially at night.
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When can you stop burping a baby?
We know that all kids will stop getting burped at some point, but how do you know when to call it quits?
As with anything related to babies, the range varies… a lot. Some babies don’t even seem to need to burp at all, while others fuss to be burped for months on end. After talking to several moms, the consensus seems to be: You’ll just “know.”
If you don’t think your baby could last without burping, that’s usually a sign to keep going. For instance, he still fusses during feedings, sleeps fitfully because of gas bubbles, or spits up everything he ate onto his bib.
But if burping seems more and more unnecessary, then that could be your baby’s cues to stop burping at this point. Maybe he’s swallowing less air or his digestive system is able to cope with what’s in his belly. Issues he had as a newborn like gerd, colic, or acid reflux seem to be resolved.
While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all cut-off date, you can look out for several symptoms to know when to stop. Many moms have reported that they stopped burping their babies when they hit these milestones. Take a look at these benchmarks to see if your baby still needs to get burped, or if you can stop:
1. When your baby would rather play
What if your baby won’t burp after feeding because he’d rather play?
In the past, you may have had to burp him for several minutes. These days, he might already be fussing to be out of your arms to do something else. He likely doesn’t need to be held to burp, and any air bubbles he may have ingested isn’t bothering him too much.
Playing and moving around might be a better way for him to expel the excess gas he feels. If you find that he’s eager to get out of your arms after a feed, you can probably stop burping him.
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2. When your baby hits developmental milestones
Many moms report that they’ve stopped burping their babies once they can sit up. After all, we often burp them to keep them upright after a feeding. Once they can sit up, we feel less inclined to hold them over our shoulders or pat them on their backs.
This doesn’t always mean your baby can sit up perfectly well, unassisted. Even being able to sit with her hands on the floor or slightly propped is usually the milestone to look for.
Another common milestone at which point moms stop burping their babies is when they can roll over. This maneuver usually means stronger tummy muscles, which makes for easier burping.
3. When your baby can feed without fussing
Did your baby use to fuss during feedings? Did she squirm and cry while you nursed, or push the bottle away, feeling frustrated? You likely used those opportunities to pick her up and give a much-needed burping.
But these days, you’ve noticed that she can nurse or drink without stopping once to burp. She no longer pauses after a few minutes or ounces or slows her eating down.
Instead, she’s able to feed in one continuous session. You even notice she pitches a fit if you take the bottle away or pause to give her a burp! If so, that’s a good sign you can probably stop burping, or at least not as long as you used to.
4. When your baby can burp on his own
You may have found that your baby can now burp on his own, without your help at all. Picking him up is enough to get the gas going, or moving into a new position already makes him burp. He doesn’t burp when you hold him, but can easily burp on his own a few minutes later.
If so, he’s probably ready to skip burping with your help. You might still hold him for a minute or two to help him burp, but if nothing comes out and he’s not fussy, that likely means he doesn’t need any burping.
5. When it seems like burping isn’t doing anything anymore
After months of holding your baby upright or setting her on your lap, burping her can become an automatic habit you almost forget not to do.
But these days, it’s a little different. She doesn’t spit up as much as she used to or can sleep long stretches without signs of discomfort. Perhaps all those minutes of gentle patting and holding don’t make her burp at all.
If spending several minutes holding her upright and patting baby’s back isn’t doing anything anymore, then it’s safe to say you can stop burping.
Whether your little one is eight weeks old or eight months old, knowing when to stop burping a baby isn’t always as clear-cut as we hope it would be. After all, every baby is different, and the need to burp gradually fades away instead of suddenly cutting off.
In other words, you’ll just know when the time is right.
Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t keep your eye out for clues to guide your decision.
He’s hit certain developmental milestones like rolling over and sitting up that help him burp on his own. He can nurse or drink from a bottle without fussing or pausing, or he’s itching to play and get out of your arms instead of being held.
Perhaps he can burp—whether right after a feeding or minutes later—all on his own and without your help. And finally, all the holding, patting, and burping aren’t doing anything anymore the way they used to.
Now you know when to stop, from specific milestones like rolling over to open-ended, “you’ll just know” gut feelings.
Get more tips:
- 14 Baby Burping Tricks That Can Work
- The Best Advice for New Parents (From Parents Who’ve Been There)
- 4 Effective Tricks to Handle a Baby Not Drinking Milk
- Baby Only Wants Mom? These 6 Tips Can Solve It!
- How to Get Your Baby to Nap Longer
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