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 know to hoist him over your shoulder or sit him on your lap to pat his back. And for many babies, burping is necessary—otherwise, you’re dealing with massive 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 fed or breastfed. 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.
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’ll wake up with gas if you don’t. Whereas he used to burp within the first minute or two, now 10 minutes will pass and he still won’t burp.
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.
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 will fuss to be burped 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, or spits up everything he ate.
But if burping seems more and more unnecessary, then that could be your cue to stop burping at this point.
While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all cut-off date, you’ll find several signs to look out for 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 gas he may have ingested isn’t bothering him too much.
In fact, playing and moving around might be a better way for him to expel the 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 shoulder 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 used to fuss during feedings? Did he squirm and cry while you nursed, or push the bottle away, feeling frustrated? You likely used those opportunities to pick him up and give him a much-needed burping.
But these days, you’ve noticed that he can nurse or drink without stopping once to burp. He no longer pauses after a few minutes or ounces, or slows his eating down.
Instead, he’s able to feed in one continuous session. In fact, you even notice he pitches a fit if you take the bottle away or pause to give him a burp! If so, that’s a good sign you can probably stop burping him, 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 will 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 him on your lap, burping your baby can become an automatic habit you almost forget not to do.
But these days, it’s a little different. He doesn’t spit up as much as he used to, or he can sleep long stretches without feeling uncomfortable. Or perhaps all those minutes of patting and holding don’t make him burp at all.
If spending several minutes holding him upright and patting his 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 so 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 Actually 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 Will Solve It!
- How to Get Your Baby to Nap Longer
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