When Do You Stop Burping A Baby?

Parenting comes with a lot of work, especially when you have a little one on your hands. Changing diapers and feeding your baby are some of the most frequent things you'll do as a parent of a newborn, and of course, burping goes right along with that. 

Shalini Forbis, M.D., says (via Parents), "Gas is air that gets trapped in the gastrointestinal system and needs to be released." By burping your baby, you're helping them get rid of that gas. While not all babies are constant burpers, they all might need a little help from time to time. Air doesn't just magically appear in a baby's belly, though — it can be caused by bottle feeding, breastfeeding, or intense crying (via Dr. Brown's Baby). 

When does a baby need to burp?

The gas stuck in a baby's stomach can cause them discomfort which can make them uncomfortable and distressed. Since babies can't talk, they will typically cry when anything bothers them — so parents may not know if their youngin' is tired, bored, hungry, wet, or in need of a burp. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that burping your baby regularly, even if they don't cry, will release unwanted gas. 

There are easy ways to time a baby burp during feeding breaks. If you're breastfeeding, burp your little one before you switch breasts. For bottle-feeding parents, it's a good idea to burp every 2 or 3 ounces for infants up to 6 months of age.

Once they reach 3 months old, babies can become more efficient at feeding time and will not have to be burped as much — and better yet, they may even be able to burp themselves. Nevertheless, even at this age, babies may still need your help. Even as they get older, they may struggle burp on their own, even though their digestive system is maturing. At 4 to 6 months old, your baby may begin to eat solid foods which can cut down on how much burping they have to do (via Bounty). 

What is the best age to stop burping your baby?

Overall, there isn't a specific age that you should stop burping your baby. Everyone's system is different and they may need some help every now and then. Dr. Cynthia Gellner, M.D., spoke with the University of Utah and reassured readers that if you don't burp your baby, they won't "explode." Eventually, the gas will pass. Just like in adulthood, the gas does inevitably find its way out (either at the top or bottom). 

She goes on to explain, "So, if you try to burp your baby and nothing happens, no need to worry. If you don't burp your baby ever, no need to worry. If your baby is spitting up or has colic, burping may not make those any better, or may make it worse. And remember, your pediatrician is the best resource for any concerns you may have about your baby's digestive system."

The short answer for when to stop burping your baby isn't concrete — basically, it's up to you and your baby. If they begin to burp on their own, your work in that department is done. But just remember that they may need a little pat on the back every now and then, and hey, even some adults need some help sometimes!