Verified by Kimberly Langdon M.D.
Kimberly Langdon is an obstetrician/gynecologist with 19 years of clinical experience and graduated from The Ohio State University, College of Medicine.
Baby Doesn’t Always Burp After Breastfeeding – Reasons & Solutions
There are a few different reasons why your baby may not burp after breastfeeding. However, the two that are most commonly found to cause this are:
It’s entirely possible that your baby doesn’t actually have to burp. The baby may have a good latch, nurses efficiently during the feeding, or falls into a deep slumber and is not awake to let out a burp.
Breastfed infants, in particular, typically swallow less air than bottle-fed ones. Each baby and every feeding is different, so there is no need to stress if a burp is not happening.
If your baby latches on quickly or nurses efficiently, they will not swallow as much air while feeding and will have less gas to expel.
However, if you notice your baby is fussy and pulls away during the feeding, this is a sign of discomfort in their stomach or intestines, and they most likely need to be burped.
Your baby may be more prone to reflux or spit-up, which means they will also bring up any swallowed air at that time and eliminate the need for burping.
Some babies spit up a lot more than others, so it is necessary to have a burping cloth, bib, or towel nearby. When a baby spits up, they are also expelling any air they may have swallowed, so they may not have the need to burp afterward.
Spit-up is a normal part of feeding, but you should visit your pediatrician if your infant is vomiting often or if the milk is forcefully coming back out of the baby’s mouth.
While a baby might burp naturally, there are some solutions to help the process along and clear any excess gas out of their systems:
You should give your baby a chance to burp after feeding, especially if they seem uncomfortable, but there is no need for concern if it does not happen.
A sleeping baby is likely content if they display no signs of fussiness, but you could still give them a few pats on the back to see if they will let a burp out.
Over the years, there have been more and more studies showing that burping an infant is not as necessary as we once thought. A baby may burp on their own, not have to, or may have already passed it from the other end.
Feeding until fullness is ideal, but rather than trying to do it all in one go, slowing down the feeding and burping more frequently throughout is one method to try.
By doing this, you reduce the air intake, which will also give the milk a chance to settle and reduce the chances of reflux.
It also offers a nice break in the feeding routine for both the mother and baby and if you have another caregiver around, it is an excellent way to include them in the feeding routine by having them try to burp the baby.
Is it normal for a baby not to burp after every breastfeeding session?
A baby may not have to burp after every feeding, and this is entirely normal. It really does vary from infant to infant and feeding to feeding. Position, latching, development of their digestive system, and general air intake all play a role in whether a baby will have to burp.
Can a baby still be hungry if they don’t burp after breastfeeding?
Burping does not really provide any indication of whether or not your baby is still hungry; it’s more so a sign of if there was too much air swallowed and now gas needs to come out. A good indicator of if your infant is still hungry is if they are putting their hands to their mouths, turning their heads towards the breasts or if they pucker or smack their lips.
Should I be concerned if my baby falls asleep while breastfeeding without burping?
There is no need to be concerned at all. A sleeping baby is usually a content baby; if there is gas in their system that hasn’t come out but needs to, it will find its way on its own. You should still try to burp an infant who has fallen into a slumber. A burp may wake them up to allow them to feed more to ensure they are full, but if nothing happens, that is fine too.
Can certain positions help a baby burp after breastfeeding?
Yes! Along with burping them throughout the feeding and when switching breasts, there are certain positions that will help them along afterward. The three most popular burping positions to get a baby to burp after breastfeeding are:
Leaning Over Your Shoulder: Make sure to place a cloth or covering along your shoulder and draped down your back to catch any spit-up. You can then rest the baby’s chin or tummy on your shoulder but if you choose tummy, make sure the baby can breathe properly. Support the baby with one hand and use your other hand to pat the baby’s back gently.
Laying on Your Lap: Place a cloth or covering on your lap and lay the baby face down across your knees. Use one hand to support the head of the infant, and make sure to keep their head higher than their chest. Using your other hand, gently pat the infant on their back.
Sitting on Your Lap: Place a cloth or covering down across your lap. You can also put a bib on the baby or have an extra set of clothes to change them into afterward. Sit the baby down and place your hand on the baby’s chest while using your fingers to support the baby’s jaw. Then, gently pat the baby on the back with your free hand.
It is not uncommon for a baby to not always burp after breastfeeding. There are various reasons why this may occur, including the baby just doesn’t have to, or they are more prone to spitting up rather than passing gas. If you feel discomfort in your baby that none of our suggestions alleviate, it is important to consult your healthcare provider for further advice.