Signs a Baby Needs to be Burped

It is common knowledge that babies burp after breastfeeding or drinking a bottle. Air that is gulped down, especially during bottle feeding creates digestive discomfort and is soothed by burping. Since breastfed babies are often fed in a more upright position and are more in control of the flow of milk, they may require less burping.

Close-up of a baby on parent's shoulder. (Image: Design Pics/Design Pics/Getty Images)

Squirmy Baby

As the baby feeds, or shortly after he is finished, he may begin to squirm. This can include kicking his feet, moving his hips and shaking his arms. Squirming may indicate stomach upset or discomfort and the need to burp.

Little Hesitations

Sometimes your baby will tell you that she needs to burp by hesitating when it comes time to switch to the other breast or to finish the second half of a bottle. The hesitation may be accompanied by some fussing or crying, or it may just happen without any other signs. Either way, stop the feeding and try to burp her. A marked slow down in the speed she is eating may be another sign.


Pained facial expressions are a definite sign something is not right. Eating should be pleasurable and satisfying, and if he looks troubled and is grimacing, stop the feeding and see if he needs burping. Crying may accompany his facial expressions if the discomfort level is high.

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