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Hmm, burping. Yes I used to burp Rhi after every feed. I generally used to hold her over my shoulder while supporting her head and patting her gently on the back for about 5 minutes I think. Most gratifying when you hear that lil burp but didn't happen everytime. Am now going to research burping on the net and forward you articles.
Darling Friend

OK some tips from the net as follows:

Bottlefed babies should be burped after every 2-3 ounces. Holding the baby upright with his head on your shoulder, sitting your baby on your lap while supporting his chest and head, lying your baby on his stomach on your lap while patting his back are all correct positions for burping. You should pick a position that is most comfortable for you and your baby.

Bottlefeeding Tips
If baby is crying before feeding, try burping-the baby may have swallowed some air.
Consult baby's doctor for the formula that is right for your baby.
Babies may prefer formula warm, at room temperature, or even cold. To warm formula, place the bottle in hot (not boiling) water or run hot tap water over it. To check the temperature of the heated formula, shake the bottle gently, then shake a few drops on the inside of your wrist.
Any formula not finished at a feeding should be thrown out. Bottles are good for one hour after being removed from the refrigerator.
Cradle baby close to you in your arms so the head is slightly higher than the body and you can maintain eye contact. Place the nipple in the mouth on top of baby's tongue.
Hold the bottle so that the nipple and the neck of the bottle are filled with formula so that less air is swallowed.
Try burping the baby halfway through the feeding and again when the baby is finished. Initially, the baby may need to burp every 1/2 ounce or so, until the baby can coordinate sucking and swallowing. A good way to burp a newborn is by supporting the baby in a sitting position in your lap with your dominant hand holding the baby's chin and the other patting the baby's back. Never prop a bottle for feeding.
Never microwave a bottle for a feeding. The bottle may seem cool to the touch, but the contents continue cooking and may burn the baby's mouth and throat.
It's normal for baby to spit up a small amount of fluid after feeding. Try burping more at the start of each feeding. Switching to a nipple with a smaller hole or different shape can also reduce spitting up. Spitting up large amounts of formula may be a sign of overfeeding.
Make sure your newborn is sleeping on the side after a feeding.

Last one continued... (can you see nerddom runs in our family!?) : )

A good way to burp a newborn is by supporting the baby in a sitting position in your lap with your dominant hand holding the baby's chin and the other patting the baby's back. Never prop a bottle for feeding.
Never microwave a bottle for a feeding. The bottle may seem cool to the touch, but the contents continue cooking and may burn the baby's mouth and throat.
It's normal for baby to spit up a small amount of fluid after feeding. Try burping more at the start of each feeding. Switching to a nipple with a smaller hole or different shape can also reduce spitting up. Spitting up large amounts of formula may be a sign of overfeeding.
Make sure your newborn is sleeping on the side after a feeding.

It certainly sounds like an absolutely blissful moment for you and Julie both.

The NICU encouraged us to use the following method with our preemies, and it was the method I saw used the most during our 9 and 10 weeks there.

Sit baby facing away in your lap with it's head in your hand using mostly the thumb and middle finger to hold the head. I had babies that didn't want to burp, so if you kind of started with the back up right and then round them over the stomach, it helped. Then, just pat away until eruption.

I have never tried to describe a burping technique via writing before.....not exactly easy!

When we first starting burping our baby in the hospital we did little pats (like a pitter-patter). Our favorite nurse (she really was our favorite, I'm not being sarcastic) came in and said - if you can't hear it, he can't feel it. Meaning - we had to pat him hard enough for the pat to actually get the air out of him! She took our baby and patted him hard enough to hear - to the shock of his new parents - but he burped. So, that's my advice - pat hard enough to be effective - find your comfort zone for what works for Kate and soon to be home Adam. I'd ask the nurse at the hospital what they do since you have preemies. I felt very uneasy, like I was going to hurt my baby, but the nurses let me know I was ok - ok? Ok? You are a mother now, you have to worry about everything! Cheers.

The against the shoulder method always makes me burp before the baby. File that away in case you need the help sometime.

I've seen the other method - sit baby on your lap, support baby's chin while leaning baby forward - work to great effect. And it makes the baby look awfully cute, too, once they get those chubby chin folds.

You're doing great, Mama. Hope you get more than 2 hours sleep tonight.

My fussy preemie (We say 'premie' in Australia!) could only be burped in the following way: sit on a couch with your legs slightly apart, place baby on one leg,just before your knee, facing the other leg. Now, raise your empty leg higher (either by going up on your toes or put a phone book under that foot) Lean baby's tummy on your leg. ( wish I could demonstrate!) Kate should look like she is sitting at a table, her little legs tucked between your legs. Gently pat her back in a circular pattern. In this position, you both will be comfortable, encouraging you to persist for a longer time than if she were over your shoulder - you will be using less energy and can watch tv, talk on the phone etc. Here's the trick - she will fall asleep but keep going! Even after she obliges you with a burp, there are more there! Her weight in resting on your leg and the gentle patting helps bring up the deep air pockets she is hoarding! They will come up or go down, either way will relieve pain.
An intensive care nurse taught me this method, she burped her 32 week twins this way at the same time! As she said, how can you make one wait while the other is burped? I loved this way, so did all my kids, but the premies are hardest because they are so small.
Hope this helps!

Don't know much about burping, and Bee seems to have done an excellent investigation for you (go Bee!) but just reading how you and Julie were on webcam showing your children to each other makes me SO sooo very happy! I can't wait to meet them in March YAY love you xxx


I,m a newcomer to your blog; read your blog the first time the day your babies were born! I'm so happy for you and your family!

I'm also from Cape Town (Somerset West more specifically) and love your insights and perspectives. I can't wait to read your updates daily. Thank you...


I think burping really depends on the baby. Not what you want to hear, I'm sure, but it's true.
Some babies must burp or they will wake later with miserable gas. Some babies will just blissfully toot away any extra air bubbles with not a whimper. Some babies will burp on their own several minutes after a feeding.
I was blessed with easy-to-burp babies. I put them in the 'sitting supported on my lap' position already described by previous replies and out the burp would come. If not, I would gently pat them for a minute or so, then continue the feeding if no burp was forthcoming.
Typically, if they didn't burp right away, they'd do so after I put them back down. However, not all babies are so easy to please in this department, meaning you will have to go to great lengths to burp them.
If you're seeing that baby Kate is experiencing discomfort due to a gassy tummy and/or spitting up after feedings, those are two possible signs that she needs more burping.
Also, mine were very adept at passing gas on their tummies, but not their backs, so they had their tummy time after feedings that didn't end in a good burp.

I've been away for a few days so I just wanted to say Congtrats and your bubba's are just beautiful....

My twin were born at 32 weeks and we were told in SCBU to rock small babies rather than pat.
Sit baby upright, with straight back, on your lap. Support the head by resting the chin in the 'u' of your thumb and index finger ( keep chin well up, same theory as recusitation technique where the chin is pulled up to keep the airway open)
Now sway baby either back and forth or in a circle ( this used to send my girls to sleep lol!)
Burp (the baby not you) mid feed to make abit of extra room for the rest of the milk then at the end to make sure they're comfy
Good luck!

Hi Tertia. Have been reading your blog for a couple of months now,(do you know how long it took me to read through all of your previous posts so I could catch up????)heard about it from Julie. Congratulations on the birth of Adam and Kate. My heart ached for you when I read about Ben and Luke. Your writings were so beautiful.

On the subject of burping, I too hated it.Not something I was very good at,DH was much better at it. But we did find the most effective method for Alexander was to have him sitting up, supporting his head with thumb and middle finger. The only difference was that instead of patting (which didn't seem to work for him), we would place our and at the bottom of his back, apply a little pressure, and work our hand to the top of his back, just one rub if you know what I mean. A few minutes of this almost always worked. Had to be quite firm though.

Good Luck.

I'm so glad you're loving it. I too, despite the exhaustion, was in a haze of love for the first few weeks.

Just wanted to add to above comments that my best position for burping J & H was the sitting position, supporting their neck, like Jean said, in the 'u' of your thumb and forefinger. And burping once or twice during a feed was the thing - if I left it until the end, they didn't come up that easily. (And patting shouldn't be too gentle. Rubbing - up from the bottom - works well too.)

Burping....Ahhhh! My child is now a little over two months. He was born a few weeks early at 3kgs, so just a bit bigger than your two. Anyways, for some reason it just didn't go very well at first. He was just so small I was a little afraid, but then I found out that if I just did a little of each type of burping method he would get the burp out. I would do the over the shoulder, lay him on my legs and then sit him up and burp him. By the time he sat up he would burp. I think it was more of him moving that got the burp coming up then my great talent with burping. I don't know if this is good advice or just telling that in reality I didn't know what I was doing. You know, growing up I was the oldest child out of 9 kids. Someone would think that I should know whats going on!!
Anyways, it gets easier, now he's no problem to burp!

My pediatrician doesn't believe in burping. He says it's just a cultural thing, and in Asia, for instance, they don't burp their babies at all. Also, the book I refer to as my bible - Baby Love by Robin Barker - says burping isn't essential - that it's more tradition than necessity. She says "It's fine to put your baby to bed without hearing a burp first....(On burping correctly:) No secret tricks exist! Try for a few minutes then forget about it."

I know there are times when my son IS uncomfortable because he needs to burp - he arches his back and cries - and in those instances, a burp comes out pretty easily, in a couple of minutes. I usually put him on his shoulder and tap him on the back. I've also found it's easy to burp him by sitting him on my lap, leaning him forward a bit so that my hand is on his diaphragm, supporting his chin with my hand, and then tapping him. Also, I used to put him on tummy time - that would get a burp out. If there was no burp, I'd often change his nappy and then try again.

BUT, I don't get fussed about it. I try for a few minutes and that's it. I've heard about mothers who will pace around the room for an hour to get out a burp. Perhaps they feel like their baby really needs this...I never felt this was true for my baby. So I don't, and he's fine. Also, I've found if he's really gassy, it will come out by way of farts...lots of them!

Conratulations on your babes, Tertia - I'm so, so happy for you and Julie. It's an amaing thing, isn't it? So huge.

On burping - I'm not sure about babes born a few weeks early. The other girls seem to, though! Just wanted to say you're doing so well. Can't wait till Adam comes home...

Mr. is in charge of burping -- something about the altitude (he is 6'3 and I am 5'2 ---
tho you and Marko look tall.
Put her in a sitting position on your lap and rub up her teensy back.

First of all - I am soooo very happy for you and your new family! I can't wait for you to bring Adam home.

Your post made me think. I don't have any advice about your questions you posed, but just a comment about something you said.

You said, "People always seem to think I will resent it if they give me advice – quite the contrary!". I'm wondering if infertiles have it so engrained in their brains that unsolicited advice about getting pregnant is so unwanted that we become gun shy about any type of advice.

So, when does advice become ass-vice?

Just a thought - you don't really have to answer if you don't want.

Again, congrats on your new family. I look forward to reading updates for a long time.


Of course you're not good at it - you're both learning. The only way I could burp my daughter was sitting her up, leaning her forward while supporting her head, and patting her back. Very, very scary when she was new and floppy. I was told to burp during each feed and then after. Can't say I always did it during. As she got older/bigger it was much easier.

We did the popular (apparently) sitting with the head supported early on. It always looked so uncomfortable for Baby to me, but it worked. It seemed whenever I tried to skip burping it resulted in an upset bubbly baby.
Just wanted to add on that if you do try the over-the-shoulder (which I found easier once Baby was older and had a tiny bit more head control) most people don't scootch them up on the shoulder high enough. If you're putting Baby on your shoulder for burping, you want their tummy to be on your shoulder (rather than just below it) so that the pressure helps get the bubbles out.

I'm delurking to say congratulations (!!!) and offer my 2 cents. I'm mom to a 14 month old and still crave advice - it's all completely new and foreign and god only knows why anyone thinks that reading a book leaves you in the least bit prepared to parent... anyway, I digress.

We had the best luck with sitting the babe up on our knee, supporting his head by basically holding his chin in the crook or our hands (if that makes any sense) and simultaneosly bouncing him and patting his back. The bouncing seemed to help bring the air up. My husband also had great luck getting him to burp by burping himself... I think the baby just wasn't sure what was expected of him, so a demonstration was useful.

As absolutely lovely and sweet as the image of you and Julie up all hours discussing your children is, I have to believe the day will come that you might actually like to sleep (hmmm, maybe some time around the time that Adam comes home?!). Our pedi suggested exposing the baby to as much sunlight during daytime hours as we could to help him organize his days and nights. When he was awake, we'd place his bouncy seat in patches of light in the house or I would feed him near a window. Naps during the day were again taken near a window. I don't quite know how you do this with the kind of heat you are describing, but maybe near a window and near an air conditioning vent?!

In any case, enjoy, enjoy ENJOY and know that the love you feel now only grows and intensifies. It's really pretty f*cking amazing!

First, I'm a long time reader and first-time commenter who'd like to say congratulations! Your children are gorgeous.

Second, on burping a wee one: my fiance is a pediatrician, and I've been lucky enough to watch him give advice to his sister as she worked on burping her preemie a couple of weeks ago. So I'm not a mom, but this is what I learned: make sure you're patting high enough (above the waist) and don't be afraid to be firm. *OBVIOUSLY* you shouldn't hurt your baby, but keep in mind that you're trying to dislodge something in there! With Sydney (his niece), it helped if you got her up high on your chest so that the curve of your shoulder put some pressure on her belly and kept her from curling up as well! From what I understand, the point of burping is to avoid gas pains and spitting up later -- if she's not suffering from either of those problems, then I'm sure your current burping strategy is working great.

Think of a carbonated drink in a glass bottle. Know how the bubbles will get stuck at the bottom? Getting those bubbles up to the top is what burping's about. Some babies seem to need it more than others--mine definitely needed it a lot.

When I was learning to burp my daughter, I was surprised by how firmly the nurses thumped her little back (she was not, however, a preemie). They always did it with a cupped hand, creating kind of a hollow noise. You'll get the hang of it, promise.


My sweet baby was born at 37 weeks and was 4 pounds 6 oz. Very small! Needless to say, she could only take an ounce at a time, then burp, then take another ounce. This prevented the reflux wave of formula from coming back up. If you are breastfeeding, they'll take in less air.

Best of luck-hope this helps!

all the methods for burping previously enumerated are good.

my experience with premature twins (a boy and a girl) born at 33 weeks: if you don't burp them after each and every feeding, they throw up on you after each and every feeding. so burp them to lessen your laundry load.

I was terrible at burping my daughter - she preferred to burp for Daddy. Who knows why....I forget what position he used - I think he used the over-the-shoulder hold and I sometimes did the face-down-across-the-lap hold.

I remember when my daughter was a day or two old, there was one night when she woke up every hour on the hour for a nursing. My goodness, I was tired! That kind of craziness doesn't last for too long, but as you pointed out, it sure is exhausting.

Glad to hear the little family is doing well. Still sending good thoughts Adam's way for a quick recovery.

Tertia, I have a picture of me burping my preemie... See this post in my blog.


I agree that sitting up with hand under chin works best for small babies. Good luck!

I never could figure it out either, but I would be happy to send my dh your way, he is the master burper in our house!! ;)

See if Marko has any better luck! Men are just good at burping!

I think it's a preemie thing. My preemie was impossible to burp sometimes. I would try putting her in the sitting position and rubbing from the bottom of her back upwards. Almost like you're trying to pull the air up out of her tummy. Then pat between the shoulder blades. That's what they taught us in the NICU.

Sounds like a wonderful night you had. Can't wait to see the post that Adam has joined you two for your late night dates.

I've been absent for a few days, but just wanted to give my advice for getting through the first three months: By Any Means Necessary. I don't think babies remember a damn thing from this time period, so you're not giving them any "bad habits" or any of that crap by rocking them to sleep or letting them sleep on you or giving them pacifiers or carrying them around constantly or any of that. All they remember is if they felt secure or not. So just hold them as much as possible and do whatever you have to do to let them sleep (even if it's letting them sleep on your chest with their heads crammed up under your neck) and it'll change in a week or so anyway.

I won't give any burping advice becase I never bottlefed. For my breastfed kid, after the first two weeks I figured if he needed to burp he'd tell me, but I wasn't going to do any extra work if it wasn't bothering him.

I loved it, loved it!!! You had to stop to take care of your babies, that's all I wished for both of you! I am v v v happy, I am, and weepy, but it's all good this time. Love and many Portie kisses.

Burping- I either laid them across my lap or on my shoulder. Sometimes they burped sometimes they didn't.

My second child was born at 36 weeks and was very sleepy for the first month. Had to wake her to eat. I freaked out about how much she was sleeping because my first daughter who was full term was much more wakeful. Aubree woke up too, about the time she was due. You probably have another couple of weeks of sleepy baby.

Burping- I either laid them across my lap or on my shoulder. Sometimes they burped sometimes they didn't.

My second child was born at 36 weeks and was very sleepy for the first month. Had to wake her to eat. I freaked out about how much she was sleeping because my first daughter who was full term was much more wakeful. Aubree woke up too, about the time she was due. You probably have another couple of weeks of sleepy baby.

Just wanted to add that, though all 3 of my girls were NOT preemies (thus, the rules may be totally different), they didn't always burp as newborns. It seemed they got "better" at burping as they got older.

I've tried all the positions, sometimes using more than one during one burping "session."

Another thing to keep in mind is that there are anti-gas agents (it's not "medicine!") you can use on babes. In the States the brand name is "Mylicon," though the generic (Simethicone drops) works equally well. It is non-addictive, and passes through their system, so you can use it both BEFORE a feed and AFTER (if Kate and/or Adam seem distressed by excess gas, despite your diligent burping efforts). If you do choose to use the stuff, I highly recommend getting the CLEAR version - no need to deal with potential stains if they burp a bit of it up later. :-P

How wonderfully sweet to hear of you and Julie, with your precious babies, chatting together online! *blissful sigh* How is dear Adam doing today?


Best bet to keep the head steady is to rest your hand on their chest, thumb and first finger holding her head (so her chin rests in that area between) and the rest of your fingers on her shoulder. Its easy to rest a burp cloth on your hand that way too so if she does throw up, at least you don't have to wear it too.

I usually tap for a few minutes, massage upward, even rock them forward to back. You can almost imagine working the little pocket of air loose in there to come up.

Bottle feeders should be burped every 1/2 oz at this age. Breastfeeders between sides and at the end of a feed. There often isn't as much gas when breastfeeding because, unless she is all gaspy and worked up before a feed, there is less chance she is swallowing air then when she is bottle feeding.

One more thing, its been my experience (not to scare you it doesn't ALWAYS happen, by any means), preemies can occassionally "spell" if they have a bubble to get up so I think, if I were you, I would try to burp with each feed, just to see if she needs to.

And, yes, it is good ettiquette to congratualte your baby for an exceptionally loud or prolonged burp. Music to my ears ;-)

We practically had to beat the crap out of my daughter to get her to burp...so the best advice we ever got re: the burping was from her pediatrician:

"If you've tried for a few minutes and she won't burp and she doesn't seem to be in pain from gas, quit trying."

Hi Tertia,

Delurking to say not all babies burp loudly or perceptibly. Mine never did. And they spit up regularly, so it wasn't that they weren't taking in any gas!

We used to take our time feeding - a few ounces, then we'd walk around or hang out with the baby tilted forward, so that if any gas was going to come up, it would be easy. I'd pat and rub their backs, but for us, it never did a thing!

So don't worry about it too much unless she's uncomfortable or spitting up large amounts.

You've been in my thoughts - I've been reading your blog for a few months, and I'm so happy to hear about your first days with your babies!

I remember feeling with my first as you do with Kate - losing sleep is *nothing* when you're taking care of your little miracle.

The most important thing is to put a cloth diaper over your shoulder or on your lap under their little mouths in case it's an urp instead of a burp! The advice here is excellent as far as I can tell! Some babies take in more air then others and I don't think it has that much to do with whether it's breast or bottle. Both of mine were breast fed, the first one urped every single time and sometimes in between, very disconcerting especially when they do the ninja projectile vomiting! The younger one *never* urped, not even once! I burped them every time I switched sides, so, like the bottle experts say, every couple of ounces I guess. They won't always burp is the thing, if they haven't burped after a minute or two of good solid patting then they may not. I will refrain from commenting on positioning for burping, as someone else said, by whatever means necessary! Your flying by the seat of your pants here!

Tertia, I'm a long time reader, first time poster. :) But I just wanted to say how thrilled I am to read about your babies, how well they are doing, and to almost be able to hear the sigh of contentment in your posts.

As for the burping, I had a 9lb+ 41-weeker, and he was still very hard to burp for a while. It sometimes took almost half an hour of trying all different methods before he'd finally burp. Sometimes we found that if we laid him down for a few minutes, then tried again, he would burp more quickly. Something about the change of position, I think.

We definitely burped after every feed, and usually during the feeds after every ounce or two (1 ounce = 30ml). It got to be rather time-consuming, and would seem like we'd just finish the whole process (feed, burp, change, lay down) then he'd cry in hunger a few minutes later. But as they are able to hold their heads and bodies up better, the burping time gets shorter and shorter. Sometime well before his first birthday (maybe by 7-8 months?), he was able to burp on his own without help.

In the 13 months that my husband and I have been parents, we've found that WE know our child best, and you and Marko will find out the same thing. We read articles, books, and listened to the advice of friends and family. Some we used, some we didn't, and some we just adapted to our family and the situation. Whatever you do though, it's so fulfilling and empowering to know that nobody else can respond to the needs of your baby(ies) the way you can.

All the best to the four of you!

How about a sleeping tip that worked for me: we kept a low light on in the nursery at night, after hearing babies seem to sleep better that way. For us, it worked wonders days and nights got straightened around.

Congratulations on your new arrivals. It sounds like you are doing great. You have gotten plenty of advice on burping, but I wanted to add a comment about swaddling (wrapping tightly in a blanket). Some babies like the security of it. I know that we had to swaddle James for the first week or so because he would startle himself awake when his arms would twitch or flop around. Also, get a sling, asap. I could not have survived the first six months without mine and it was great for the hip carry when he was a toddler. My boy hated the snugli/baby bjorn and much preferred being carried in the sling, especially because he could sleep in it and also nurse.

Ugh.. I've always been a bad burper.. even three kids in. My husband is much better at it and has tried to teach me but I think it takes a certain "touch". So far I've managed not to cause any serious lack-of-proper-burp harm to the three I've birthed to this point - crossing fingers for number 4!

As for enjoying up all night with baby, I'm so there with you. At least for the first week or so. Then it gets a little old. ;)

One thing that we found extremely helpful with our babies was to support their head, and lay them down horizontally, face up, then raise them up vertically, then down, then up... This gentle rocking really seemed to help move the bubble up, and after the baby has been rocked a few times this way, they seem much quicker to burp. We used the over the shoulder and the sitting in lap technique, and both seemed to do fine.

If you can get them used to room temperature formula you won't have to worry about warming bottles when you are out and about with them.

Isn't that too weird? I never burped my babies. I hated, hated, hated burping. They never seemed to mind. however, I have no newborn advice b/c the kids were 6 months old when I got them. And they are ASIAN!!!! (see earlier poster re it not being tradition in Asia)

I'm horrible at burping! That being said, I usually passed my girls off to dh to do that. When I did have to do it, I favored the position where you sit them on your lap, support their little head/body, and pat their back. The pat was hard for me too... I never know how hard to pat. It must be a firm pat and sometimes I would rub their backs after a few pats too, giving them a gentle jostle and that would get a burp up.

Dh always opted to burp over the shoulder position. He held the girls up a little high on the shoulder and patted. He seemed to have shoulders that could magically summon burps at will from the girls. Which is why I suck at it! lol

The whole night/day mix up was tough at first. With Alyssa my first girl, I struggled to get her straightened out. With Kaitlyn, I did not. I just let her figure it out on her own. In the end, that was easier for me. Naptimes during the day were taken in noisy bright rooms which helped her figure it out. It took a while but she is good to go now (thank God since she is almost 6 months!)

I'm so happy to hear your children are doing well Tertia! Can't wait to see more pictures!

Take care!

Tertia, just wanted to comment on your night last night as I had a night owl myself. I tried to always remember that this was new for her as well. She was used to being all warm and cozy inside me and birth had rocked her world. My advice is to just keep trying different things. Hold her, rock her, walk her. You will not spoil her... she will learn to sleep through the night without being held... she might be in college by then... but she will learn! I found my newborn liked the infant carseat a lot because it was much cozier than her bassinet... and she hated being swaddled. So, she slept in the carseat.

I hope when Adam comes home they are on the same schedule. But, oh, it's so worth it, isn't it?

Yes burp after every feed. No need to pat back vigourously... just rum back in a soothing upwards motion and you feel the air bubbles come up.

What joy to hold a newborn baby. Congratulations!

Hi Tertia,
My daughter Annaliese was a preemie. Born at 35wks and weighed just 4lbs. 9oz. when we brought her home.

I use to burp her by sitting her on my lap and rest my thumb and pointer finger around her jaw which gave her head support and then I would pat her back pretty hard (it's hard to describe the force in words). Don't be afraid to do that, it won't hurt them. It's the way the NICU showed me. :) Annaliese was good at burping pretty quick but I contribute that to the fact that I didn't "lightly tap" on her back like some parent do thinking their babies are china dolls. LOL

Also, I know that some people will put their baby over their shoulder, placing the babies tummy up on the shoulder which puts pressure on it and while patting them it helps to push the burps out. This didn't work for me because my daughter was too small and it seemed harder than the other way.

As for how often? we burped her at every feeding and sometimes when she seemed fussy. Annaliese was a VERY gassy girl. LOL I think because she drank from her bottle so fast and burping was sometimes necessary even awhile after the feed. Also keep in mind that when babies cry alot they will take in even more air which will then sometimes cause more gas and make them even fussier. It's a vicious cycle! :)

I'm so happy for you and love to see updates on how your babies are doing and to hear how you're adjusting. You've been so blessed. :) I hope Adam is doing great!

Take care mommy :)

I was not a burper fanatic. With our first, who was bottle fed, it was more important, and we would make an effort. In particular, we gave her burpy kisses if she burped. It was fun, and remained a tradition for a long time. My second I don't really remember burping. But, I will point out that I'm so lassez faire that my second only sleeps in people's arms (fortunately my parents live nearby, and thus there are 4 adult arms for him).


I second the comment about Slings. They are wonderful things very helpful. Babies want to be close to mommy all the time. It helps when you can accomodate that and do things too (like go to the bathroom).

PS How long will Marko be home to help out? Do men take any kind of paternity leave in SA?

Again, not reading all the comments so I will most likely repeat but Burping was our biggest challenge - my little ones were born at 37 weeks and I would literally spend an hour trying to get them to burp. The first month with our twins was all about gas - burps and farts. All the time. We were obsessed with getting to burp and we quickly learned there is no special trick - as they got older, they learned to burp better. It just took time. We tried over the shoulder, laying them down and then picking them up, holding under their chin, leaning them back and bouncing them a bit - it really just took time. One nurse told us that spit up counted as a burp so we would a lot of times change them after a feed to get some spit up - which we counted as a burp.

For sleeping - swaddle, swaddle, swaddle - we used this thing called The Miracle blanket with our babies and they loved that tight feeling and it helped them sleep. Our twins at first slept in their bouncie seats because being elevated helped them sleep, then we moved them to the cradles swings and they both slept in them peacefully all night next to us - not the ideal situation but they did sleep. We eventually got them to sleep swaddled in their cribs and now they sleep well through the night at five months, unswaddled. My husband and I did shifts - I went to bed at 8 each night and he woke me at 1 am. I then took the shift until 5 am and then slept a few hours in the morning. Sleeping in shifts is the best if you can do it.

Hope some of that helps and sorry so long - all your questions bring up so many memories and its only been five months for us. Each month is was something new - 1st month was burps, 2nd month was sleeping in the bouncies and wondering if that was okay. Also, the farting. My babies farted all the time and they really smelled horrible. I had no idea little babies could stink so much. 3rd month was they woke up more and what exaclty were we supposed to do with them now? 4th month was transitioning them into their cribs and obssesively running in and out of the room to make sure they were breathing - they slept but I didn't. 5th month is now they are wide awake quite a bit and trying to split the time between the two and loving watching them roll all over the place and discover stuff. I really do love every minute of it.

Hi - I rarely burped my baby, he was breastfed and at two weeks we introduced a bottle for a feed or two. I remember putting him on my shoulder but he did not really like it. Sometime I held him in my lap facing out and burped him but most of the time I forgot. Guess he was not a burpy guy. :) HAve fun.

I'm somewhat anal about the burping, since I've got the barfy sort of baby, and any release of gas helps. I learned to try one position, then switch after a couple of minutes if it's not working. Sometimes just shifting the baby from one position to another can get the burp out "in transit." I also have a trick I learned with my son. Never heard of anyone else doing it but when the baby is in the seated position, I raise the little arm up in the air like they are hailing a taxi. I swear by that method.

And I'm with Kelly on the swaddling, T, since you are soliciting...

(not that kind of soliciting, I know)

A book I bought and thought highly of is called "The Happiest Baby on The Block." It makes a very good case for several things to help ease fussiness and encourage good sleep patterns. It's repetitive, but I found it very straightforward and useful.

I guess there is also a video version of the book, showing the techniques. I think that would be the best thing. But I just had the book, and I figured out how to swaddle like a pro. TIGHTLY. It's all in the tightness. Well, it worked for me.

I love the idea of you and Julie having to tend to your babies while you are online chatting. It's a dream come true for me as well, to know that you both are experiencing the new mom thing together. Whores with babes in arms.

Whores with babes in arms, indeed. It almost makes me cry, the wonder and total terrifying normalcy of it.

Other people have good burp advice -- as a postpartum doula I actually worked with a set of preemie twins, and the method (mentioned multiple times above) where you sit them up in your lap (with one hand around the belly), prop up their chins with your thumb and forefinger, and either pat their backs or just lean them forward onto your hand almost always brought up a burp.

God, I love that this is what you're thiniking about now.

I feel the need to delurk to sing the praises of the swaddle.

My daughter would fuss and fuss and fuss and moan when you put her down to sleep, she either had to be in our arms or in the swing to sleep, but then someone introduced us to the swaddle. We had to practice it a lot, and we quickly realized that it had to be uber tight, almost like a straightjacket, but once we got it right, she slept so easily and soundly.

Also, since Kate is a twin, I imagine that it must have been cramped in your ol ute, so maybe she might enjoy the swaddle since it would resemble how she was all cramped up with Adam.

I don't have much advice on the burping. Mine took to it easily and made it clear that it took no talent or skill from her parents to achieve the belch.

So happy for you Tertia, so glad that you finally get to find bliss.


burping is such fun! i was told to burp before changing breasts, or after 1oz.
hold baby up to your shoulder....hold them by their little backs, low back. use the other hand to gently pat their back. if there is no burp, try laying baby down in your hands then bringing baby back to your shoulder and try again.
you can also hold them on your lap, sitting, with your hand in front of them holding their little chest and supporting their heads and pat their back that way.
just make sure you get a burp out, otherwise you will have spit ups!! and a crabby baby! is niggly like crabby? bent out of shape? pissy??
lol, have a wonderful day. still thinking great thoughts about adam!

This is coming from a preemie mom of two.
1. No different way of burping a preemie
2. It could take 2 seconds or 10 minutes! Good Luck!!!
3. Yes, she needs to be burped every feeding for right now.

Hope this helps, but this is just how I did it and what our NICU told us.

Best Wishes
Praying for Adam to come home soon.

Hi there,

This isn't about burping, but it's the best advice I've received yet for when my baby arrives. A veteran parent told me to see to your baby when she cries at night, give her what it is she needs, but don't talk to her. Only speak to her during the daytime. That will eventually communicate the message that nighttime help is utilitarian, and that you can't be woken up just to "hang out." I haven't tried this, but I fully intend to when this little one arrives.


You're turning into a real advice slut. Okay, I'm always happy to oblige someone looking for my opinion.

You probably don't need this, but my biggest problem in burping was getting Meg to my shoulder with her floopy head. The nurses showed me to hold her out facing me with my hand under her back and head, and then to lean forward into her until she was in the right position on my shoulder, and then to sit upright. Babe up high on shoulder, good, audible pats (but she was 3350kg).

We never had to burp much, but Meg is breastfed and not urpy. Every babe is different. I saw lots of babies burped sitting up in mamas' laps in the hospital, though. Seemed to be the preferred method in Japan (where, yes, they burp as we do).

Are you interested in the supplementer, in case Adam LOVES the plastic boobs? I have an internet source for ordering. LMK if you need it. That might make burping less necessary, for A, anyway.

And here's a sling I see everywhere around town with sleeping babes in it: http://www.kangarookorner.com/k_how_afp.shtml
and with twins!: http://www.kangarookorner.com/k_how_twins.shtml
and for hot weather: http://www.kangarookorner.com/k_shop_unpadded_solarveil.shtml

That lack of sleep can catch up with you, even when you're blissed out. Try to sleep when they do, if you can. I know what you mean about the wonderful nights of holding and feeding, but I learned the hard way that the exhaustion is not good for you or for baby. Take good care of yourself, too, dear mama. Love to hear that you're happy!!


Clearly, I am by no means an expert on babies, but friends of mine who had a fussy newborn swore by the information below:

The Five Techniques to Calm a Crying Baby

Dr. Harvey Karp is a board-certified pediatrician, associate professor of pediatrics at UCLA School of Medicine and the author of the book and video, The Happiest Baby on the Block. He dispels a series of myths about newborn babies and shares the five techniques to calm a crying baby:

Myth: The baby is ready to be born after nine months.

Babies are born too soon. Sure, every mother is ready to have her baby after nine months, but babies are not like horses. A horse is ready to run the first day of life. Our babies are fetuses the first few months. They are not ready for the world until three months when they are smiling, cooing and ready to interact. Of course, they have to be born, it's not an option. But what a parent has to understand is that for the first few months the babies are like a walking uterus. They still need an environment that simulates what they experienced in the womb. Ever notice how a crying baby can sometimes be soothed when you drive them around in your vehicle? The vehicle is like an imitation of the uterus. There is a rhythmic calming sensation that turns on their calming reflex. Other ways to imitate the uterus: holding, dancing, rocking, swinging, white noise or singing.

Myth: Parents know what to do from the beginning.

It's intuitive to want to calm your baby, it's not intuitive to know how. That's a skill. It's not a hard skill, but it's something that requires skill. Babies have a calming reflex, like an "off" switch for crying, and it can be triggered by doing the five "S's." (Read on.)

Myth: Babies cry because they have gas.

Babies don't cry because of gas. Sometimes a little gas will trigger the crying, but they don't go on and on and on because of it. And you know it couldn't be gas if taking them for a car ride makes them quiet. Pain wouldn't come and go like that. Pain wouldn't go away if you turn on a hair dryer, and yet, that noise can calm them.

The 5 "S's": How to Turn on Your Baby's Calming Reflex

1. Swaddling: Wrapping makes your baby feel magically returned to the womb and it will keep your baby from flailing his/her arms. If not done correctly, the baby may cry even harder. Remember to swaddle snuggly. Loose blankets may be a choking risk. Also, don't overheat your baby. (Babies should never be sweaty and flushed.)

2. Side/Stomach: Newborns are easier to calm when they're lying on their side or stomach. This triggers the calming reflex by imitating your baby's position in the uterus. Lying a baby on his/her back can sometimes trigger a falling reflex and make your baby feel insecure. Keep in mind the side/stomach position is great for calming crying, but babies should only sleep on their backs.

3. Shhhh: "Shhhh"ing your baby imitates the sound he/she heard in your uterus, which was as loud as a vacuum cleaner. Place your mouth two to four inches from your baby's ear and make the "shhhh" sound. It must be loud enough to match the sound of your baby's crying, or he/she won't hear it.

4. Swinging: Rhythmic moving imitates the jiggling your baby felt inside the uterus and activates the calming reflex. Ways to use motion are: baby slings and carriers, dancing, infant swings, rocking, car rides, bouncy seats.

5. Sucking: Putting a pacifier, finger or breast into a baby's mouth satisfies hunger and turns on the calming reflex.

For more information about Dr. Karp and his techniques for calming crying babies, go to www.thehappiestbaby.com.

Good luck to you, MOMMY!!!!


my mom taught me how to burp my ds. she told me i wasn't doing it hard enough. i thought i would break his back if i did it harder. took a while but it worked at about the 2 wk mark.

also burped him half way through feeding to help on the spitting up issues.

have fun, it's all trial and error (hopefully not too much error)

God, I HATE burping. Hate it. Okay, well, when my girls were in the NICU, it was essential that they be burped. The nurses hovered like hawks to make sure they burped. I swear there were one or two times I "faked" a burp. I didn't actually make a burping sound to try and fool the nurses, but I pretended that they had burped, because I just couldn't take it any more. They had to be burped because they were little and had more trouble digesting their food, and gas was bad for them. So normally I would say don't go crazy, but since Kate is still little, and was a few weeks early, I guess you really should try and burp her.

So, here is what I learned about burping. There are many ways to burp a baby. There is the time-honored on the shouler, with a burp cloth to catch any gurb that may come up. Not always the most effective. Sometimes the little ones need some pressure on their tummy to help get the gas out, but not too much pressure, or more than gas will come out. So, sitting little Kate (and soon Adam) on your lap, supporting her from the front with your hand across her chest, sort of with your thumb under one armpit, and your pointer finger toward her other armpit, with her leaning forward (her head can flop forward, its okay) while you gently pat her on the back. In fact, you don't have to be so gentle. You can't believe how those nurses would wallop those little tiny babies. The bottom of the hand that supports her in the front will put gentle pressure on her tummy, to help get gas out. And don't just pat her back, you can actually press on her back, almost squeeze, and run your hand from bottom to top. This helps squeeze the gas out. Anyway, if this made any sense to you, this is how the really good burper nurse in the NICU burped my Fiona, who really wouldn't give up a burp without some work.

And on the day/night thing. Try and use light to your advantage. Keep it bright during the day, even when she is sleeping, and dark at night, even when she is awake, so that day and night feel different. Maybe even get her out in the fresh (albeit hot) air during the day. We had a vampire baby for a while, and at first, I didn't mind, because, like you, I was so happy and excited to be a mother, but after a few days, I remember almost dropping him because I fell asleep while I was holding him.

And by the way, the image of you and Julie having to interrupt your conversation to tend to your children really made me smile. Its those little moments that bring it all home.

Hi Tertia,

Not sure you will get all the way down here, and I didn't read all the comments, so maybe this advice came up already...

I am a mom of 4, I thought I knew a pretty good way to burp a baby. I would usually do the over the shoulder pat (I'm a hard patter, not abusive, just a good sized pat on a wee babe). I also like the sit up on the lap supporting the head (or just chest when they are older) and pat.

Well, with my last baby I got a video based on the book "The Baby Whisperer". Well, she says to burp them over the shoulder, then placing your hand shaped like a "C" right up against their side/rib and rubbing their side/rib/tummy using an up motion. It really makes them burp after only a few times! I was pretty impressed.

I still enjoy patting, but if it doesn't come out, I do the rub and it works! :)

Enjoy those babes!

I never could get my daughter to burp. My husband could, but not me. I fretted over it and worried endlessly. She's over 2 now and still alive, so maybe it wasn't all that important?

I've never commented before. But I'm so excited for you and so happy for your two beautiful babies.

How wonderful that you and Julie had to stop chatting to take care of your babies! How beautiful that finally, after so long, you both have the thing you wanted more than anything - I am so happy for you both!

What a blissful image of you and Julie!

I can't possibly read all of the comments above right now, but I wanted to say SWADDLE SWADDLE SWADDLE - especially a preemie. I had forgotten about swaddling with my third, and she was having a dreadful time staying asleep. Then I was like, "Duh!" and, once swaddled, she slept like a dream.

Also, making "shhhh" sounds right into her ear as you cuddle her will likely help. It replicates the sounds in the womb and all of my children thrived on it.

Of course, we also had some reflux with this one but that's a story for another day!

So happy that you are enjoying those little darlings!

My daughter seldom burped. So long as she wasn't in pain, I didn't worry about it.

Ok Mikayla was a preemie - so I'm good to go on this one. I hated the burping too cause she was so small, she looked like a tiny rag doll.

1. How do you do it?  It is really difficult with a tiny, floppy preemie. Yes it was. I can't remember how I did it but I used most of my hand, placed under her head and supported her chest and tapped her on the back. She was so small. My hand was the size or bigger than her back.

2. How long does it take you? A long time. She was very stubborn and never wanted to give up her burps.

3. Do you have to burp after EVERY feed? I actually burped her 1/2 thru her feeds (as long as she didn't cry for the food.) I'd give her 1/2 and burp her and then finish feeding her and burp her again.


Here's what we found with our preemie twins...

- had to thump them pretty hard to get any burps out and sometimes for quite awhile. We used several techniques including sitting them up and cradling their chins inour hands while we burped them and as they got older the over-the-shoulder technique.
- each child was different in terms of how much they could eat before they needed burping, so this was trial and error.
- when they were under 2 months they sucked at burping, but the older they got the better they got and now they can belch with the best of 'em.

Unlike Julie's mom, my mom was appalled at how hard I burped, but I got my training from the NICU nurses so I felt comfy with the THUMPING.

So HAPPY for you!

Congrats on your new babies! When my youngest daughter was born she was very hard to burp. This is the only thing that worked for her (it probably sounds crazy). I sat her on my leg at a 90 degree angle (feet across my lag, sitting on one leg) and tipped her back slowly to about a 45 degree angle. Then slowly move her back up to a 90 degree angle. On the up movement I got a burp every time right away!! You should do this a couple times to get all the air up. All babies are different though. For frequency the doctor always told us from the beginning divide the amount of the regularly taken feed by four (1oz usually taken at feeds would mean burp after 1/4 oz).

One week old already? How time flies. Sounds like you are doing well. No words of wisdom on the burping, though I wish you loads of luck.

[Channeling Gone With The Wind] Oh, Miz Tertia, I don' know nothin' 'bout burpin' babies.

But I do know I can't wait to read the story of the birth.

Thank you for your site. I love keeping track of how you're doing and am so, so happy for you.

And I'm saying a prayer right now that you & Marko get some sleep.

My baby was a 36 weeker...just for context (I posted earlier about him having jaundice & that making him too sleepy to eat). I did burp after every meal and the very best position for us was to hold the baby "sitting up" (they naturally bend over forwards) by putting your hand on their chest and kind of around their neck and then tapping more forcefully than you might imagine on their back. Have fun!

First, congratulations on your beautiful son and daughter. My IVF twins were born at 35 weeks.. they were SO tiny!

I have noticed that applying a little pressure to the bottom of the belly with the holding (not hitting) hand makes the baby burp much more quickly and efficiently. I think this is why some babies burp bettter on shoulders.. If you opt to hold your baby over your hand.. just gently press his or her little tummy in and up.. just a little tiny bit of pressure. I hope that makes sense.

Also, for when Adam comes home, my twins LOVED being swaddled together in the same blanket. They slept like this until they were too big for one blanket, then I would swaddle them separately and tuck another blanket over the two of them to keep them snug. They loved being near each other and still choose to sleep in the same crib today (they are 2 1/2 now!)

Congratulations again and I hope Adam is home with you soon. I think that was the hardest part.. when we had one home and one still in the hospital :(

When my Stinker was really small place her high on my shoulder almost so that her belly was resting on it and would just rub in small circles.

I have a 4mos old who was not a preemie but he was hard to burp. I found I had to unswaddle him to burp him well. Being all wrapped up just didn't help. In his first month or so he would burp up his whole meal if I didn't burp him after 5 minutes of feeding or so. I put him to my shoulder and did a traveling pat...starting at the base of his back and patted up to the top then start at the bottom again. A little jiggling helped too. Loosened the bubbles. So I would either bounce a bit while he was on my shoulder. Or I would sit him on my knee, his chin and cheeks between my thumb and forefinger and bounce my leg a bit while rubbing his back. I also rub up his back...kind of visualizing those bubbles up and out. Good luck! And congrats!

It took us a while to get the hang of the burp thing. What we eventually found was that the most effective method was (with burp rag on shoulder, of course) to put her over our shoulders a little higher than we'd previously done such that there was slightly more pressure on her tummy. Then lots of patting. Not hard, but just enough that her voice would do some vibrato if she bellowed out (which she frequently did). Then it was a matter of patience. The burp usually came just as we were about to give up.

I don't know whether you MUST burp after every feeding, but we did because it cut down on the spit-up factor. We also found that placing her in her swing (upright) for about 15 minutes after a feeding cut down on the spitting up as well.

Good luck! Can't wait for more news!


My son was born 6 weeks early on Dec. 20th- weighed 6 lbs. I was scared to death to burp him- I was afraid I'd snap his spine even gently patting his back. LOL.

His Occupational Therapist taught us a great trick:

Lay Kate on your lap, with her head on your knees. Cross her arms over her chest, and then lift her straight up, one hand holding her chest, the other around her back.

I do it for my baby boy, and it works like a charm every time.

Good luck!

Oh Tertia ~
Congratulations on the birth of the most gorgeous babies!! I am so very happy for you. I found you only in December an have been reading from the beginning as well as current. Thank you for sharing your story, all of it. Every sad and glorious, truthful bit of it. Today I see you are just surrounded, flocked upon, by cooing, helpful Moms. As it should be! I am so happy to see you in this place of Motherhood.

Something posted by "B", a mile or two above, resonated with me. I am an IF myself, having lost my first midterm due to T21 a year and a half ago, subsequent m/c, now probably too late for me to carry on (just turned 44, having started late at 41, tragic mess). I was really struck by the truth of both positions: that while in the midst of IF and all its excruciating glory, assvice is so appalingly easy to come by and generally not at all desired. I can only just imagine how truly fantastic it must be to now be in your position and be saying "who wouldn't want advice?" Hooray! what a wonderful switch, what a fabulous place to now be in. Enjoy, enjoy, grow together in love with your new family.
My best to you, Linda

Wake your baby during the day for a feed every two to three hours, even if he/she is sleeping. Don't wake baby at night, but of course respond when she wakes. A few days of this will straighten the days/nights mixup right out. Good luck!

Of course, more burping advice than anyone can use ... :) I just wanted to say up front that it took me SIX MONTHS to figure out how to burp my first baby -- I'm just not a natural burper, I guess. I usually handed him off to his dad for burping. Knowing this, take my advice as you will...

1. How do you do it? It is really difficult with a tiny, floppy preemie.

With my boys, "newborn" is a relative term (nearly 10 lbs is closer to a normal 3mo, right?). But, born were fairly floppy and unhelpful with burping duty. What ended up working with #2 was to sit him on my left knee with my left hand pressed into his stomach and slightly up -- like a Heimlich. Then I whacked him on the back with my right hand.

2. How long does it take you?

It either came right away, or I gave up.

3. Do you have to burp after EVERY feed?

With #1, he went a good six months without regular burpings. What this meant to him -- he got to spit up on me by surprise when he got around to burping himself.

With #2, he had projectile vomiting and an overactive gag reflex that gradually went away between 6-9 months. I burped him occasionally, but most of the time he jumped the gun and projectile vomited several cups (I swear!) all over my breast and lap. What fun!

Hi Tertia; I've been lurking for some time now, but even though you have 80-something responses already, I thought I'd go ahead and post on this. :)

I volunteered in a hospital (full-term) nursery for several years, and like you said, babies (even full-term ones) are 'floppy', and the 'shoulder method' of burping always made me uncomfortable. On my first day (at age 14), the nurses told me to 'sit' the baby on my lap , support him/her under the chin (NOT on the throat, just on the chin bone) with one hand and pat the back with the other. You can easily vary the baby's 'angle' this way, which sometimes makes them burp faster. It's also a lot easier with regards to spitting up.

And yes, you do burp after every feed. Sometimes in the middle, too, if the baby's getting wiggly/fussy.

Good luck!

Bottlefed babies should be burped after 1-2 oz, and again at the end of the feed. Spitting up a bit is normal; spitting up the whole feed is not.

Preemie babies can take more time to get them to burp (have no idea why), and the over the shoulder thing doesn't seem to cut it.

I burped my son by sitting him on my lap and holding his head just below the jaw line firmly to stabilize it, while first rubbing, then firmly patting his back. It can take a while, and you may need to alternate between rubbing and patting - and don't be too gentle, or you won't get the air up. You can also try laying the baby back and sitting him/her up several times between patting/rubbing.

See pictures:

Dies ist ein großer Ort. Ich möchte hier noch einmal.

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