To Burp or Not to Burp

By Kristine Hartvigsen on April 13th, 2017

Pediatrician Chad Hayes, MD, raised an interesting question on the website earlier this year. Is it really necessary to burp a baby after feeding?

“Well, this is baby number three for me, and I’ve learned a thing or two from other people’s kids as well,” Dr. Hayes wrote. “I certainly wasn’t worried. But it did make me wonder if burping a baby does anything.”

Turns out, actual scientific research has been conducted on the subject.

Two researchers from the National Institute of Nursing Education compared the efficacy of burping versus not burping among 71 mothers and babies in the community setting. They focused on documenting incidences of colic and regurgitation between the burping and non-burping sample groups.

“Although burping is a rite of passage, our study showed that burping did not significantly lower colic events and there was significant increase in regurgitation episodes in healthy term infants up to 3 months of follow-up,” the researchers concluded.

While the sample size was small and probably warrants further investigation, the mere fact that any research on this subject exists astonished Dr. Hayes. He and his spouse decided to cease burping their youngest baby and see what happened.

“For what it’s worth, we stopped burping our baby three days ago. It saves us about 16 minutes per day. She hasn’t exploded or spontaneously combusted. She doesn’t seem any fussier than before. And while I’m not sure if she spits up less, it’s certainly no worse than before.”

This blog provides general information and discussion about healthcare-related subjects. The content and linked materials provided are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader is an expectant mother with a medical concern, she should consult with an appropriately licensed physician or healthcare provider.


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