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Maybe you don’t need to burp your baby

Maybe you don’t need to burp your baby

Post-meal pats on the back may be instinct for parents, but it’s not necessarily helpful to babies

Laura Sanders

September 15, 2016

As satisfying as it is to coax burps out of babies, the practice isn’t backed by science.

I found burping my babies to be highly satisfying. A little jiggle, a little pat, and suddenly, a big, funny jolt of air comes flying out of a tiny, floppy baby. There’s lots of burping methods — the over-the-shoulder jiggle, the propped-up-on-the-lap pat, even the face-down-on-the-knees position — and they all lead to this amusing outcome.

I will not weigh in on burping methodology here. Instead, I am going to back up a step further. At the risk of losing all credibility with grandmas, I am prepared to argue that you might not need to burp your baby at all. Despite the immense joy and amusement burping brings, there’s scant scientific evidence that burping after meals actually does anything helpful for babies.

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