baby crying

Burps and Gas and Farts, Oh My!

April 10, 2024 Infant

Burping, having gas, and farting is normal and, in most babies, indicates good gut health, but it can be extremely painful for some babies, and stressful for their parents.

Excess gas without burping or farting can lead to bloating which can be painful. Common causes of gas are:

So how do you know if your baby’s gas and burping is normal or if something is wrong? Let’s start with how often you burp your baby during feeding.

Check your baby’s latch on the breast or bottle nipple and consult with a lactation consultant, speech therapist or your baby’s health care provider if they are having difficulties. A poor latch can contribute to your baby taking in too much air during their feeding and cause gas. They may suggest a different bottle, nipple, or feeding position to help.

If your baby spits-up a lot when burping and is crying in pain or stressed by the spit-up, talk to their health care provider about reflux or a feeding intolerance.

Babies with a dairy or formula intolerance or allergy can have intense pain with gas, bloating, and spit up frequently during or after feeding. If this is happening, talk to your health care provider about medications, changing the formula or about removing dairy from your diet if you are breastfeeding. Sometimes constipation or diarrhea go along with an allergy or intolerance and sometimes it is caused by something else, but both can cause painful gas and bloating.

Is it Colic?

It’s normal for babies to grunt, pull their legs up, and have red faces when they are farting or pooping, but consistent crying or screaming can mean there may be a problem. When babies have painful gas, parents will often ask if their baby has colic.

Colic is typically different from regular gassiness because the crying is:

Colic is very stressful for families. If you think your baby may have colic, talk to your baby’s health care provider for help.

Simple Tips for Typical Gas Relief

Overall, remember burps, gas and farts are normal for everyone of all ages! Laugh about it, be ready for some stinky ones and ask for help when needed.


Side-Lying Hold

  1. For the right breast, lie on your right side with your baby facing you.
  2. Pull your baby close. Your baby’s mouth should be level with your nipple.
  3. In this position, you can cradle your baby’s back with your left arm and support yourself with your right arm and/or pillows.
  4. Keep loose clothing and bedding away from your baby.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:


Cross-Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, use your left arm to hold your baby’s head at your right breast and baby’s body toward your left side. A pillow across your lap can help support your left arm.
  2. Gently place your left hand behind your baby’s ears and neck, with your thumb and index finger behind each ear and your palm between baby’s shoulder blades. Turn your baby’s body toward yours so your tummies are touching.
  3. Hold your breast as if you are squeezing a sandwich. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  4. As your baby’s mouth opens, push gently with your left palm on baby’s head to help them latch on. Make sure you keep your fingers out of the way.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:


Clutch or “Football” Hold

  1. For the right breast, hold your baby level, facing up, at your right side.
  2. Put your baby’s head near your right nipple and support their back and legs under your right arm.
  3. Hold the base of your baby’s head with your right palm. A pillow underneath your right arm can help support your baby’s weight.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Bring baby to you instead.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:


Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, cradle your baby with your right arm. Your baby will be on their left side across your lap, facing you at nipple level.
  2. Your baby’s head will rest on your right forearm with your baby’s back along your inner arm and palm.
  3. Turn your baby’s tummy toward your tummy. Your left hand is free to support your breast, if needed. Pillows can help support your arm and elbow.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:


Laid-Back Hold

  1. Lean back on a pillow with your baby’s tummy touching yours and their head at breast level. Some moms find that sitting up nearly straight works well. Others prefer to lean back and lie almost flat.
  2. You can place your baby’s cheek near your breast, or you may want to use one hand to hold your breast near your baby. It’s up to you and what you think feels best.
  3. Your baby will naturally find your nipple, latch, and begin to suckle.

This hold is useful when: