Video: One thing that shocked me about new parenthood is how much time you spend begging for gas to come out of another human being. Burping was not one of my daughter's strong suits - I'd often spend a half hour in the middle of the night patting her back after a feeding, waiting for that belch of glory that never came. My paediatrician finally told me the sweet, sweet words: "If she doesn't seem uncomfortable, don't worry about it!" And that was that.
Of course, it's often apparent when a baby does need to be burped - they will fuss and cry and moan - and the sometimes classic pat-and-rub method just doesn't cut it. In one of my Facebook parenting groups, many mums and dads are reporting success with this circle technique, demonstrated in the video above by a dad named Dean Ferraro.
You sit your baby's butt on your thigh, and hold his chin with one hand and the back of his skull with the other, very gently. Then you rotate his body around in a circle, like he's doing a Na'vi ritual. As Ferraro notes in the video, the movement is "engaging his ab muscles so he's squeezing himself". All you're doing is facilitating the process. You can also wiggle your thigh to help release any additional trapped air.
The method may not work for every baby, but when you're desperately waiting for that big burp to come so that everyone can get some rest, it is sure nice to have in the toolbox.