A randomized controlled trial of burping for the prevention of colic and regurgitation in healthy infants

Child Care Health Dev. 2015 Jan;41(1):52-6. doi: 10.1111/cch.12166. Epub 2014 Jun 9.


Background: Efficacy of burping in lowering colic and regurgitation episodes in healthy term babies lacks evidence in literature.

Methods: We conducted a randomized controlled trial to compare efficacy of burping versus no-burping in 71 mother-baby dyads in community setting. Primary outcome was reduction in event rates of colic and regurgitation episodes over 3 months.

Results: Baseline characteristics were similar in two groups. Difference in incidence rates of colic between the control and burping group was 1.57 episodes/infant/100 weeks [95% confidence interval (CI): -0.63 to 3.76]. There was statistically no significant reduction in colic episodes between burping and non-burping study subjects during 3 months of follow-up (adjusted relative risk 0.64; 95% CI: 0.22-1.86, P-value 0.41). Incidence rate difference of regurgitation episodes/infant/week between burping and control group was 4.36 (95% CI: 4.04 to 4.69) and there was statistically significant increase in burping group (adjusted relative risk 2.05; 95% CI: 1.92-2.18, P-value < 0.0001).

Conclusions: 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.

Keywords: breastfeeding; burping; infant; infantile colic; regurgitation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Colic / epidemiology
  • Colic / prevention & control*
  • Feeding Methods / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • India
  • Infant
  • Infant Care / methods*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Laryngopharyngeal Reflux / epidemiology
  • Laryngopharyngeal Reflux / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Maternal Age
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult