Not burping a baby leads to more spitting up, gas and fussiness, according to Kids Health. All babies swallow air during feedings. Burping gets rid of this air, making the baby more comfortable.
To burp a baby, Kids Health suggests holding the baby up to your shoulder, laying him face down across your lap or seating him on your lap with your hand supporting his or her chin. Gently pat or rub the baby's back. A burp cloth or clean rag is useful for catching small amounts of fluid that sometimes come out with burps.
Kids Health advises that a baby needs to burp after every 2 to 3 ounces of fluid when bottle feeding or when switching breasts if breast feeding. He also needs to be burped at the end of a feeding session. A baby who awakens crying may need to be burped as well. Once the excess gas is released, he may go back to sleep.
As the baby grows older, Kids Health notes that there is no need to worry if the he doesn't burp during feedings or following each feeding. This merely means that the baby has learned to eat without swallowing so much air.