Does your baby seem to have hiccups often? As hiccups happen to adults, babies can experience it as well. It’s completely normal, but you may want to prevent it because it can be annoying for your baby. With a few simple measures, you can get rid of baby hiccups.
What is a Hiccup?
When a person breathes normally, air is drawn into the lungs and then the diaphragm relaxes to exhale the air. But when hiccups happen, the air that a person breathes gets stuck in the vocal cords and this is what causes the “hic” sound in a hiccup.
In simple words, a hiccup is nothing but trapped air. It is triggered by excess air in the stomach.
Why Do Babies Get Hiccups?
Hiccups in babies is a reflex action that starts quite early. (Trivia: Babies can already get hiccups when they were in the womb.) Newborns tend to hiccup a lot, but as babies grows, the frequency of the hiccups decrease.
Research shows that when hiccups happen in newborns and babies, it does not change their heart rate, respiratory rate, or oxygen saturation. Since it is a reflex, it can’t be stopped just like coughing or sneezing. There are different reasons why hiccups take place – it could be due to excess air in your baby’s stomach, esophagus irritation, and sometimes even stress.
How to Get Rid of Newborn Baby Hiccups? Cure for Hiccups
Occasional hiccups happen in all babies and are not dangerous. You could allow the hiccups to stop naturally; but if you feel like you want to help your baby, try these few steps to cure your baby of hiccups once they start.
- Burp your baby well – While feeding your baby, it could happen that excess air gets into the tummy. If you burp them to release this excess air their hiccups will stop.
- Rub their back- Rubbing a baby’s back in a circular motion will help to release the excess air and stop the hiccups.
- Change their position – If your baby is sitting, try holding them up and if they are lying down try letting them sit up. Changing your baby’s position will not always stop hiccups but it is worth trying.
- Offer a pacifier – When a baby sucks on a pacifier it acts as a soother and can lessen hiccups.
- Feed your baby in smaller amounts- Over-feeding a baby or feeding your baby to quickly can lead to hiccups.
- Try using a different bottle brand – If hiccups happen a lot, check your baby’s bottle design. Some bottles trap more air than others. Try a brand that reduces the air trapped in a bottle.
- Let them stop on their own- Babies that are under a year old will hiccup often. If they don’t seem to bother your baby, it is better to allow the hiccups to stop on their own. It will stop in its own time.
It is important to remember that what works on an adult or on older children will not necessarily work on babies. Do not hold a baby upside down or give them water to drink, pull their tongue or scare them, or make them hold their breath.
When to Seek Medical Advice?
Hiccups are normal, but if you notice that your baby hiccups excessively and if they are agitated or upset, speak to a doctor.
If you notice that your baby gets disturbed by hiccups while they are sleeping or if it happens a lot after they turn a year old, it may be indicative of an underlying medical condition. One of the signs of hiccups is severe acid reflux or GERD.
Hiccups that interfere with your baby’s breathing or cause your baby’s face to turn blue are not a good sign and you have to seek emergency medical attention. It could be a sign of other underlying medical issues.