Baby Hiccups: Understanding the Causes and Cures

Baby Hiccups: Understanding the Causes and Cures

Baby Hiccups: Understanding the Causes and Cures

Baby hiccups are absolutely adorable. From their cute coos to their tiny yawns, every action means something every parent tries to understand. When your infant hiccups, it sounds joyful, but is it normal?

The simple answer is ‘Yes’. Baby and newborn hiccups are normal signs of a baby’s growth and development. Experts have declared that hiccups occurring due to the gastrointestinal tract are harmless. All you need to do is to understand and help them stop their hiccups.

Why Do They Get Hiccups?

Similar to adults, hiccups for babies are caused by spasms of the developing diaphragm, the large muscle that runs across the bottom of the rib cage, moving up and down as we breathe. 

  • Hiccups occur in babies more frequently due to overfeeding, eating too quickly, or swallowing a lot of air, which causes the stomach to push against the diaphragm.
  • Sometimes, sudden changes in stomach temperature, such as having cold milk or warm rice, can also trigger hiccups.
  • If hiccups continue persistently, it’s important to consult a doctor as it could be due to Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD). This condition occurs when partly digested food and acidic juices from the stomach irritate and lead to hiccups, but it is treatable.

Other reasons for hiccups in babies may include frequent crying, excessive arching of the back during or after feedings, and spitting up more than usual.

How Long Does Baby Hiccups Last?

Babies can have hiccups multiple times in a day lasting for 10 minutes. If the baby acts happy and doesn’t seem uncomfortable, it is not a concern. If the hiccups seem to be causing distress, visit the pediatrician immediately.

Here are some tips to help prevent and alleviate hiccups in a breastfeeding baby:

  • Burp your baby during feeding to help release excess gas. Keep your baby upright and gently pat or rub their back to assist with burping.
  • Slow down the feeding pace. Feeding too quickly can lead to hiccups, so take your time during feeding sessions.
  • Feed your baby when they are calm to prevent upset and crying, which can make swallowing more difficult and lead to hiccups.
  • Keep your baby in an upright position after feeding to aid digestion.
  • If you’re using a bottle, ensure that it is filled with milk and free of air bubbles.
  • Use the correct size of the bottle nipple to prevent discomfort and irritation.
  • For breastfeeding, ensure your baby has a good latch on the nipple.

Remember the following facts on Baby Hiccups:

  • If your baby has been hiccuping for a long time or seems uncomfortable while hiccuping, consult a pediatrician.
  • Be cautious when using home remedies for hiccups, as some remedies suitable for adults may not be safe for babies.
  • Hiccups are generally normal and don’t harm the baby. In younger babies, hiccups usually indicate the need to sit upright during or after feeding, feed at a slower pace, or allow more time before or after feeding for relaxation.

If your baby experiences prolonged hiccuping, don’t worry, but do Book an appointment with the best pediatricians at Lotus Hospitals.

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