Baby hiccups and infant hiccups are nothing uncommon. Since your little baby is really little you want to instantly know how to get rid of newborn hiccups.
Shed all your worries by knowing all the hacks and reasons for baby hiccups. Read on to know the following:
- What are newborn hiccups?
- Causes of newborn hiccups
- Symptoms of newborn hiccups
- Newborn hiccups treatment
- Ways to get rid of newborn hiccups
What are newborn hiccups?
New born baby hiccups occur when the muscles of diaphragm contract. They usually go away on their own too. Babies specifically have more chances of hiccups even when they are in the mother’s womb.
However, there is nothing to worry about with hiccups. It can remain for a minute to an hour, but they do no harm to the baby. It can just surprise your baby or make him a little uncomfortable. It is just a normal reflex of a baby and parent’s don’t need to be all worried about their little angel.
Causes of newborn hiccups
People mistakenly believe hiccup to do something with breathing. The main cause is sudden contractions of the diaphragm. Hiccups are rarely a sign of any medical condition. They never really do any harm.
Some of the causes of baby hiccups are:
- While Feeding- hiccups in newborns after feeding is the most common cause. When the baby is feeding and gulping fast he tends to take in air in the stomach that causes hiccups.
- Weather or climate change- drop in temperature can make the baby feel cold resulting in muscle contraction and hiccups.
- Crying or coughing- when babies cough or cry, they take in air in the stomach, which causes muscle contraction ending up in hiccups. This remains a common cause till the first three months of a baby’s life and gradually decreases.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)- babies with GERD may have hiccups often along with irritability, coughing and spitting.
- Excitement and anxiety– babies also tend to have hiccups when they are really excited or anxious.
When the newborn’s internal organs mature and develop, hiccups then gradually go away in frequency as well as intensity. However, there are ways to stop baby hiccups.
Symptoms of newborn hiccups
There aren’t any symptoms of hiccups apart from the hiccup itself. However, if hiccups are caused by gastroesophageal reflux, babies usually throw away the content of their stomach into the esophagus. This results in hiccups and pain. If your baby has hiccups all the time it might due to gastroesophageal reflux. Other symptoms to notice are:
- Spitting up often
- Pain in the stomach
- Colicky behaviour.
You can go to a pediatrician if your baby is having a reflux. However, in most of the cases, it is a temporary condition which goes away on its own.
Newborn hiccups treatment
There is no medical treatment for hiccups. Short term hiccups whether in newborns or adult simply go away on its own.
We all must have tried sipping water when we get hiccups. You can even give your newborn some sips of water. The diaphragm gets back to normal due to the swallowing action. You can even give your baby a pacifier. We even try to hold breath for few second to stop hiccups, but don’t even try that with your baby.
11 best ways to get rid of newborn hiccups
Here are 11 effective ways to get rid of newborn hiccups:
1. Give some sugar
You can easily cure baby hiccups with sugar. Sugar is not just a home remedy but even doctors suggest it. You can add some sugar on a pacifier. Just dip the pacifier in water and then into a sugar bowl. Allow the baby to suck on it for a few minutes and the hiccups will go away. The science behind it is that when the baby makes an effort to swallow granular sugar, the diaphragm becomes normal. The nerves focus on the sweet taste and diverts attention from the contractions in the diaphragm. You can also do this by placing little sugar under the baby’s tongue and helping them to swallow it before it actually dissolves.
2. Massage baby’s back
Massaging your baby’s back cure baby hiccups. Don’t slap the baby’s back, but just give it a gentle rub. Just gently rub your hands from the lower back of the baby to his shoulders, keeping the baby in an upright position. Keep rubbing till the hiccups fade away. Rubbing gently pushes the air out of the baby’s stomach and gives the baby relief from hiccups.
Another way of doing this is by keeping the baby on his tummy and let him move a bit. This also helps the baby to get rid of air bubbles that cause hiccups. Then you can massage the baby’s back with a light hand till the hiccups go away.
3. Give Some Gripe Water
2.5 ml of gripe water is sufficient for babies to get relief from hiccups quickly. Dissolve some gripe water in a bit of water. Make sure you also keep giving your small sips of water.
Some of the ingredients in gripe water like fennel, dill, ginger and alcohol can also cause allergic reaction in your baby.
4. Keep the baby upright during feeding
This is the most common reason of hiccups in newborn babies. They swallow a lot of air while feeing and their stomach get distended. In this case, you can make them sit in a more upright position, preferably at 30 to 45 degree angle when you feed them. This position prevents air from settling in a baby’s stomach, which causes hiccups in the first place.
5. Bottle feed at 45 degrees
In case you are bottle feeding your baby. Keep the bottle at a 45 degree angle as it prevents air from entering the bottle and minimizing the chances of your baby swallowing air resulting in hiccups.
The good news is that there are bottles available that are made in such a way that they minimize the amount of air entering the bottle.
6. Check The Latch And Feeding Bottle
Hiccups in newborn babies can be treated by checking whether the baby is latched properly. If the lips of your newborn angel cover the areola, then that’s correct. If they don’t cover the areola, then they are left prone to swallowing hiccups causing air.
Similarly, when you bottle feed your baby, check if the nipple is fine because some bottles come with bigger holes than needed. This opens up chances of your baby swallowing too much air resulting in hiccups.
Just to check that out, turn the bottle upside down and notice if the milk or water drips only a little and stop. In case it is flowing freely, then the nipple is bigger than required and if it is not dripping even a bit, then it is smaller than needed.
7. Hold the baby upright after feeding
Hiccups after feeding the baby is a common phenomena. Reflux is a condition in which the baby’s stomach content rises up into the esophagus and causes hiccups. It is advisable to hold your baby upright for at least half an hour after eating or feeding as the upright position reduces the chances of a reflux.
8. Slow Down the Speed Of Feeding
Drinking milk too fast is also one of the most common causes of infant hiccups. When the newborn babies drink milk really fast, it causes distension in the stomach that ends up in hiccups making the baby feel uneasy.
The easiest way to get rid of newborn hiccups is to limit the amount of milk and reduce the speed of feeding a meal to the baby. One way of doing this is to make a feeding schedule in which you feed multiple time and prevent overeating resulting in hiccups.
9. Help your baby burp
Whenever you feed your baby, hold them upright in your arm for some time which enables them to burp. It sounds like a one audible hiccup. Burping rids the baby’s system from excess gas.
10. Anise Seeds
A baby with hiccups can be made at ease by using another effective remedy that is anise seeds. Don’t worry! They are safe for your baby. All you have to do is take a cup of hot water and add anise seeds to it. Allow the solution to cool down and then give it to your baby.
11. Have patience and wait
Hiccups may be irritating and being parents, you might feel like your angel is feeling uneasy. However, it is nothing serious to actually be too worried. In case, the baby gets hiccups a lot and the hiccups lasts for several hours or maybe more than 24 hours, then you should go visit a pediatrician. Most of the time a little patience is all that is required.
So these were some of the useful ways on how to get rid of newborn hiccups in a simple and easy manner. However, make sure you don’t go for home remedies that can be harmful to your baby like slapping the baby’s back, pressing the baby’s eyeball, holding your baby’s breath, distracting by making loud noise or shocking your baby. These things can have adverse effects on your baby. If the hiccups last too long, your baby may be going through gastroesophageal reflux and you should go visit a pediatrician.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the baby in pain when he gets hiccups?
It is okay for the baby to get hiccups and no hiccups don’t hurt the baby at all. Babies can have hiccups several times a day. They are actually interesting as each hiccup makes the whole body of the baby jerk. Normally, they just last for a minute or two. It is just that the baby’s body is overly sensitive to things like burping and swallowing which is why they go through hiccups a lot. Hiccups just go away by themselves. You don’t really have to do much about it. As your baby grows up, their hiccups gradually reduce.
My baby has the hiccups. Is that normal?
They are not only normal but actually very common in newborns. Babies even get hiccups when they are in the mother’s womb particularly in the second trimester. When parents see the entire body of the baby jerking with hiccups, they get more worried than they should be. Newborn hiccups worry parents more than it does the baby. Hiccups occur when the muscle between the baby’s stomach and lungs tighten up all of a sudden. It usually occurs after they are fed. There is no particular treatment for it. They go away when you wait for some time.
Do I have to make my baby burp after every feed?
Although your baby might not burp after every feed, but it is highly recommended that you do make him burp. It will let him get rid of hiccups. You can do that by making his sit in particular positions:
You may not always get a burp after a feed, but we suggest that you try. Hold them upright in your arm for some time and gently pat his back. This enables them to burp. It is advisable to hold your baby upright for at least half an hour after eating or feeding as the upright position reduces the chances of a reflux. Secondly, make them sit on your laps.
Is it okay if the baby doesn’t burp?
If your baby doesn’t burp, don’t get all worried. They might burp later on and sometimes with milk as well. They might spit a little and that’s normal. It only means you have to wash more clothes. If you notice the spit-up is too forceful and it occurred more than once, then you need to talk to a doctor about it. Most of the parents help their baby burp after every feed. In case your baby seems to have gas, you can make him burp few times in the middle of the feed as well. This also helps to keep the hiccups away.
My newborn’s hiccups don’t go away by themselves like they should. What does it mean?
Hiccups can last from a few seconds to an hour. They don’t harm your baby. If they occur for long hours too frequently, then it could be a sign of acid reflux disease or GERD. That’s because the esophageal sphincter of babies are not completely developed. This usually happens if the baby is 6 to a year old.