5 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Baby Hiccups
Hiccup is something that is very normal for both babies and adults. Everyone including babies experiences hiccups. As a parent, you may notice that your baby may sometimes experience hiccups that may last for a period of one minute or even an hour.
Hiccups are behaviour and reflexes that are happening to babies. As a parent or caregiver, you need to know this. In fact, hiccups begin at around 6 weeks after conception and when it happens to young babies; it should not be something that worries parents or caregivers too much unless when it occurs for a longer period of time.
What Actually Causes Hiccups in Babies?
Now that you have known that hiccups are normal not only in adults but babies too, it is very important that you know what causes these hiccups. According to the leading paediatricians, hiccups in young babies are caused by feeding the baby too fast and a drop in temperature that will eventually make the baby get cold.
When the baby feeds too fast and fills his/her stomach, some of the air together with food will irritate or stimulate the diaphragm which will contract in an attempt to expel the excess air in the baby’s stomach. The vocal cords also close quickly when the diaphragm contracts. This produces the hiccup sound.
Feeding your baby very fast is not good because the baby will swallow some air that will settle in the diaphragm and make it spasm and cause a hiccup. Parents should avoid feeding their babies when they are in a hurry, especially when they are in a rush to leave for whatever place they want to go because feeding the baby should be done slowly, to prevent the new-born from swallowing air during feeding time.
Sometimes, when the baby’s food is cold, and he/she feeds on it, the baby’s diaphragm will be irritated and then spasm causing a hiccup. Most parents ask themselves what causes hiccups in babies. At least you have some idea of how babies experience their hiccup. Another source of baby hiccup is excitement. Your baby could be experiencing a hiccup because he/she is excited. Hiccup is something not serious, and there shouldn’t be an alarm for it. Everyone, including adults, experience this reflex behaviour.
How can I Get Rid of Baby Hiccups?
Now that you have known what causes a baby hiccup, you are probably wondering whether there are ways of preventing this baby experience. Yes, there are ways you could use to prevent baby hiccup. Since babies are not like adults, therefore, they cannot respond to a question they might be asked by their parents or even doctor (paediatrician). It is, therefore, your responsibility as a parent to learn some of the ways you could use to comfort your baby whenever she is hiccupping.
Just to go over them quickly, the following are some of the ways you could use to prevent baby hiccups.
Taking a Break and Burping the Child
When you are feeding your new-born, don’t let him or her guzzle all the milk at once without providing him/her with some time to break. Make sure your baby takes a few seconds or even a one minute break while feeding on the milk. This will ensure that your baby has enough time to catch his/her breath while feeding and therefore she won’t swallow some air in the process. Another remedy for preventing hiccup is burping your baby.
Burping the baby will help reduce the excess gas in the stomach that usually cause hiccups. Feeding the baby and providing him/her with some few seconds break and burping is very important since it will reduce hiccup in babies.
Sucking on a Pacifier
Quick feeding of the baby on milk from either the mother’s breast or the milk bottle is one of the causes of baby hiccups. Quick feeding will make the baby swallow some air which will stimulate the baby’s diaphragm leading to a hiccup. Hiccups caused this way can be stopped or prevented when the parent or caregiver gives the baby a pacifier to suck on. The sucking action of the baby’s tongue on the pacifier will relax the baby’s diaphragm and then stop or prevent the hiccup.
Upright Sitting Position
It is the diaphragm that causes hiccups in individuals including babies when it contracts in an attempt to get rid of the excess gas or air that is inside it and the stomach. As a parent, you don’t want your beautiful baby to experience these unnecessary hiccups.
Sitting up your baby in a more upright position of about 30 to 45 degrees will prevent air from settling in the stomach, the air that had already gotten its way in the stomach and the diaphragm during feeding will also be removed. This sitting position will ensure that there is no enough gas in the diaphragm to cause your baby hiccups.
Make Sure That Your Baby’s Mouth is Latched Tightly and Correctly on Your Nipple
It is the excess air in the diaphragm that causes hiccups in babies. To prevent air from finding their way into the baby’s stomach, make sure that his/her mouth is tightly latched on your nipple. As the baby’s mother, you will know that your new-born is sucking some air together with the milk he/she is drinking when you hear some gurgling and gulping sound during the feeding time.
Bottle-feed Your Baby in a Way That Will Reduce Air Intake During Feeding
As one of the ways of ensuring that your baby is not sucking air into his/her stomach, hold the baby’s feeding bottle in a 45 degrees angle so that the air can move to its upper end thereby preventing the baby from sucking it. Holding the baby’s bottle in this position will drastically reduce the air that your baby is swallowing during his or her feeding time.
When Should I Be Worried About Hiccups?
Hiccups are very normal. Do you know that babies experience hiccups even when they are still in the womb? Even though hiccups are normal to babies, there are cases when they should not be ignored especially when they make the baby uncomfortable.
When the baby is experiencing hiccups that are interrupting his/her sleep, the parent or caregiver must do something about the baby’s situation. No one wants his/ her sleep interrupted, including babies. So, make sure that the baby’s sleep is not interrupted by the hiccup by applying the various methods on how to get rid of baby hiccups that we have discussed above.
If your baby starts vomiting with their hiccups, you should not take it as normal. This is because it might be a sign of an underlying medical issue that should be addressed immediately. You will thus need to seek your doctor.
According to paediatricians, it is normal for babies below 12 months old to have hiccups. However, if your baby is past his or her first birthday and still experiences some hiccups, then you should let yourself be worried.
On the whole, hiccups are normal to babies who are below 1 year old. Your baby is, therefore, likely to hiccup especially after feeding, and you don’t need to worry yourself when that happens. You can try out the methods above and try to get rid of the baby hiccups.
However, if your baby experiences hiccups persistently, which may make her cranky or even sometimes lead her to vomit her food, you should tell your doctor about it. This is because there might be some underlying medical issues that need to be treated right away!