Why Do Babies Hiccup?

Posted by Kerry Nevins on

Hiccups are very common in babies and if your baby seems to be hiccuping a lot, you might be curious to know why this is and what you can do to help. We’re going to talk about how hiccups can be eased and possibly prevented so read on now to find out more.

What Causes Newborn Babies to Hiccup?

Baby hiccups are caused by a contraction of the diaphragm and the way in which the vocal cords close quickly when that contraction takes place. This is what creates the sound that we associate with hiccups. It’s the same for adults as it is for babies, but babies don’t get as disturbed by hiccups as you might think. In fact, babies are capable of sleeping through them without waking.

Stop Feeding and Burp the Baby

If you notice that your baby is hiccupping whilst feeding, you should first of all pause feeding them to help avoid aggravating the problem. You can then try burping your baby which often helps to relieve the hiccups. Burping should be done in an upright position.

Use a Pacifier

If the hiccups didn’t start as a result of feeding, you could try offering your baby a pacifier. This will often calm your baby and the sucking motion on the pacifier can begin to remedy the symptoms too. It’s a simple solution but one that works for many babies.

Try Giving the Baby Gripe Water

Gripe water is an option that you can always try if other methods aren’t working, but it’s also important to know that it’s not a solution that works for every child. Gripe water is not a medicine and isn’t backed up by research, but it is perfectly safe as long as you buy a reputable brand.

Keep the Baby Sitting Upright for a While After Feeding

If you want to take steps to prevent these hiccupping problems from developing in the first place, you should change the way in which you feed your baby. By sitting your baby upright while feeding, you'll make hiccups far less likely to develop in the first place.

Let Them Stop on Their Own

If nothing else is working, the simple solution is to let the hiccups stop on their own. This is something that will happen over time, so you don’t need to worry if the hiccups don’t seem to be going away despite your best efforts. The issue will resolve itself before long.

When your baby has the hiccups, you might feel uneasy and like you simply want the problem to go away as quickly as possible, and that’s certainly understandable. If you make the most of the tips and advice discussed above, you should be able to resolve or prevent the problem, and maybe worry about it a little less.

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