How to stop hiccups in babies? Here’s how

Hiccups can be uncomfortable for babies since they might interfere with their activities and make them cranky and irritable. Hiccups are typically self-limiting and disappear on their own in a short period. However, as an adult, you can wait for the hiccups to pass, but not with kids. So, if you wish to reduce the discomfort of your kid, here are a few methods to stop hiccups in babies.

Health Shots spoke to Dr Vrushali Bichkar, Consultant Paediatrician and Neonatologist, Motherhood Hospital, Lulla Nagar, Pune, to find the causes of baby hiccups and ways to stop them.

hiccups in babies
Newborn hiccups are normal. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Dr Bichkar says, “Hiccups are seen due to the sudden contractions of the diaphragm triggered by irritation or stimulation of that muscle.” Although nobody knows for sure why we hiccup, these spasms or contractions can be triggered by many things.

Here causes of baby hiccups:

1. Breastfeeding

Did you know that feeding (breast, formula, or other foods) or a drop in temperature can cause the baby to get cold and this can lead to hiccups. Yes, we understand that it can be worrisome for you as parents. But, do not panic, and if needed check with your doctor.

2. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Most frequently, infants with gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) experience frequent hiccups. Acid from the baby’s stomach backs up into the esophagus due to reflux, and this can result in hiccups. The symptoms of reflux in newborns, however, also include coughing, spitting up, and itching.

3. Overeating

Baby hiccups can also be linked to overeating or eating too quickly. Therefore, be careful not to overfeed your child and, if they are old enough to eat on their own, make sure they don’t.

hiccups in babies
Make sure your baby do not overeat. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

You should see a doctor if your kid is screaming more frequently, has excessive back arches, or spits up more often than usual when experiencing hiccups. Additionally, this condition is easily treated, so don’t panic.

Here are 5 ways to prevent or stop hiccups in babies:

1. Take a break to burp the baby

You may prevent hiccups by feeding the baby slowly and taking breaks for burping. Dr Bichkar also says, “Burping your baby as you switch from one breast to the other can help prevent hiccups.”

2. Avoid overfeeding

You will have to avoid overfeeding the baby and take frequent breaks during feedings to burp the baby so the stomach doesn’t fill up immediately. Also, feed your baby before they become hungry and give them frequent small meals.

3. Get a good latch

You need to make feeding as calm, quiet, and comfortable as possible for the baby with the minimum of distractions for the baby.

hiccups in babies
Breastfeed them calmly. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Make sure the nipple of the bottle is full of milk when you feed

For bottle-fed babies, try to reposition the bottle during feeding in order to limit the amount of air your little one swallows.

5. Keep your baby awake after a meal

Try to hold the baby up for a few minutes after feedings to prevent baby hiccups.

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