The first hiccups you hear from your child will simply melt your heart. Since we know that hiccups are something natural, it becomes almost as cute as the baby’s first laugh and smile. But, after a while, parents and care takers do discover that hiccups can last a long time, sometimes so long that you get worried.
In today’s post we’ll go through some questions most parents may have involving baby hiccups, like is it ok for the baby to drink milk when they have the hiccups? Why do babies hiccup so much in the first place? Is there a magic cure for baby hiccup? Stay tuned.
Why does baby hiccups so much in the first place?
When you are a new parent to a small baby, it is easy to compare your little one’s hiccups with your own. It’s understandable if you think it is strange that babies hiccup more than us. But the fact is that babies do hiccup a lot more than an adult does.
During the first years, it is common for the baby to hiccup at least once a day. Often the baby hiccups more than that, and sometimes not at all for a whole day or a few days. As the child gets older, the hiccup decreases and becomes more and more similar to the hiccup frequency of adults.
It is especially common for infants to hiccup during feeding, whether they are breastfeeding, getting formula or having just begun to taste ordinary food. Babies can also hiccup after being sad and screaming or crying for a long time. Thus, hiccups in children are something common that all newborns get sooner or later.
Can babies drink milk when they have the hiccups?
Yes! It is absolutely ok to feed your baby when they have the hiccups.
In some cases, this will calm them down and pace their breathing just enough that it may help get rid of the hiccup.
However, sometimes babies do get the hiccups right after they are done feeding. In these cases, the baby may not accept the bottle or the breast, since she is most likely satisfied.
Related: How to get rid of Baby Acne.
Why do babies hiccup after all?
Babies hiccup for the same reason as we adults do. It all happens in the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a muscle between the lungs that usually helps to control breathing. Sometimes the diaphragm suffers involuntary contractions, just like any other muscle does. These contractions are the reason for the hiccups.
The diaphragm will eventually “relax” after a while, and that’s when the hiccup goes over.
Baby hiccups usually come after the baby is fed. The reason for the diaphragm to contract may depend on different things. As mentioned earlier, feeding can be a reason for babies to hiccup.
When that beautiful baby stomach is full, it sits quite close to the diaphragm, which can cause it to react. Even if the baby “swallows” air can it cause this, since the stomach is filled with air.
Stress in the form of crying and screaming can also tease the diaphragm, which is why hiccups can often come after the baby has been sad.
The hiccup sound itself comes from the fact that during these contractions the body quickly inhales. While this is happening, the vocal cords are closed in the larynx. Then a small “hiccup” occurs.
There are also theories that babies can hiccup so they can learn to take control of their own breathing. At the beginning of the newborn’s life, it is the lungs together with the diaphragm that control the entire breathing, but sometime during the child’s upbringing learn how to breathe in and out with thought power
Can baby hiccups be dangerous?
A common concern from parents is dangerous for a newborn to hiccup? No absolutely not. It is something completely natural and something that everyone does. Even if your child would constantly hiccup a whole day, it does not mean that something is wrong.
However, you should always contact your health professional if you are worried about your child, but the hiccups themselves should not be a sign that something is wrong.
Of course, it can feel difficult for both you and your little one to have and the hiccups for so long. But I want you to know that your child does not suffer from hiccups. Sure it can be uncomfortable, but eventually it becomes something natural that the child gets used to – just like you and I can get used to having hiccups. However, there are some small tips and tricks you can test to prevent and interrupt the hiccup.
How to get rid of hiccups in a newborn?
So, to address what we all want to know about – how do you get rid of baby hiccups?
There are some small tricks to test, but since there is no research in this area there is no 100% effective method. You get to test yourself simply and hope that one of the tricks works to get rid of hiccups in the newborn.
Burp your baby properly after feeding
The Air that cannot come up after feeding can irritate the diaphragm a lot. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the baby as free of the excessive gas as possible.
For best results, it is recommended that you try to burp your baby approx. 10 minutes after feeding. Keeping your baby upright, swinging a little gently and patting your back will usually help to get the baby to break.
If you are breastfeeding – pump out some of the milk before your baby gets to eat.
If you produce a lot of milk for your little one, the “overpressure” in the breast can make your baby eat faster and more than it really needs.
When a baby eats too fast, there is also a risk that the baby will get extra air which causes the hiccup.
To relieve away some of the pressure, you can pump out some of the milk with a breast pump first. This can also make it feel more comfortable for you to feed your baby.
Try different baby bottle nipples sizes
The same way the baby may be eating way too much from a full breast, there is also a risk that your LO will drink too much if the baby bottle has a large hole. Fortunately, there are plenty different sizes to buy. Test one with smaller holes and see if the hiccup decreases.
Try anti colic baby bottles
Slow flow bottles may help to regulate your baby’s feeding flux and prevent the hiccups. On top of that, they are especially good for babies with sensitive stomach as they prevent reflux and baby colic. Check out these bottles from MAM Newborn Essentials, they have great reviews on Amazon.
Change the baby’s position during feeding
As we try to prevent gases and food in the stomach from irritating the diaphragm, it can help to change your baby’s position as feed her. Maybe you can try having a baby lying down instead of sitting. Or if a baby usually sits and still hiccups, it might help to lean the baby back.
Change your own position during breastfeeding
The way you sit during breastfeeding can also affect how fast the milk gets to the baby. Try to lean yourself more back during breastfeeding instead of sitting. It can make the milk flow a little slower. This will help your baby regulate how fast your baby gets her milk, which can prevent air from coming in with it.
Related: Food poisoning while breastfeeding.
Giver your baby a little bit of water
Sometimes a little bit of water can go a long way. One or two little spoons of water can actually stop the hiccup. Swallowing a little bit of water, milk of formula can help calm down the hiccups.
Give your baby a pacifier
Some children get rid of the hiccup if they get a pacifier. Nobody really knows why, but maybe it can be in the same way that we often get rid of the hiccup when we stop thinking about it. Another theory is that the baby’s sucking causes the diaphragm to calm down. In any case, it is worth to try.
I hope that at least some of the tips in this post can help you out. Maybe you now also have a better understanding of why your little one gets the hiccup.
Since you are here, check this post on how to get rid of baby diaper rash fast.
Do you have more tips on how to prevent hiccups in children? Feel free to leave them in the comments.