How to Prevent and Stop Newborn and Baby Hiccups
It’s not unusual for your baby to get hiccups from time to time. Most babies do! Hiccups are usually nothing to worry about, and there are a couple of simple things you can do to help prevent them.
When they happen, they’ll usually go away on their own after a few minutes, but read on to find out how you can help make them go away more quickly.
What Causes Hiccups in Newborns and Babies?
Babies get hiccups from time to time. You may have even noticed your baby hiccupping while he was still in your womb. This may have felt like quick, rhythmic jerks in your uterus. In any case, hiccups are usually nothing to worry about.
What causes hiccups is your baby’s diaphragm moving in a twitchy way or having spasms when irritated. The diaphragm is a dome-shaped muscle at the bottom of your baby’s chest that relaxes and contracts to help your baby breathe.
When the diaphragm gets irritated, it might involuntarily contract, quickly causing air to get sucked in a little more forcefully than a usual breath. When this force of air hits your baby’s vocal cords, they close suddenly. That’s what can make that little “hiccup” sound.
Your baby’s diaphragm might become irritated if he’s eating too fast or too much, or perhaps if he’s feeling excited or nervous about something.
How to Get Rid of Your Baby’s Hiccups
If your baby gets hiccups while you’re feeding him, stop and try to burp him or change his position. In general, try to help him relax.
Hiccups usually go away on their own, but if they haven’t gone away after about 5 or 10 minutes, try to start feeding him again. This will typically help relieve them.
When your little one has hiccups, it probably won’t bother him too much. Still, you can help keep him relaxed and comfortable as possible by having some easy playtime, gently rocking him, and making sure his diaper is clean.
How to Help Prevent Hiccups in Your Baby
If your baby tends to get hiccups at feeding times, make sure she's calm and not overly hungry when you feed her. This typically decreases the chances of her getting hiccups during feeds.
Your baby's healthcare provider can also provide guidance and reassurance about what to do to help prevent hiccups some of the time. If you have a well-baby checkup coming up soon, you could even ask about it then.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When your little one gets hiccups, remember that it’s usually nothing to worry about. Try to slow down her feeding or just make sure she’s feeling calm. Maybe you can stop for a little baby tummy time with her.
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