Hiccups are common to both adults and children, but they are more frequent in newborns. In fact, babies still in the womb also get hiccups. Continuous or frequent baby hiccups may cause the parents to worry, but there is absolutely nothing to worry about a newborn baby’s hiccups.
Hiccupping occurs due to contractions or spasms of the diaphragm. In fact, they are an indication of the normal growth and development of the baby. Some of the triggers of baby hiccups could be over-feeding, swallowing too quickly, air swallowing, etc. If the baby is playful and happy, then there is no need to worry. Hiccups tend to stop on its own in a few minutes.
Although considered harmless, but if hiccups are too frequent or if the baby coughs, spits, or seems irritated, then you should consult a doctor. These symptoms could mean that the baby hiccups are caused due to gastroesophageal reflux, or GER.
Some of the home remedies that can help to reduce or stop hiccups are as follows:
• Breastfeeding may prove to be helpful at the time of hiccups as it helps to relax the diaphragm.
• In case the baby’s stomach is full, it can also trigger hiccups. So it is advisable to reduce the quantity and increase the frequency of the feed.
• Also burps in between meals helps in getting the trapped air or gas out of the baby’s body.
• Changing the position of the baby is also said to help in the case of hiccupping. In case the hiccups start while you are feeding the baby, hold the baby in an upright position and rub their back slowly. This may also ease the gas out.
• If you feed the baby from a bottle, hold the bottle in a 45-degree angle so that there is no air on the mouth of the bottle.
• Pacifiers are also said to help, as when the baby sucks it, hiccups get cured.
• Gripe water is considered to be an age-old remedy to cure baby hiccups. It is a combination of herbs such as ginger, fennel, cinnamon, etc. and water and is safe for consumption by the baby.
• Hiccups can also be a result of feeding certain types of food that trigger it. Removing dairy products from your diet may help to reduce your baby’s hiccups.
• Pay attention to what you feed to the infant. Feeding a hot and cold item simultaneously may also create sudden change in the baby’s stomach temperature and cause the hiccups.
You can also prevent baby hiccups by feeding the baby in small intervals preferably when they are calm and not when they are cranky or crying. Also holding the baby in an upright position for a minimum of 20-25 minutes post feeding, which will help in easy digestion of food. Avoid bouncing or playing with the baby immediately after feeding them. The most important thing here is to relax and wait. Normal baby hiccups will be gone in no time. But if it persists, then visit a doctor.
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