Aren’t newborns the most adorable beings on earth? Of course, I am not talking about the human borns only, it’s the same for all animals- dogs, cats, elephants, etc. The innocent cooing babies always manage to make our hearts melt for a second.
The most adorable things are often the most vulnerable. Babies cannot talk and that is why as a parent or adult each of their movements is something we monitor carefully. And, that includes hiccups.
Babies have a small body so when they get hiccups it is normal to get worried. Any parent or adult would like to take away the inconvenience a baby faces because the baby cannot do it himself. But, you are just a faking adult who knows nothing like Jon Snow.
It’s alright we have your back here. As much as worrying hiccups might be, it is quite harmless actually. Moreover, the baby barely feels it. You may even find the baby sleeping peacefully through hiccups that are ripping you apart mentally with worries.
The best you can do to calm yourself is by getting rid of the hiccup. So, that is what we are going to tell you- how to get rid of baby hiccups. Let’s begin.
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What We Have Covered
How To Stop Baby Hiccups: Why do babies get hiccups?
Science may have made a lot of progress but as of yet, doctors are not quite sure about why do babies get hiccups. But, first, let us know what a hiccup is.
Babies, like all other humans, have a diaphragm, a muscle that is located across the bottom of the rib cage. This muscle expands and contracts as a human breathes. And, anything that moves like this can go through spasms.
So, when this diaphragm spasms the vocal cords shut too quickly and the air goes out through the shut vocal chord causing the hiccup sound. Now, why do babies get hiccups? Apparently, it may be one of the following reasons:
- To get rid of air: Hiccup is often considered a reflex action to too much air in the body. Apparently, some believe that if a baby eats or drinks too quickly and excess air goes in the system, hiccups show up to deal with the excess air.
- As a response to overeating: Some believe that hiccups can occur as a response to overeating as well.
- Gastroesophageal reflux: Sometimes the food mixed with the acid tends to come back up. This is when hiccups come to the rescue. Apparently, the valve that is supposed to come to the rescue, in this case, is not well-developed in babies under one year. So, the hiccups take action.
If none of these causes satisfy your intellect then you can consider this one- Some doctors think that hiccups occur for some cause related to gills. Yes, gills are the organs in water animals like fishes that help them live underwater.
Apparently, it may occur because of the absence of gills in humans.
How to Get Rid of Baby Hiccups: Even Before it happens
Prevention is always better than cure, isn’t it? Now, you know what may cause hiccups. Even though we are not sure if these are the only reasons hiccups occur, attending to them can decrease the chance. So, you can do the following to prevent hiccups in your baby:
- Keep your baby upright when feeding: The milk or whatever you are feeding must go down when fed. That’s the natural course of action and in order to support it, it’s best to keep your baby upright when you are feeding. Or else, the food may not get digested properly and lead to hiccups.
By keeping your baby upright when feeding, you let the milk go down easily without obstructions. So, irregularities like spasms have lesser chances of occurring.
- Feed timely: It is actually quite assuring to see visual representations of inner feelings. In fact, feeling sure that your baby is hungry by touching beside his lips to see if he reacts is confirmation of your suspicion. Apart from that, waiting till babies act irritated and cry are also good signs.
However, it is not healthy. Apparently, letting your baby wait too long for food can be a cause of his frequent hiccups. Hiccups get the chance to show up when your baby’s stomach gets filled with gas an air because of long hours between feeds.
Therefore, it is best if you feed your child frequently in small portions. Then, hiccups will not get air or gas to deal with and leave unwelcomed.
- Burp between feeds: You do not want to create a traffic jam in your baby’s esophagus, right? So, it is best to wait and let your baby burp the food that has just gone in before introducing more to the system. This is another way to reduce air inflow in the body.
So, you see, one of the key ways to prevent hiccups is feeding properly. You should not feed too fast or too slow or wait too long or wait too short.
- Keep your baby upright after feeding: This is again, to aid the process of food moving through the digestive system. It is, in fact, more a process of preventing damage rather than helping the process. You do not want the food to get back up and your baby to vomit.
So, let the food gently move through the small body and get digested safely. You need to keep your baby upright for around 20 minutes after each feed.
- Keep bottle-feeds air-free: You baby does not understand anything and he clearly does not have any skills. Therefore, many times, the baby may suck on the nipple wrong. If you are feeding the baby with a bottle then make sure that his mouth is closed well around the nipple so that air does not get in.
Apart from that, after filling the bottle and before giving it to your baby, tilt it to let the air out and the milk ready. Only then give the bottle to the baby so he has an air-free start.
How To Stop Baby Hiccups: When it Happens
You want to end your baby’s suffering. Everyone does. However, you cannot possibly shrink in size and get inside your tiny baby’s body to stop the hiccups.
Luckily, other things can. Furthermore, you can do other things that can stop hiccups. So, here is what you can do:
1. Burp the baby: If you did not do it before to prevent the hiccups, you still have your chance to do the right thing. Apparently, you can try shaking your up and down (Gently, not like a maniac) in your lap to make him burp. However, this is when the hiccup occurs after feeding the baby.
If your baby gets hiccups right after eating, it points to the fact that you are doing something wrong when feeding. So, burping the baby to make sure the food is where it should be is the first thing you can do. If the hiccup goes away with the process then voila!
2. Use the mighty pacifier: A pacifier is a lifesaver for a parent, isn’t it? It saves you from baby-dramas outside and now it can help you with hiccups too! Apparently, it is not just the baby that a pacifier keeps calm.
In fact, a pacifier is great at keeping diaphragms calm as well. If the hiccups have already hit and you are nowhere around feeding time or milk then it a pacifier is a good option. It will eventually calm the baby and the diaphragm down, ceasing the hiccups.
3. Feed Gripe Water: If the hiccup seems to be quite stubborn and keeps bothering your baby, you can try gripe water. Apparently, it is just herbs and water that makes gripe water. However, it is not the same types of herbs that make it always.
You can vary your ingredients based on what suits your babies needs best. For example, you can choose from ginger, cinnamon, chamomile, fennel, etc. Herbs are barely ever harmful so you can feel safe trying them even if it does not work on the hiccup.
However, it is best to be sure that your baby will have no other reaction to it. Apparently, gripe water keeps the intestines calm. If it can calm your baby’s intestine, it can calm the diaphragm down to get rid of hiccups.
4. Do nothing: This is basically what all adults do. If your adult body can take on hiccups long enough to let them leave at their own will, your baby’s body can learn too. If you notice that the hiccup is quite random at when it comes and goes then you can follow this procedure.
Furthermore, if your baby does not seem irritated by the hiccups then this is probably a good thing to do. But, also the hardest, isn’t it? Because it breaks your heart to see your little baby’s body move due to hiccups.
5. Some water may be: Another thing you can try doing if the hiccup is random in origin is fed your baby water. This is what most adults do as water deals with not only gas but also air in the body. The pressure water puts usually gets rid of the air.
So, if your baby drinks water then you can try making him or her drink some to get rid of hiccups.
6. Rub the back: Another way to get rid of random hiccups is to rub the baby’s back. This will help the circulation in that little body and drive the air out. Apparently, it will provide some comfort as well.
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How to Get Rid of Newborn Hiccups: What should you not do?
While there are many things you can do to get rid of hiccups, there are certain things that are best to avoid. These are:
1. Surprising the baby: This is quite a famous and effective technique for combatting hiccups in adults. Often, the cause of hiccups in adults is stress or other nervous reaction. Thus, surprising an adult can distract him or her form the issue causing the hiccup.
However, babies do not worry, do they? They barely think. So, stress or nervous stimuli are the last things that can cause hiccups in babies. So, it is best not to surprise them.
As we mentioned, babies are fragile creatures and you do not want them startled. This may instill some kind of fear in them that stays. So, never surprise the baby.
2. Feeding when upside down: You should not even do this if there is no hiccup. Never feed a baby when he or she is upside down. This is a move against nature and it will have its consequences.
3. Pull tongue: This is a very weird approach to dealing with hiccups. The tongue has no relation to the causes of hiccups so it is best to leave it alone. You do not want your baby to get more serious illnesses by getting exposed to the germs in your hands. (no matter how well you wash your hands there will be germs).
How to get rid of baby Hiccups: When to worry?
Baby hiccups are usually harmless occurrences. Even the baby will feel fine through it. However, it can, rarely, be a symptom to other more serious issues. It is best to consult with a doctor in the following cases:
- Visible Discomfort and pain: A baby will rarely cry due to hiccups. He or she may be surprised, yes, but won’t is in pain or in discomfort. So, if the baby seems visibly irritated or in pain, it is best to consult with a doctor.
- Breathing problems: Hiccups, as you know already, has a lot to do with air. So, if your baby faces trouble breathing when the hiccups occur, there might some underlying reason behind the hiccup. So, rush to the doctor.
- Turns blue: Turning blue is never a good sign and a normal hiccup will never cause it. You should rush to the doctor urgently for checkups.
Whatever a baby does is cute. Even a baby having a hiccup attack can be the cutest thing on earth. But, it does not feel good to see them suffer even if they are not.
Plus, the worry of new parents knows no bound. It is understandable that you are concerned if your baby having hiccups is normal. Yes, it completely is and you can both prevent and cure it in minutes.
However, how to get rid of baby hiccups is not the answer here, the answer is the code to a healthy life and routine. In fact, you do not have to go out of your way to get rid of hiccups, you just have to follow the right way to do things.