Newborn Hiccups: How to Stop It?

newborn hiccups

You just bought your baby home, fed them and put them to sleep as per routine. However, the next day they are constantly having newborn hiccups after a meal. How to go about that?

After all, adults can just sip in water to stop hiccups but should you let it be with a child.

One thing is for sure, it is not a harmful thing that should greatly concern you.

However, your baby’s discomfort will make you feel bad.

Well, this article is here to get rid of all your worries regarding newborn hiccups. Keep reading below to know how you can control them.

hiccups causes

What Causes Them?

Hiccups in newborn babies are not different from those in adults.

Irritation in the diaphragm causes it.

This muscle at the base of the lungs can begin to spasm or cramp up.

The diaphragm moves up and down as we inhale and exhale.

Due to this, the vocal cords shut, forcing the air out of the closed cords making a “hic” sound.

That said, there is no certain explanation on why hiccups occur.

It can be to remove excess air within your stomach.

Or it can happen when babies swallow too much food.

Feeding habits are occasionally responsible for the spasm in your diaphragm.

This happens due to overfeeding or when the child eats food too quickly.

They may also gulp air while they are eating which results in the stomach expanding hence, rubbing against the diaphragm.

As a result, that causes a spasm and eventually hiccups.

Therefore, swallowing way too much air is also a reason behind it.

What’s more, hiccups indicate acid reflux.

Due to GERD, the stomach acid regurgitates into the baby’s esophagus.

That can result in hiccups but other symptoms may also follow.

Your child may be constantly irritable and will cry.

They may cough and spit-up.

Plus, they can arch their back while they are feeding or after it.

If you notice these signs, consult your doctor soon.

That said, hiccups are not out of the ordinary for newborn babies.

In fact, did you know that babies can also get hiccups while they are developing in the womb?

Surprising isn’t it!

Pregnant women can even feel the unborn child getting hiccups.

So they are not really a cause of concern.

But if your child displays symptoms of GERD and hiccups continue beyond their first year, consult your doctor soon.

stopping newborn hiccups

How to Stop Newborn Hiccups

So if hiccups are completely normal, do you need to stop them?

Unlike adults, babies don’t find them particularly uncomfortable.

Plus, they do not interfere with their breathing or their sleep.

A baby can sleep soundly while having a bout of hiccups.

If your child seems unbothered then they are completely fine having it.

However, as parents, you may not rest assured.

Therefore, rather than letting it stop on its own, you can try a few methods to get rid of it in case it causes your child distress.

The hiccups can last usually for 10 minutes or even longer than that.

However, there are different ways to stop them in breastfed and bottle-fed babies.

If you Breastfeed: 

When you are breastfeeding, remember to burp them when you are switching from one of the breasts to another.

Do not let them continue while you switch breasts without burping.

It is a good idea to let them take a break this way.

Your child may also swallow air while breastfeeding.

In that case, check how your baby is latching.

Your child’s lips should be around the areola so that they feed properly and do not swallow air.

Hiccups in Bottle-fed Baby 

If you use a feeding bottle rather than breastfeeding then usually stop halfway rather than making sure they complete the milk in one go.

Stop in between and let your child burp. Take a small break for 5 minutes and then resume feeding.

This will prevent overfeeding.

Moreover, your baby will relax thanks to the break and complete their feeding.

This way, there will be no hiccups.

Furthermore, position the bottle in a way so that the air is not near the nipple, rather it is at the bottom.

So, your child does not swallow the air in the nipple.

rubbing baby's back

Other Ways to Get Rid Of It

Whether you are breastfeeding your child or bottle feeding them, try these ways to stop hiccups in your newborn baby.

Give a Pacifier 

Feeding is not always responsible for causing hiccups.

Like adults, babies may start having it without eating or drinking anything.

When that happens, you can give your child a pacifier.

What it does is relax the diaphragm through the sucking motion.

Hence, it no longer spasms or cramps to cause hiccups.

Switching the Feeding Position

If the baby is lying flat on their back they can swallow more air.

Hence, put a pillow underneath so that their head is slightly elevated.

Feeding in an upright position will lessen the amount of air they may swallow.

Give them Gripe Water 

If there is a holy grail product for new moms and infants, it is gripe water.

This sweetened liquid which is essentially a mix of water and herbs can solve many problems.

The solution to colic and other problems with an infant’s stomach such as gas is gripe water.

It usually contains herbs such as chamomile, ginger and cinnamon and fennel.

So these are all safe herbs to use.

Hence, even if there is no evidence of gripe water helping with hiccups, it has low risks of harming your child.

Still, discuss it with your doctor before giving it to your child because it is not regulated by FDA.

Rubbing Your Child’s Back

Your child needs to relax and so does their diaphragm.

So whenever they get a bout of hiccups, rub their back.

You can also rock them back and forth so that the spasms stop.

Let Them Go on Their Own 

Hiccups in babies under a year old usually go on their own.

You do not have to do anything about it if it’s not bothersome.

holding baby's breath

What to Avoid While Stopping Newborn Hiccups?

If the hiccups are not bothering your child as much then you do not need to specifically look for solutions to stop them.

It stops on its own.

Plus when you are surfing the internet for answers you may find some unique ones in the lists.

Do not experiment with that on your child unless your doctor recommends it.

Some bizarre options you may come across are:

  • scaring a child
  • pull their tongue
  • make them jump so that the hiccups stop
  • sip water while being upside down
  • putting a wet cloth on forehead
  • holding breath

These strange methods may work for adults (they possibly don’t) but will not for children.

Rather, they can cause more harm than good.

What if this distresses your child?

Plus some of these look outright dangerous.

There is no way you should try to hold a baby’s breath.

That is simply wrong.

Rather, you can make them burp, give them a pacifier or gripe water.

The best way is to still wait.

See if your baby gets better in a while.

Plus, if they are already okay, then you do not have to necessarily intervene.

They will slowly get better on their own.

preventing newborn hiccups

How to Prevent Newborn Hiccups?

While it is best to let the hiccups stop on their own, you can always adopt ways to prevent them from happening in the first place.

  • Do not overfeed
  • Feed your child before they reach extreme hunger and are actually calm
  • Do not do any heavy activity like bouncing after feeding
  • Tip the bottle before feeding
  • After feeding keep the child in an upright position

Do not wait for your child to cry for food because they will likely be overfed then and will quickly swallow milk.

Hence they should be calm.

Plus, take breaks during feedings to get rid of newborn hiccups and gas that accumulates in excess through burps.

Burping also prevents the stomach from filling too quickly.

Also, if your child is bottle-fed you need to tip it in order to prevent them from swallowing air.

After you are done feeding them, do not immediately lay them down.

Rather, hold them in a straight upright position for a while.

Only a few minutes would do and then you can put your child down.

However, during this time, do not perform any rigorous activity with them.

Any high-energy play or bouncing, jumping up and down can cause hiccups.

laying down child

After keeping them in an upright position for about 20 minutes, lay them down.

As your baby grows older, the hiccups naturally become less frequent.

A 6-month-old baby has fewer hiccups than a newborn baby.

It usually isn’t a cause for concern unless it keeps happening beyond their first birthday.

That is why you can rest assured if your baby is having newborn hiccups frequently before that.

You do not always have to step in to stop them.

They can also go away on their own.



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