Hiccups in a baby can be adorable to listen to and watch. But it also can be annoying to the baby, and those around him or her. I’ve put together some tips that may help your baby get rid of his or her hiccups.
What Causes Hiccups
One question that you may have is what causes hiccups, and why do we get hiccups. Although you probably have experienced them and know how annoying they can be, a lot of people do not know what causes hiccups. Hiccups are caused by spasms of the diaphragm, the large muscle that runs across the bottom of the rib cage and moves up and down while we breathe. Many things can trigger these spasms. There doesn’t seem to be any useful purpose for hiccups, but there isn’t any harm with hiccups, except that they are annoying.
Don’t Overfeed Your Baby
People who overfeed their babies often end up with a baby that has hiccups. The best way to feed your baby is to not feed as much, and feed twice as often. Each baby is different, but try to have your baby get on a schedule where he eats more often, but not as much in each feeding.
Hold Your Baby Upright
Staying upright will keep your baby’s diaphragm in its natural position, which will then prevent any muscle fluttering. If your baby is hiccuping after his feeding, that is a good time to burp your baby.
Burp Your Baby
In the middle of feeding, you may want to stop feeding your baby and have them burp. This will help prevent hiccups from happening. If your baby already has the hiccups, burping your baby helps get out any air that he may have swallowed. It is recommended to burp your baby every time he drinks 2 to 3 ounces from a bottle. If you are breastfeeding, then burp him before he switches breasts.
Give Your Baby a Pacifier
A pacifier can help ease your baby’s diaphragm and can help your baby control his breathing. Some people put sugar on the pacifier, which has been known to help. Sugar can help ease the tension in the diaphragm. Make sure that your baby is old enough for sugar before you give him any. Even if you don’t give sugar to your baby, a pacifier should stop hiccups.
Distract Your Baby
After dealing with hiccups for awhile, you may be desperate to try anything to get them to stop. This is where distracting your baby comes in. Hiccups are caused by muscle spasms, which can be triggered by nerve impulses. A change in a nerve stimuli, such as seeing his favorite toy, will slowly make baby hiccups stop. So even though it may seem like a waste of time, distracting your baby is a great cure for hiccups.
Feed Your Baby Gripe Water
Gripe water is a combination of herbs and water that is known to help with colic and other intestinal discomforts. The herbs may include ginger, fennel, chamomile, and cinnamon. Although gripe water hasn’t been proven to stop hiccups, it will not hurt your baby to try it. Just make sure to ask with your baby’s doctor about it, and check the ingredients to make sure that your child won’t have any allergic reactions to it.
Massage Your Baby’s Back
Massaging your baby’s back will help loosen the tension in his diaphragm, which can relieve him of hiccups. Have your baby sit upright, and start massaging at the bottom of his back all the way up to his shoulders. You can also have your baby lie on his stomach, but make sure the surface is soft. Remember to always be gentle, and to not apply too much pressure.
Let the Hiccups Stop By Themselves
While this isn’t exactly a tip, it can be helpful to know since a lot of times parents overthink and worry when their child gets the hiccups. Unless your baby appears annoyed, you should be able to leave the hiccups alone and they will stop by themselves. Keep in mind that hiccups shouldn’t last too long, so if your baby is hiccuping for over 20 minutes or up to 48 hours, then it may be best to call your baby’s doctor.
I’ve gone over some ways that may help to stop hiccups in babies. To prevent hiccups, don’t overfeed your little one. If hiccups start, hold your baby upright and burp your baby. You may also want to try giving your baby a pacifier or distracting him or her. Gripe water may also help, as could massaging his or her back. One almost sure cure is to let the hiccups stop by themselves. However, if hiccups persist for over 20 minutes to 48 hours, it is best to call your baby’s doctor. Share your favorite hiccup hacks with us in the comments below!