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How to get rid of baby hiccups

It’s very normal for your little one to experience hiccups from time to time. Just like for us adults, they’re harmless and normally just go away on their own. For us, we know what they are and that they cannot harm us in any way. However, for your baby, they will be left wondering what is making their body do these things and may also leave them slightly uncomfortable. 

Learning how to get rid of baby hiccups isn’t an essential thing when you have a baby. But, you may find that once they start experiencing them, you’d rather they go away sooner rather than later! 

We’ve got some helpful tips and steps on how you can get rid of your baby’s hiccups and how to prevent them. If it’s just every once in a while, you shouldn’t worry and should just follow these steps. However, if you notice your baby is getting them near enough every day, you may want to look into ways of preventing them from happening so often.

What are hiccups and why do we get them?

Hiccups are when your diaphragm contracts on its own. This is located between your chest and abdomen. When its contracts, it causes your vocal cords to close for a very short amount of time. This is what causes the funny noise that comes out.  There are several reasons why adults can get hiccups. These include:

  • After eating and drinking. When you experience bloating after eating or drinking this can irritate the diaphragm – causing you to hiccup. Digestion related causes also include drinking too quickly, swallowing air when eating and consuming alcohol.
  • Emotional factors. When there is a disturbance in the nerve pathways, this can be another trigger to cause hiccups. For example, emotional shocks, excitement or a change in temperature.
  • Other causes. These include overstretching the neck and taking certain medications.
baby hiccups

Why do babies get hiccups?

Hiccups are common and very normal in babies. They can even get them whilst still in the womb! They are caused by the same way that us adults get them. There are some reports that suggest when babies get hiccups in the womb, it’s actually teaching them how to breath. 

There has not been extensive research into this but is suggested that the diaphragm contractions send electrical patterns to the brain which tells them to breath. It isn’t known why babies get them in the womb, but it could be put down to emotional triggers and body movements/positions.

Hiccups in babies tend to go away on their own and are not something you should spend time worrying about. However, if you can prevent them, it might be more comfortable for your little one.

How to get rid of baby hiccups

If you find that your baby is becoming uncomfortable from having hiccups, there are a few things you can try to get rid of them. In most cases, your baby will be fine, and they will soon go away on their own. However, there are times when they can last a little longer and can start to cause discomfort.

  1. Take a break. If you find that your baby starts hiccupping whilst you’re feeding them. The best thing to do to stop them sooner is to take a break and burp them. Releasing any gas built up in their stomachs will prevent putting pressure on their diaphragm. You may find that doing this stops them right away, but it may take a little while for them to stop completely.
  • Use a dummy. If your baby gets the hiccups out of feeding time, give them a dummy. As they suck on the dummy, this will relax the diaphragm and can help to stop them.
  • Gripe water. This is something you should try only if you find that your baby is getting hiccups very often. Before giving your baby gripe water, you should also contact your doctor to make sure it’s safe for your baby and that there’s no risk of them getting sick. Gripe water is a combination of herbs and water which is known to help with colic. As well as this, it has also been shown to help with hiccups too. 

Trying these three things can help get rid of them if your baby is getting them very often. However, if your baby is only getting them very rarely, it’s best to just wait it out until they go away on their own. There isn't a cure for hiccups, no matter what you do, your baby will always get them - just like we do as adults. They are not something you should worry about and are completely natural.

baby hiccups

Why do babies get hiccups in the womb?

It can come as quite a shock when your unborn baby gets the hiccups! It’s not something you expect them to do whilst in the womb but is perfectly normal and actually shows good signs of development. This usually happens in the third trimester.

Children and adults commonly get hiccups whilst or after they are eating. However, when a baby hiccups in the womb, this is a sign that there are lots of developmental changes happening to your little one. Hiccups are a great sign that your baby is developing fully and that they are on track to make their entrance in a few months.

Hiccups in the womb mean that your baby’s respiratory system is developing how it should be. Hiccups shows that your baby is able to inhale and exhale amniotic fluid and that their diaphragm is functioning normally. 

It also shows that your little one’s nervous system is working. Hiccups indicate the functioning of the nerve that controls the diaphragm. This means your baby is becoming developed enough to survive outside of the womb.

Overall, you shouldn’t worry if you feel your baby hiccupping in the womb. It’s a completely normal process and assures you that your baby is growing into a healthy and strong individual.

Can I feed my baby during hiccups?

When you’ve got a new baby, you don’t want to do anything that could potentially harm them or make them feel sick. Many parents aren’t sure whether it’s safe to feed their baby during hiccups as it’s a worry that they might choke. 

However, feeding your little one is actually something that can sometimes help your baby’s hiccups stop. There is no health or safety risk to your baby if you choose to feed them whilst they have hiccups. 

Your baby can actually go on with their normal life whilst they have hiccups. They can eat and even sleep whilst they have them. If you still feel unsure about feeding your baby whilst they have them, it’s completely fine to wait till they’ve gone to continue. It’s better to do what you feel is right. This way, you will feel much more comfortable feeding your little one.

There are some things you can do to help your baby’s hiccups go away before feeding. We mentioned these earlier in a previous section.

baby hiccups

Are hiccups bad for babies?

As an adult, we know that hiccups can sometimes cause a little bit of discomfort, but do not harm us. On the other hand, babies don’t really feel hiccups at all. Therefore, they don’t cause any distress. 

There is nothing concerning about if your baby hiccups regularly. However, if you find they take long periods of time to go away, it may be worth visiting a doctor. There may be something that is causing your baby’s diaphragm to go into spasms for long periods of time.

How to prevent baby hiccups

If you find that your little one is getting hiccups more than usual, there are a few things you can do to help prevent them from happening. These may not work for every baby, but we hope they will work for yours.

  • Think about how your baby is feeling. It’s important to make sure your baby is not overly distressed, excited or starving when you go to feed them. Emotional triggers have a massive impact on if a baby will get hiccups or not. If you feed them when they are in a calm state, they are more likely to get hiccups during feeds.
  • Reflux. Your baby’s reflux can also play a big part in them getting hiccups regularly. If your baby is still full by the time you go to feed them again, they will most likely get hiccups during the feed. Instead, feed them smaller amounts but more regularly. This will make sure that your baby’s stomach isn’t too full by the time you go to feed them again and therefore, will prevent hiccups from occurring.

If you are really concerned about your baby’s hiccups or the way they are making them feel, you should seek medical advice. Your doctor or nurse will be able to assure you and recommend other things that can help your baby. It’s important to remember that hiccups do not have a big impact on your baby and you should only become concerned when they are happening too frequently.

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