Does your baby always have hiccups? Are you bothered when your little one keeps having them? Worry not mama, we are here to understand what hiccups are and what you can do to prevent or stop them.
What is a hiccup?
Hiccups are common in newborns and are uncontrollable. It happens when the diaphragm contracts and the vocal cords quickly close, causing the sound of a hiccup. Since your baby can often experience hiccups, there is nothing to worry about as it does not bother them. It can be a sign that your baby is healthy and developing well. Studies say that hiccups may start in the womb and may contribute to the baby's breathing and brain development according to a 2019 study. Hiccups usually last 5 to 10 minutes and will naturally go away.
Causes of Hiccups
Frequent hiccups in newborns are usually caused by overfeeding, swallowing a lot of air, or feeding too quickly. Hiccups can also be triggered by sudden changes in stomach temperature. An example of this is when you feed a baby something cold like milk, then minutes later, you'll give them a warm baby cereal. The combination of hot and cold in your baby's tummy may cause the said reflex.
How to stop baby hiccups?
If your baby looks uncomfortable having hiccups, here are some tips that can help:
Burping can help eliminate hiccups as it helps release excess gas that may be causing the hiccups. You can take a break during feeding, and place your baby in an upright position to help them burp. Try to burp them every after 2 to 3 oz. If your baby is breastfed, you can burp them after switching breasts. If your little one is experiencing hiccups during feeding, it is a hint to take a breather. You can relieve them from hiccups by gently patting their back.
Give a soother
Sucking can help relax the diaphragm therefore, it may help in stopping hiccups. You may give your baby a pacifier to help relieve them from the said hiccups.
If your baby always has hiccups during feeding, you may be feeding them quickly. Try to slow feed them. For bottle feeders, you can learn about paced bottle feeding. Paced bottle feeding allows the parents or the baby to control milk flow. It is basically about having breaks during feeding and not letting the baby finish the entire bottle in just minutes.
You can also choose the right nipple for your baby's bottle. It should not be too slow or not too fast. It also depends on your baby's age, so you may have to change it every few months. Also, make sure to check the nipple for some air. Reduce the air before feeding by making the nipple filled with milk, this will reduce the air being ingested and not trigger hiccups.
The suggested feeding position is upright so to avoid ingesting more air. The said position also helps in feeding your baby smoothly. You can put a pillow to help support your baby in the said position. Different nursing pillows are available on the market to help your baby feed while maintaining an upright position and comfort.
Seek medical attention if your baby has prolonged hiccups, looks uncomfortable, or cries. Crying is an indication that your little one is in pain. Naturally, hiccups may not cause an alarm but if it takes long hours, call your pediatrician as it may be related to another medical condition.
Another Way To Prevent Hiccups
"Works great! Used this maybe 3 times so far when I notice baby is very fussy after feeding him and so far it has worked great! That little bit of pressure on his belly helps relieve gas and settle hiccups." -𝘚𝘵𝘦𝘱𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘦, 𝘔𝘌𝘔𝘌𝘌𝘕𝘖 𝘊𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘳
The MEMEENO Baby Belly Band uses the belly-warming/binding technique that is known across the globe for centuries. This technique helps reduce gas, colic, and tummy aches and therefore, also helps in preventing hiccups due to excess gas. It also gives "a little hug and a lot of warmth" on the tummy that brings comfort and soothes your fussy baby.