What to Do If Your Baby Has Hiccups

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Does your baby get hiccups often? Do you find yourself wondering whether it’s normal and if there’s a remedy for hiccups? Hiccups are part of your baby’s normal development; some babies even start having hiccups while still in the womb.

There is no confirmed reason why babies have hiccups, but feeding has been known to be a contributing factor.

When your baby feeds too quickly, overfeeds or swallows too much air they may end up having hiccups. Hiccups can also occur when your baby is upset and cries for prolonged periods.

Hiccups happen when your baby’s diaphragm contracts and the vocal cords quickly shut. Air is forcefully passed through the closed vocal cords hence leading to your baby having hiccup sounds.

Knowing what to do if your baby has hiccups can come in handy, especially if your baby seems irritated and uncomfortable.

Here are a few tips on what to do to stop your baby’s hiccups.

Wait Them Out

Generally, hiccups don't pose a danger to your baby. They may occur from time to time and settle on their own.

You can wait them out by distracting your child. Wave their favorite toy or play peek-a-boo as a way to distract them.

Massage your Baby’s Back

A gentle back massage will help your baby relax. Place your baby in an upright position and gently rub his back in circular motions.

Ensure that you do not use excessive pressure. Rubbing your baby’s back will ease the tension on its diaphragm which may relieve the hiccups.

Give your Baby a Pacifier

The soothing effect of suckling a pacifier may relax your baby’s diaphragm. Your baby will be able to control their breathing, therefore, reliving the hiccups.

Try Gripe Water

If your baby has hiccups for a prolonged period, you can administer a few drops of gripe water.

Gripe water is a natural solution consisting of ginger, cinnamon, chamomile, and fennel. It helps in relieving discomfort and excess gas in the stomach.

Take Breaks in Between Feeds

Continuous feeding may cause your baby to have a buildup of gas in its stomach. During feeding time take a break and burp your baby to relieve the extra gas it may have swallowed.

Change your Baby’s Feeding Routine

Consider feeding your baby less portions more often. In other words, decrease the quantity and increase the feeding times.

Avoid Feeding Your Baby When It’s Upset

Feeding your baby when it’s upset or extremely hungry may cause it to feed quickly. This most likely leads to your baby swallowing excess air and getting full quickly.

You can always seek medical attention if you feel that your baby has been having hiccups often and for prolonged periods. This may be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

What not to do if your Baby has Hiccups

As an adult drinking water or holding your breath may resolve hiccups but that may be dangerous for your baby.

Some customs state that startling or scaring your baby may stop the hiccups. This is not advisable since you may end up injuring your baby’s eardrums.

Hiccups can be annoying and frustrating but when the right measures are used, they can be easily resolved.

Check out GBS TV Blog for more parenting tips.


Wanjiru Mageria