Hiccups In Infants: How To Prevent And Stop Them

Babies and their naive actions like yawning and sneezing are adorable and sweet. Sometimes parents are more concerned about every little action as it is a new experience. Hiccups sound cute but are hiccups in infants normal? The short answer to that is yes. Hiccups in infants are normal and can occur from time to time. Unless there is not distress or irritation, hiccups in infants are harmless and not a cause of concern.

Hiccups in infants can even appear after the 6th month of pregnancy. If your baby is hiccuping a lot in the womb she will probably hiccup in the first few months after birth. Hiccups occur in the gastrointestinal tract that can last up to 10 minutes. If your baby is not getting annoyed you should probably wait as the hiccup will go away by itself. If hiccups are causing any distress in the baby you should call the pediatrician near you. Following are some tips and tricks to prevent and stop hiccups in infants.

What Causes Hiccups In Infants

Hiccups are spasms of the diaphragm that are not caused by any underlying diseases. An involuntary sudden contraction can lead to distress in the movement of the diaphragm. When your baby is hiccuping she is just sucking air slightly forcefully than in a  regular breath. This air hits the vocal cord of your baby causing a cute hiccup sound. 

Although there are no apparent causes of hiccups in infants, pediatricians believe that the following events can cause hiccups.

  • Overfeeding
  • Eating too quickly
  • Excitement or emotional stress
  • Swallowing air with chewing gum or sucking on candy
  • Sudden change in stomach temperature

How To Prevent Baby Hiccups?

As the hiccups in infants do not have clear causes, you can not completely prevent hiccups episodes. Following are the measures that pediatricians suggest to prevent hiccups in infants due to feeding distress.

First of all, do not wait for the baby to completely get hungry and start crying. Make sure your baby is completely calm at the time of feeding. Pediatricians also suggest holding your baby in the upright position for about 20 to 30 minutes after feeding. You can also ask the pediatrician near you for preventive measures if your baby hiccups a lot. 

How To Stop Hiccups In Infants

Generally, new parents are more concerned about hiccups in infants because it is a new experience. If you think the baby is getting irritated or distressed, the following measures are suggested to stop hiccups in infants. 

  • Taking breaks during feeding to burp the baby can help in getting rid of any excess air that might be causing hiccups.
  • Rubbing the back and rocking helps in relaxing the baby and stopping the hiccup episodes.
  • Sucking a pacifier helps in relaxing the movement of the diaphragm and may help in stopping hiccups in infants
  • Feeding gripe water has helped babies with colic. It helps to relax any intestinal tract distress. Always concern a pediatrician near you for the best combination of herbs and water for your baby.
  • Making your baby laugh can also help in letting go of any stress that might be causing hiccup episodes.

Pediatricians also suggest just waiting and let hiccups resolve on their own. It is because there is no evidence that hiccups cause any pain. Do not hold the breath of the baby as adults often do to stop hiccups. Do not hold the tongue of the baby out and do not press the head. It might be dangerous and not helpful.

When Hiccups In Infants Are Concerning?

As mentioned earlier, hiccups in infants are usually not concerning as it is not a medical condition. If the episodes are frequent and last longer then it might be irritating for the baby. Although there is no potential threat associated, hiccups sometimes are symptoms of any other medical condition like gastroesophageal reflux (GER). 

If the hiccup episodes are not normal and your baby is getting annoyed, you should visit a child’s specialist near you and discuss the case. You can also ask about the baby hiccups in general pediatrician checkups. Babies do adorable and innocent gestures but parents should be mindful of any risks associated. 

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