Hiccups are a natural human phenomenon, yet when our babies do it, we start palpitating. Again, it’s natural for new parents to get a bit worried, but if one knows all one needs to about hiccups, things will be smoother. So let’s begin with why babies get hiccups?
Just like in adults babies too experience diaphragm spasms which trigger hiccups and there are various reasons for these spasms. Each trigger can be solved easily. The solutions too are given below.
- Overfeeding your baby causes bloating or stomach distention which can result in stretching of the abdominal cavity which in turn causes a diaphragm spasm causing a hiccup. Solution: Feed your baby little amounts from time to time instead of all at one go.
- Bottle feeding can result in your baby swallowing copious amounts of air which creates the same effect as overfeeding. Solution: Ensure that your baby is at 35 to 45 degrees while you’re feeding him or her.
- Again while breastfeeding your baby can tend to swallow air, so keep your ears open for some slurping noises. They indicate that your baby is swallowing air. Solution: Make sure your baby’s entire mouth is covering the nipple, thereby sealing any gaps through which air could enter.
- Falling asleep while bottle feeding makes your baby vulnerable to tooth cavities & overfeeding which in turn causes hiccups. Solution: Establish a daily routine for feeding and napping and ensure your baby stays awake while feeding.
- Gastrointestinal reflux or GER is common in babies. This is basically the upward movement of food from the stomach to the oesophagus and finally comes out through the mouth in the form of vomit. This reflux can cause hiccups. Solution: Take a break during your feeding time and gently pat the back of your baby till you hear a burp, after which you wait for 10-15 seconds and continue to feed. Burping of the baby indicates that food has completely travelled through the oesophagus to the stomach successfully.
Well, if these solutions don’t help at times and your baby does start hiccuping, simply hold your baby in the upright position for 15 minutes, it will die down. Also, in case you witness frequent and more severe hiccups, be sure to visit the paediatrician.