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5 Ways to Get Rid of Baby Hiccups

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Newborn hiccups are pretty common, so you’ve probably already experienced them with your baby. While they can be disconcerting, they’re generally not bothersome for your little one.

In fact, an interesting study from the University College London suggests that hiccups might have a developmental purpose.

It’s best to wait out a bout of hiccups since it’s normal for babies to experience them daily. Some professionals suggest giving your newborn a pacifier to suck on during hiccups, but a lot of babies will just sleep through them.

However, if you want to get rid of hiccups during feeding, here are my best tips.

1. Burp Baby Often

When babies feed too quickly they can take in too much air with their milk. The air expands their tummy, pressing on the diaphragm muscle, causing it to spasm and cause hiccups.

Although breastfed babies can be affected, this normally happens with bottle-fed babies, where the milk comes faster. It’s advisable to burp your baby when you switch breasts, or if you’re bottle-feeding, about every two to three ounces consumed. Doing so will reduce the likelihood of hiccups.

A good way to burp baby is to lean back slightly with baby against your body, facing away over your shoulder. Have a muslin cloth or similar draped across your shoulder, ready to catch any small amounts of milk that come up. Gently tap your baby’s back or rub it with circular motions to help release gas.

2. Try a Different Bottle

Experiment with different baby bottles for feeding. Anti colic bottles are specially designed to reduce gas and prevent colic.

They work by reducing the amount of air your baby takes in – which should also prevent bouts of hiccups.

Want to try baby bottles for free? Find out how to get free baby bottles here.

3. Check Baby’s Latch

If you’re breastfeeding, it’s always a good idea to check baby’s latch on the breast. Their lips should cover the whole areola; otherwise, they don’t have a good seal.

It’s another way that too much air gets taken in during feeding. Get professional medical advice if you’re struggling to get your baby to latch on properly. It can make all the difference to a good breastfeeding experience.

Pumping breastmilk? If you’re expressing breast milk for bottle feeding, I recommend short nipple bottles for breastfed babies.

4. Change Feeding Position

Try keeping baby upright a bit more than usual to see if that helps them take in less air. Newborn babies usually gulp in more air when they’re lying flatter.

Aim to keep baby upright for thirty minutes after feeding. Sitting calmly like this will give their tummy time to settle.

5. Change Your Routine

As well as using a more upright position, smaller feeding sessions more often could prevent excess air from getting into your baby’s tummy each time. Try switching things up to see whether it makes a difference with your baby.

newborn baby hiccups

What Causes Newborn Hiccups?

Hiccups are caused when the diaphragm muscle under the ribcage cramps or spasms. When the diaphragm contracts it causes a sudden closure of the vocal cords, resulting in the associated hiccup sound!

A few things that trigger hiccups include:

  • taking in too much air when feeding
  • being overfed
  • eating too quickly

Chronic newborn hiccups could be a sign of an underlying health condition (see below). The good news is that’s not generally the case.

RELATED: 12 Ways to Help Newborns with Gas

What to Avoid

Old wives’ tales abound about how adults can rid themselves of hiccups. However, don’t try any of these with your baby since they could be quite harmful. Stick to the suggestions given above or ask your doctor for more advice.

Gripe water is a natural solution and an old favorite that many new parents use to tackle all sorts of baby ailments. But the jury’s still out on whether it’s actually effective.

There’s little evidence to support claims, so decide for yourself. Be sure to check ingredients carefully on any products you choose as they do vary. Opt for something without sugar, flavors or alcohol.

When To Seek Help

As I’ve said, frequent baby hiccups are normal. According to the study mentioned at the beginning, preterm babies experience them most and can spend up to fifteen minutes of their day hiccuping!

However, if your newborn has persistent hiccups that last a lot longer or they’re accompanied by other symptoms like spitting up, arching or crying during their feeds, it could be a sign of colic or an underlying medical condition like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

If you’re worried about medical conditions, speak with your Pediatrician for advice about your baby’s hiccups.

What’s your favorite tip to get rid of newborn hiccups?

Comment below + SHARE this post with new Moms who need help!

newborn hiccups