Hiccup isn’t serious. But it is something to be understood so that we may ease baby’s discomfort. What causes this and how to relieve infant hiccups?
Moms are perplexed with baby hiccups, because they usually appear and disappear out of the blue. Baby may even start his first hiccups while still inside mom’s womb!
Hiccups is a condition that happens due to sudden contractions or spasms of the diaphragm, the muscle over the stomach and underneath the lungs. But usual as it may seem, when it happens regularly and on extended time, it can get worrying.
Hiccups is happens more commonly to babies. The hiccuping episodes tend to lessen as they grow, though adults can still hiccup from time to time.
2. Excess Air and Pressure
Hiccups usually occur after eating. It can be due to an irritated diaphragm and a full stomach due to both food and air intake. It sometimes happens when baby is in a rush to drink milk, gulping down lots of air while feeding.
3. Out of the Blue
Sometimes, we can hardly point out the reason behind hiccups. What’s important is to check if this episode lasts for no more than 10 minutes. If there is a possible medical condition behind baby’s hiccup, his hiccuping episodes are usually more frequent or longer than ten minutes.
How to Get Rid of Infant Hiccups?
Old parenting wisdom usually says that we must just let baby hiccup as it will just pass. But as it turns out, there are lots of remedies that we may adapt to ease and tone down baby’s hiccup, here are they:
When baby hiccups, it is a sign that baby need to burp. This is because most hiccups coincide with the end or near end of baby’s feeding session. Newborn and babies usually have a harder time passing gas and burping helps.
Try to rub baby gently by patting baby’s back while he has hiccups. Same with burping, put a little pressure on baby’s tummy by letting his tummy lean against your chest during burping. Take note to do this gently, avoid slapping baby at the back or using too much force.
If you are breastfeeding, burp baby during breast switches. Pause and burp him before you re-position him to the other breast.
You may also let baby play on his stomach while inside the crib. The added pressure at the tummy area will help to expel out excess air at the abdominal cavity, thereby reducing the cause for hiccups.
2. Slow Down During Bottle Feeding
If baby’s hiccuping happen at feeding, it is a cue for you that baby must take his milk slowly(paced bottle feeding).
This is important because hurried feeding makes baby swallow more air than is necessary. A distended tummy with lots of milk and air may irritate the diaphragm, causing hiccups.
It will be helpful also to check baby’s feeding bottle angle. It must be positioned so as to reduce air intake through an upright angle.
Alternately, allow baby to sit upright during meals. A 45 degrees position at feeding time may help to reduce the incidence of hiccups.
Remember; make sure that baby is fully comfortable before you start the feeding session. Latch baby well and see to it that there is a seal around your breast during feeding. You must not be able to hear load gulping or gurgling sounds if baby is latched on properly.
After feeding, avoid over stimulating baby. Refrain from playing with baby for at least 30 minutes after his meal. Do not make baby do playtime activities such as bouncing up as this can also irritate baby’s full stomach.
In case baby is vomiting during his hiccups, try asking your doctor for advice.
3. Try Giving Baby Something to Nimble or Eat
If baby is already eating soft foods off the plate, try feeding him to ease his hiccups. The swallowing action can also regulate an irritation diaphragm.
Eating any type of food will do, just take note to watch baby for any signs of choking. Take note also to observe proper meal portions and timing.
If baby frequently hiccups after eating, try to decrease the volume of his food. A baby’s stomach is still developing; hence they can only tolerate so much. You may halve his plate volume, but then feed him these small amounts every two or three hours.
4. Suck a Pacifier
If there is one way to immediately relax diaphragm in a minute, it is through sucking a pacifier. Give baby something to suck to help ease or stop the progression of baby hiccups.
Baby may sometimes hiccup after prolonged crying. This happens because he might have taken in lots of air. Comfort baby if he is crying so as to reduce incidence of baby hiccups. Sucking a pacifier may also help to soothe baby.
5. Massage Baby
A soothing back massage might be just what he need to stop is long hiccup. A good back rub will help baby to relax and may stop is crying episode.
While baby is seated, use upwards motion to move your hand from baby’s lower back all the way to the shoulder. You might need to massage baby for a few minutes before his hiccup can be eased.
6. Try Giving Baby Some Gripe Water
Gripe water from one country to another are usually made of varying set of herbs and contents, but they function just the same.
Gripe water is made for stomach discomfort and colic but it can also be effective for hiccups. Read this article to know how to pick a good gripe water for your baby.
Baby Hiccups: Patience and Knowledge Sharing!
Baby hiccups may look cute but it is something that we moms must be able to understand and decode. You must be observant and take note baby’s hiccups characteristics such as length of time, intensity and if baby looks in pain or uncomfortable.
Using your observations, you can at least deduce the reason and know how to relieve infant hiccups.
It’s OK to initially let baby hiccup on his own, for it usually stop without any intervention.
As with my other parenting advice, my best bet is using either one or a combination of remedy suggestions as outline above. Avoid old wives’ tale like cure such as startling baby or pulling his tongue, as they are not effective.
Remember, hiccups go away in its own. But most of all, one thing that you must have with you at all times is one word: patience.
Do you have other suggestions to cure baby hiccups? If yes, please share your thoughts in the comment section below!