If baby’s hiccups disturb even long-time parents, what more for new parents? The louder they get, the more bothersome they become. Hiccups are actually common in infants lower than one year of age. Nonetheless, it will be reassuring to know what to do to stop baby hiccups.
The fact is babies have hiccups even while they are still in the womb. And some pregnant mothers worry over it, though this, too, is a normal occurrence. Anything that has to do with breathing interruption is worrisome, but experts assure parents that a hiccup has nothing to do with breathing problems.
What Are Hiccups Then?
They are abrupt diaphragm contractions due to irritation or stimulation of the diaphragm muscles. According to a professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center Pediatrics Department in Houston, hiccups often occur as a result of feeding—by formula milk, breast milk, or other food. Dr. Lynnette Mazur said: “It’s a nuisance to parents, but not so much to the baby. Unless the hiccups interfere with daily activities like sleeping or eating, there’s no need to see a healthcare provider.”
However, if your baby often hiccups, it may be a sign of gastro-esophageal reflux disease. The pediatrician should be alerted about it, added Mazur. In case the prolonged and frequent hiccups continue beyond age 1, early detection of a serious underlying condition can be treated.
Truth Behind Hiccup Remedies
But is there a way to stop baby hiccups? Dr. Mazur dismissed so-called remedies for hiccups which are all based on theories. Anyway, she assured that hiccups generally “just go away soon.” If mothers insist on certain remedies recommended to them, Mazur said they might help, but just make sure they won’t hurt the babies.
But whatever you do, never do these things:
- Startling the baby
- Pressing on the baby’s eyeballs
- Pushing on the baby’s fontanel
- Pulling the baby’s tongue
Some experienced mothers recommend the following:
- Sucking may help alleviate hiccups by relaxing the diaphragm. Some give babies water in feeding bottles to suck on.
- Gripe water. This is a remedy many mothers use against many baby pains, including reflux and stomach ailments. Just a caution – make sure your baby is not allergic to any gripe content which includes ginger, dill, alcohol, and fennel.
- Upright position. If you can hold the baby in an upright position, try it. If the baby is old enough to stand up, try it as well. The idea is to keep the baby in an upright position for 30 minutes.
- Without startling the baby, try to get his or her attention by playing peek-a-boo or give the baby a toy rattle or teether.
- Back rub. Gently rub the baby’s back to loosen muscles and hopefully relax the diaphragm.
Finally, always consult the doctor. Hiccups go away after a few moments, but if it goes on for hours, call your doctor. And it’s always safe to ask the doctor before trying any hiccup remedy.