What Causes Hiccups In Babies | Newborns ?

Babies are total happiness bundled with joy and sunshine. Being around them will make you forget the rest of the world. But sometimes, the little joy bundles and their hiccups can get into your nerves. Hiccups sometimes scare the soul out of you. Hiccup is a buzz kill when it comes to babies. They can give a hard time to mothers too. All they want at that moment is to get rid of their baby’s hiccups and make them smile again. So, let’s see what causes hiccups in Babies and how to prevent them from occurring.

what causes hiccups in newborns

Hiccups In Babies

Baby hiccups are usually harmless. Similar to the adults, the hiccup in babies used to lasts for a second or couple and leaves. No one knows exactly or pin point accurately of what causes hiccups in babies. Yet there are few obvious reasons for hiccups. The body is separated as Trunk and Abdomen and between them is a thin layer of muscle called diaphragm that sits underneath the lungs and at the top of the abdomen. A hiccup is caused when the diaphragm undergoes abnormal reflexes, discomforts or sudden contraction. So when a baby swallows air during the feeding time, it can lead to quick contractions of diaphragm muscle which reacts by snapping the opening of vocal cords shut, causing a hiccup sound/hiccup.

What Causes Hiccups In Babies /Newborns?

Quite often there is no accurate explanation of what exactly causes newborn baby hiccups. But in little grown babies, but there are few notable reasons from your part that can explain why your baby gets hiccups. They are:

  • It doesn’t need any specific reason or trigger, they just get hiccups.
  • Overfeeding can cause hiccups in babies.
  • Prolonged crying sometimes leads to continuous hiccups in babies.
  • Restlessness, unknown discomfort or stress might trigger hiccups in some babies.
  • Undigested foods in stomach/indigestion/Belly Distention.
  • Newborn hiccups after feeding might happen to remove the excess gas/air in the stomach
  • If you have started to introduce solids or semi-solids to your babies who are over seven or eight months old, then while you are feeding food they might swallow excess air which might cause hiccups.
  • Quick gulping of the food or when they eat and drink too quickly without any gap, it will cause hiccups. Even during the breastfeeding sessions, you need a simple gap of a few seconds for the baby.
  • In some cases, if breastfeeding is stopped and have started to introduce foods (semi-solids or solids) babies might get hiccup as it’s suddenly new to their body. It is not an often scenario, but it’s just that you might want to have a heads up. That’s why you have to gradually introduce solid/semi-solid foods. You can reduce the feeding sessions and include the foods rather than abruptly stopping mother feeding.
  • Milk Formulas can be allergic to some babies as certain proteins found in them can make your baby’s stomach go into upset or discomfort mode which indeed triggers hiccups. Meanwhile, in some cases, the allergic reaction can lead to inflammation in the esophagus called Eosinophilic Esophagitis. Due to this condition, the diaphragm flutters frequently resulting in hiccups.
  • Breast Milk can also cause stomach discomfort which in turn triggers hiccups in the baby due to mother’s certain food intake like spicy foods, acidic foods, processed foods, fast foods as such. Always go for clean good food eating till you stop breastfeeding.
  • If your baby is diagnosed as Asthmatic then it can be a reason for hiccups. Wheezing due to lack of breath can trigger hiccups. At times, the bronchial tube of the baby’s lungs can get inflamed due to breathe struggling which restricts air flow into the lungs leading to discomfort in the diaphragm inducing hiccups in babies.
  • Safety your baby from Fumes, pollution, smoke, and dust. Spicy aroma, strong fragrance, incense sticks, scented candles, essential oil diffuser smells and such of airborne stuff can cause irritation to some babies which can trigger a hiccup. So check in to it. It might not be the reason but it is always good to keep your baby away from certain sensitive smells and you can introduce them to her as she grows.
  • Sudden changes in the temperature might be difficult for the baby’s body to adapt. Baby’s body will react by contracting muscles which can lead to contraction of diaphragm making the baby get a hiccup.

So keep all these things in mind that might you learn what stops hiccups while breastfeeding and after feeding your baby.

Do You Need To Worry About (Newborn) Baby Hiccups?

what causes hiccups in babies

Not really. You got nothing to worry about. For the most part, it just happens and goes. It’s a normal involuntary activity by the body similar to hiccups in adults. It leaves eventually and doesn’t last longer. Baby hiccups are harmless in general and they don’t mean any serious health issues. You can just tend to the baby hiccups all by yourself and you don’t need medical/doctor intervention. But, very rare are those situations where the baby might be having continuous hiccups in which case you should seek professional medical opinion.

Sometimes, hiccups in babies can be a result of undigested foods or acid in their stomach which causes a gastro esophageal reflex (GER) resulting in hiccups and belly discomfort. You can identify this GER condition if your baby keeps getting hiccups too frequently, spits/coughs & gets cranky. Go visit your pediatrician as soon as possible.

When the baby gets hiccups in such a way that it disturbs his/her routine activities like playing, eating, feeding, sleeping you might want to take them to the pediatrician.

What Stops Hiccups In Babies?

Hiccups in babies don’t last and you don’t have to put pressure in solving it. Yet, we being there, hearing and seeing the baby’s hiccups can make us lose our cool & over time they can bring about a teensy bit of panic for us. Mother’s instincts will right away trigger them to look for ways to get rid of the hiccups in babies as soon as possible. Take a look. Let me tell you what to do when baby hiccups.

Distractions Could Help

Sometimes, you may not know what causes hiccups in babies. In such cases follow this age-old technique of distracting the baby by making him/her forget about the hiccup happening. Make your baby laugh; don’t hesitate in becoming their toy or becoming their stuffed animal. Play together and just go crazy in bringing your funny side up. Do fun things with them, make them play new games, divert them with toys & colorful playthings, show them wind chimes and the sounds they make can relax them. Show them their favorite toy. If they have siblings then you can bring the whole team in and have fun which can make them forget the hiccup. Good old peek-a-boo can sometimes work in stopping hiccups in babies. You get the point right! Have fun; distract them and who knows you might as well end up singing songs.

The Magic of Touch

Soothing & Comforting your baby through the touch of loved ones can work wonders in getting rid of hiccups in babies. Taking your baby in your arms, holding them, caressing them, cuddling them, hugging them, patting their back, showing them that you are there to comfort will immediately calm their nerves and relax their senses. Touch makes them feel protected and can relieve baby’s from unexplainable stress which will ease them up & ultimately results in hiccups being gone for good.

Taking a Burp

Baby’s / newborns get hiccups mostly during and after feeding. Once you’re the baby’s done feeding, wait for few seconds and then take your baby, hold them upright for few seconds so that any excess air can come out as burp which will easily avoid hiccups. Another way is that, try to put your baby over your shoulder and caress his/her back slowly and gently which will trigger a burp. It’s a very good practice since old times to burp the baby. Once you’re done feeding or if you’re about to switch breasts then get them to take a burp which will ease and lighten the stomach. To take a burp is one of the best ways to get rid of baby hiccups.

The Sugar Trick

Babies & Kids love sugar. It makes them happy and relaxed which can ease the tension or any discomforts in the diaphragm and hence hiccups can be avoided. You can feed a little amount of good sugar syrup (the freshly prepared, the better) through little spoon or you can dip the pacifier in it and give it to babies. Clean your hands thoroughly, dip your index finger in the sugar syrup and let the baby lick it. If they are old enough or over eight/nine months old you can give them a small sugar cube. You can pick any of the above little tricks or come up on your own to give them some sugar which will stop your baby’s hiccups.

Less But Frequent

You can have frequent feeding sessions instead of just feeding them full twice or thrice. Overfeeding can be the reason for babies to get hiccups. Feed them sufficient and not full. Take frequent turns in feeding. It goes without saying to bottle-feed as well. Do not feed your baby with a large quantity in one go.

Try The Gripe Water

Gripe water’s been around a long time and goes without saying as a definite entity in a baby’s house. The high percentage of people use gripe water to relieve their babies from stomach discomforts or other gastric difficulties.  Gripe water tends to have a quick soothing effect when given to the baby which will ensure that any stomach problems are taken care of. Stomach discomforts are another notable reason for hiccups in babies.

The Pacifier

Sometimes baby gets hiccups for no reason. Try giving them their pacifier. Make sure it is super clean. Pacifier can make them relax and reduces stress over the diaphragm which prevents the babies from getting hiccups.

Baby Hiccups Stops By Themselves

Yes, you heard it right! They just stop. Let it settle. Hiccups just come and go in very little time. You need to worry only if hasn’t stopped for some time and interrupts your baby’s activities.

How To Prevent The Baby Hiccups?

Now you know what causes hiccups in babies/newborns and you might imagine, you cannot prevent baby hiccups. They just happen. They are unpreventable but few tricks up your sleeve and few corrections from your side can prevent your baby’s from getting hiccups. Let’s get to it!

  • Till the baby is old enough to play, don’t ‘throw-catch’ your baby, don’t bounce with the baby. To put it simply, ‘no physical stress of any sorts’ please.
  • Once you’ve finished feeding your baby wait few seconds, then hold them upright which will enable the milk to smooth down without any difficulty. Getting babies to burp will help.
  • Keep the baby’s surroundings clean. Keeping them dust and allergy free can prevent hiccups.
  • You can try the anti-colic feeding bottle. You have feeding bottle that comes with collapsible bag inserts which are designed to minimize air swallowing.
  • There are few things you should not do when it comes to handling hiccups in babies like startle/scare them, feeding any sort of sour confectionaries/candies, pulling their tongue, patting their back hard and such. Don’t do them at any cost.

We hope that we made everything clear, relatable and can be handled with ease when it comes to what causes hiccups in babies, getting rid of hiccups in babies and preventing them. Baby hiccups are okay. They are fine and not harmful. Your mother instincts will never let you down when the hiccups in babies take an unusual turn like causing difficulties in your baby’s activities. In which case, head to your pediatrician. Otherwise, let them take their own course to stop which should be very soon.

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