Babies do a lot of adorable cute actions and movements, little yawns and funny sneezes, and even when they start hiccups we rush to our cell phones to film these funny moments.
However, these short times of pleasure are followed by anxiety and suspicion. Are hiccups, or as they are called in Iraq (or lambs), or (lust) in the Maghreb countries, normal? Is my baby hurting when he hiccups (hiccups)?
The fact of the matter is that hiccups and their scientific name (hiccups) are generally not a cause for concern and are a normal occurrence that occurs in young and old for almost the same reasons.
Causes of hiccups in babies and newborns
Hiccups are an involuntary contraction of the diaphragm, the large muscle that extends below the rib cage and moves up and down with each inhale and exhale. No one actually knows what hiccups are meant for, as they do not seem to have any clear purpose or benefit. However, we know what causes hiccups to start.
Hiccups most often occur in babies and newborns due to filling with food, fast feeding, or swallowing a lot of air while breastfeeding. These things may cause the stomach to expand, which in turn puts pressure on the diaphragm muscle, causing it to contract in this way. It is normal for every baby to have a session of hiccups during or after each meal.
One of the reasons that may stand behind hiccups in a newborn is a sudden change in stomach temperature. If you give your baby cold milk, for example, and then feed him hot rice powder a few minutes later, this mixture may cause a sudden change in the stomach’s temperature, which causes the hiccups to start.
When are hiccups in babies and newborns worrying?
You might have a question about how long will my baby have hiccups? And when should I intervene? Normally, babies may experience hiccups several times a day, for up to ten minutes each time.
To make things easier for you, here is the rule (if your baby seems happy and uninterested in hiccups, it does not pose any concern). Although some new moms and dads cannot control themselves, the hiccups disappear automatically after a few minutes. You just have to wait for the hiccups to clear up on their own. If it persists for more than that or the child seems to be bothered by it, contact the doctor for advice.
Also, talk to the doctor if hiccups are disturbing your child’s sleep or if bouts of hiccups continue to be the same frequency after your child turns a year old.
What are other causes of hiccups in babies?
Aside from feeding, there is a completely different cause of hiccups, which is called gastric reflux. Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when completely undigested food or acid rises from the stomach into the esophagus. This seems annoying and alarming for mothers, but it is not dangerous most of the time.
Since the esophagus passes through the muscle of the diaphragm, these stomach acids flowing into it cause irritation and the occurrence of a recurring bout of hiccups in the child. But how do I know if my child has gastroesophageal reflux?
Symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux in newborns
- Baby crying frequently.
- The baby suddenly bends his back in an arc, during or after breastfeeding.
- Return and cough more than usual.
If you notice these symptoms in your baby, the cause of the hiccups may be gastric reflux. Talk to your doctor, but don’t panic, as fortunately treatment for these symptoms is simple.
Do not do these things when dealing with hiccups in your baby
- Never try to scare or frighten the baby to stop the hiccups, as these movements will not help.
- Do not put a wet cloth on his forehead, this does not help either
- Self cutting should never be tried to end hiccups on a newborn. This is dangerous and stupid.
- Some people recommend pulling a child’s tongue or applying pressure to the forehead. Doing so may harm your baby
The best thing you can do is wait for the hiccups to clear up on their own. However, here are these simple tricks to deal with it quickly.
How to get rid of hiccups in my baby
Although newborn hiccups are not a cause for concern, it is natural to try to comfort your baby and relieve his discomfort from these contractions as much as possible.
Since hiccups are most often caused by a full and expanding stomach or acid reflux into the esophagus, try to feed your baby smaller amounts of food intermittently and don’t forget to give him time to burp between them. Here are some tips to help reduce hiccups in your newborn.
- Hold your baby in a seated position for 20 or 30 minutes after each meal.
- If there is no apparent cause of the hiccups, try gentle stroking your baby on the back, or rocking him, which helps as well.
- Give him a pacifier, as this will relax his diaphragm and may help stop a hiccup.
How to stop frequent hiccups when breastfeeding
- Hold your baby in a burp position in the middle of the feeding session, before transferring him to the other breast.
- To prevent swallowing air while breastfeeding, try to control the position of his mouth on your breast. Make sure your baby’s lips are on the areola, not just on the nipple.
How to stop recurring hiccups when breastfeeding
- Give your child a break after drinking half the meal, lift him up in a moderate position and allow him to burp before you finish the meal for him.
- Make sure to hold the bottle in a position that keeps the air at the end, away from your baby’s mouth, so that she does not swallow it with the milk.
- Find the right size for your baby Make sure that the nipple flow is not too fast or too slow for your baby. Correct flow depends on your baby’s age, so you may have to change your nipples every few months.
Prevention of hiccups in babies
- Feed your baby while he is calm. Don’t wait for your baby to cry.
- After feeding, avoid vigorous movements with your baby such as bouncing up and down or active play.
- Hold your baby in an upright position for 20 to 30 minutes after each meal.
In general, as long as your baby isn’t vomiting due to hiccups, doesn’t seem bothered by it, and he’s under a year old, hiccups can be a normal part of his development.
Frequent hiccups should disappear by the time your baby is a year old. However, if it continues after the age of one year, or if your child seems upset or is behaving abnormally, talk to your doctor. The doctor will be able to rule out any other possible causes.
When your baby has a hiccup that makes him feel uncomfortable, try an old distraction as the best solution is to make him laugh. Do something silly and funny and forget the hiccups. Once we handle the situation naturally, the baby will suddenly stop hiccuping.