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The old wives’ tale for stopping hiccups is to sneak up on somebody and surprise them. This short scare is believed to make the hiccup stop. Thankfully, this is untrue, and you definitely do not need to try it on your baby. Baby hiccups are quite typical and usually not a problem. They often annoy parents more than they annoy the baby. We answer some of your main concerns in this post. 

Why Do Babies Get Hiccups? 

The muscle at the base of the lungs known as the diaphragm is most likely the source of your newborns’ hiccups. That muscle may begin to spasm or cramp sometimes. The vocal cords contract as a result, making the recognizable "hic!" sound. 

Infants and babies are more prone to getting hiccups. It may be that the gas in the stomach causes hiccups as the stomach may enlarge and brush against the diaphragm in babies who overfeed or gulp air while eating. 

Hiccups typically don't disturb infants. But occasionally, hiccups indicate gastroesophageal reflux disease. Symptoms of reflux may also include coughing, spitting out, crying, and an arched back while feeding. If you observe these symptoms, consult your doctor to determine whether your infant may have reflux and the best way to treat it.

What Can You Do Stop Newborn Hiccups? 

Here is what you can do to stop your newborns’ hiccups if they are not caused by a reflux: 

  1. Try feeding your infant in a more upright position. At mealtimes, elevating your newborn so that they aren't resting flat might help them breathe less.
  2. Burping frequently relieves hiccups. To stop hiccups from occurring, burp your infant while they are eating. After two or three ounces, try taking a burp break. You can try patting your little one on the back gently to see if that helps.
  3. Sometimes pacifiers can stop hiccups in their tracks. The sucking motion can aid in diaphragm relaxation.
  4. Hiccupping occurs frequently in babies under the age of one, so it's usually better to leave them alone. Your baby's hiccups will typically go away on their own in 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. To help relieve hiccups and expel extra air, try massaging your baby's back in a circular motion. This action can soothe your baby even if they keep hiccupping. 

How Do I Prevent Hiccups? 

A few strategies can be used to lessen hiccup episodes. Since the causes of your baby's hiccups are still unknown, it is challenging to prevent them totally. 

Try the following strategies to aid with hiccup prevention (and for overall healthy digestion):

  • When feeding your infant, make sure they are calm. This indicates that you shouldn't delay starting your baby's feeding until the child is disturbed and crying because they are hungry
  • Avoid vigorous play or activity with your infant after feedings, such as jumping or vigorous rocking.
  • After every meal, keep your baby upright for 20 to 30 minutes.

When Should I be Concerned? 

You may need to see a doctor if your baby has been hiccupping for a long time or if your newborn is exhibiting reflux symptoms. If your baby appears uncomfortable, you would also need to reach out to a doctor. 

Seek medical help if:

  • Your infant is experiencing issues breathing or eating.
  • Their lips are somewhat blue (cyanosis), which can be a sign of low oxygen levels.
  • The hiccups in your baby are keeping them up at night.
  • After your child turns one, frequent hiccup episodes still occur.
  • The duration of the hiccups exceeds two hours.

To sum, hiccups are common and typically harmless to your newborn. Hiccups in younger infants typically indicate that they should be seated upright during or after feeding, that the meal should be slower for them, or that they need more time to rest before or after the feeding. Hiccups tend to fade away if you give them some time too. However, if your baby appears to be in pain or if they haven't stopped hiccupping for several hours, get medical attention.

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