Why do babies get hiccupsbaby hiccups

babies often get this on a daily basis

Baby hiccups is nothing to worry about and baby may find  hiccups funny which might lead to babies first smile. You can get more information on baby smiles here

I have been asked many times by my parents, why do babies get hiccups and how to stop  hiccups.

Well firstly newborn hiccups are perfectly normal and you may even have felt your baby hiccup while still in the womb. Studies have been carried out that suggest that your fetus might get the hiccups as early as 6 to 8 week after conception, this is also perfectly normal and is all part of developing into a healthy baby.

Baby hiccups tend to worry parents more than the baby and some babies seem to find newborn hiccups quite fun. If you are concerned about your babies digestive system in general or feel your baby has more severe general digestive issues we suggest you find out more here .

What causes baby hiccups

hiccups  happens  when the diaphragm contracts suddenly and involuntarily. This often happens after a feed and there is no evidence to suggest that a breastfed baby may get fewer or more hiccups than a bottle fed baby. Babies that are 6 months and older and eating solids may also get them just after eating.

This sudden contracting of the diaphragm can be due to it being stimulated  by the act of feeding. Hiccups is also a reflex action of the body that just happens from time to time with no cause. Baby hiccups may also be triggered by a sudden intake of breathe or if your baby starts to cry suddenly.

If you have a very windy baby it may be the extra trapped bubbles in baby’s digestive system that irritate the diaphragm and start  hiccups.

The diaphragm is a thin membrane of muscle that sits between the chest cavity and baby’s tummy. It is the muscle that helps to control breathing in your baby and is underneath the rib cage. Over the next few weeks and months this muscle will slowly grow in strength and this should make  hiccups less frequent as your baby gets older.

Your baby has no control over newborn hiccups and they tend to go as easily as they came. They usually last only for a few minutes at a time but they can last for 10 minutes plus.

Try reading my feeding tips page to help with hiccups whilst feeding .

Baby hiccups is a reflex action of the body and some babies seem to suffer more than others but there is no theory as to why some get newborn hiccups every day and others only get the odd bout from time to time.

It is perfectly ok, if baby wants to, to continue feeding while he has  hiccups. Sometimes feeding may help to stop the spasm of the diaphragm and baby hiccups will then pass.

If baby develops them as they are about to be put to bed then it’s also ok to continue to put them to bed as long as baby is not distressed by them. Learn more about this here

There is sadly no treatment for newborn hiccups but there are a few simple home remedies that you can try to help ease them.

Baby hiccups remedies

If you find your baby suffering with baby hiccups then there are a few things that you can do to help relieve them in your baby.

Feed your baby. You can feed your baby to help with baby hiccups.The swallowing action can also stop hiccups as well as start them. Some babies don’t like to feed with the hiccups though and if this is the case, then don’t force your baby to feed and be followed by him.

Cool boiled water. You can offer a small drink of cool boiled water to help get rid of hiccup, again its the swallowing action that may help some babies to get rid of their baby hiccups.

Gripe water. A few of my mums have said that giving their baby gripe water has helped to get rid of baby hiccups. Gripe water is also used to help a very windy baby to burp. It may be the extra trapped bubbles in baby’s digestive system that irritate the diaphragm and start baby hiccups.

Cuddle time over shoulder. If you have a more sensitive baby then you may find they get upset when they have the hiccups. If this is the case, then offer a nice soothing cuddle. I find that putting baby over your shoulder helps more. It may be the pressure that this position puts on the stomach that helps to relieve them and make them go away sooner.

Winding your baby. Trying to wind baby over your shoulder has helped some of my infants more than once and I have also had the odd baby that suffered more when they needed to burp. Rubbing their back while they are over your shoulder from their lower back upwards can help to get rid of wind and stop the hiccups.

Maturity. As your baby’s internal organs begin to mature you should notice that baby hiccups improve and happens less often.

If your baby gets to the age of 1 and still gets them many times a day then it may be worth contacting your health visitor or doctor to rule out any underlying medical condition.

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