Babies tend to get hiccups quite often and it can be concerning for parents because as adults, hiccups bother us however it is not the same for babies. Babies are often found to be able to sleep through hiccups and they rarely interfere with their respiration rate or breathing; therefore, they are nothing to worry about. However, if you want to help them overcome their hiccups, especially if they go on for a long time, there are a few things that can help.
Taking regular breaks to burp your baby throughout a feed can help to remove excess gas which can sometimes cause hiccups. Sometimes just the change in positioning from laying down to an upright position during burping can help relieve pressure on the diaphragm which causes hiccups. When your baby has hiccups, it can help to rub or pat their back gently but make sure to never slap or hit the area with too much force.
Leave Them to Stop Naturally
As mentioned, baby hiccups don’t seem to bother them like hiccups bother adults. Therefore, there is no harm in leaving them to dissipate naturally. As long as your baby doesn’t seem to be bothered by the hiccups and they aren’t causing any problems, it is perfectly fine to leave them to stop on their own. If you leave your baby’s hiccups to stop on their own and they don’t, it can be worth letting your doctor know.
Gripe water, a combination of herbs and water, is generally used for babies who have colic or other discomfort or problems with their intestines. Gripe water, as it is made from herbs, is a pretty gentle product which most babies don’t have issues with but always check the ingredients and check with a doctor if you’re unsure. Gripe water won’t help the hiccups dissipate but if you suspect your baby’s hiccups are bothering them or causing discomfort, gripe water can aid their discomfort.
The action of sucking on a dummy can be extremely soothing for babies and can actually help relax their diaphragm. Therefore, if your baby has the hiccups, giving them a dummy to suck on can help calm their hiccups.
Hiccups are usually associated with feeding, although not always. Therefore, there are a few things you can do when feeding to prevent hiccups from happening. Being calm is the main thing to remember; so, try to make sure your baby is calm when they are fed and not so hungry that they are crying. After the feed, continue to keep them calm and in an upright position for about 20-30 minutes avoiding heavy activity and high-energy play.
Hiccups are extremely normal, especially for infants under 12 months. However, if you are concerned your baby is experiencing a lot of hiccups or seem to be in a lot of discomfort when they do have them you can speak to your doctor to ensure there are no underlying concerns.