Everyone can hiccup, both adults and kids. But when it goes about infant hiccups, parents often start to worry. Why does your baby hiccup?
Causes of newborn and baby hiccups
Hiccups are caused by involuntary synchronous contractions of the diaphragm as well as of the muscles of the intercostal space, which mimic a quick inhalation.
But a sudden, sharp close of the airways by the epiglottis blocks the access of the airflow, which causes the characteristic sound you can clearly hear.
Simply put, hiccups are an involuntary physiological response. Both adults and newborns can experience them. Often, your little one can start to hiccup almost after every feed. But this fact still keeps parents worrying, though babies don’t experience any discomfort or inconveniences at this time.
Often, when seeing a pediatrician, parents are wondering how to stop hiccups in a newborn baby. Here you need to know their causes. There are following main reasons why your infant can hiccup:
1. the child is thirsty;
2. she is cold;
3. when feeding your baby, she swallowed some air;
4. loud sounds or bright lights, etc. can cause a strong emotional shock in the child, and consequently, she can start to hiccup;
5. the newborn has overeaten – as a result, her stomach is stretched and the diaphragm starts to reduce in size.
How to quickly stop newborn hiccups?
1. In most cases, newborns start to hiccup after feed, during which she swallowed some air with her mouth. To help the child to stop hiccupping, carry the child upright in your arms and press her to your body. Such position contributes to the rapid release of the air from the child’s body and the hiccups will be stopped.
2. If the baby keeps hiccupping for a while, you should have your child to drink some water from the bottle or breastfeed her. Water mixed with breast milk can stop hiccups in a very short period of time.
3. If the newborn has cold hands when hiccupping, you should very quickly warm them up. A frequent cause of hiccups in infants is a draft.
4. In order to stop hiccups in the newborn, you need to talk to her quietly. Remove all the exciting objects from her field of view.
5. Also, a pair of sips of warm water or a weak chamomile infusion can quickly help to stop hiccups in your little one.
6. The child’s room should be twilight and calm.
7. It also happens that a newborn cries and hiccups when he sees strangers next to her. Parents should either limit the number of visits to the child or not show the baby the first time to anyone at all. It’s recommended that the child sees only her mother and father around within the first months of life.
8. You shouldn’t overfeed the newborn, who hiccups very often. If you ignore this rule, the hiccups will develop into a chronic disease. As a rule, when a child turns a year of age, the hiccups disappear, and your excitement for her baby disappears as well.
How to prevent newborn baby hiccups
1. To prevent your baby’s hiccups, you should feed her only when she is really hungry, calm and not excited. Carefully monitor your child when breastfeeding. If she is eating very actively or too quickly, stop feeding her for a while, give the child a break, hold her upright for a few minutes for the air in the stomach to go out. If you feed the child baby formula, try to change the nipples on the bottle as often as possible.
2. If you notice, that the child starts to hiccup having suffered stress, try to protect her from strong emotions (for example, a loud music, close people talking in a high pitched voice, bright lights or strangers).
For more information on how to stop hiccups in babies, consult the pediatrician. You shouldn’t ignore the persistent hiccups in your child, since this can be a symptom of brain damage; various diseases of the stomach, liver or lungs; injuries of the spinal cord and the chest. Such a reflex phenomenon can last from a minute up to several hours long.
Regular hiccups, which last more than 2 weeks long, are a sign that the doctor should urgently examine your child.