Hiccups can be scary. Especially for new moms.
Think about it, you feed your baby and carefully put him down. And then he gets hiccups. He starts spitting milk out of his mouth, and you are terrified that he can choke on the milk somehow.
Well, at least that’s how I felt.
I nearly cried when I was alone in the room at midnight, and as I put my son down on the bed, he spat milk out. The milk ran out of his mouth, and he kept looking at me. I felt like he was asking me, “what have you done to me mommy?”
At that time I thought he almost choked.
I rushed to pick him back up and held him, trying to see what might help him. I didn’t know how to burp him at that time, and certainly did not know how to burp a baby with hiccups at that time.
It was a scary time in my early motherhood. I felt like it was a matter of life and death, yes the hiccups.
Turns out, the fact that a baby gets hiccups after feeding or nursing is very common and normal.
Why do babies get hiccups after feeding?
Hiccups are caused by intermittent stimulation of the diaphragm and the sudden closure of the vocal cords, creating the “hic” sound you hear. This is a common phenomenon, usually seen in children under 1 year old.
Overfeeding can make baby gets hiccups after feeding
If your baby is overfed and swallows a lot of air during feeding, it likely causes hiccups. It can occur more often after bottle feeding.
Because improper bottle feeding causes the baby to swallow a significant amount of gas into the stomach. When it exceeds the tolerance of the stomach, it creates an irritation that causes the diaphragm to contract and create hiccups.
Gastroesophageal reflux can cause hiccups after feeding
Usually, hiccups don’t bother babies. But sometimes it may be because stomach acid is backing up into the esophagus. This is a common cause because the digestive organs of the stomach are not fully developed.
If your little one has gastroesophageal reflux, he can have other symptoms such as coughing, spitting up, irritability and crying, arching the back from pain during and after feeding.
Immediately talk to a doctor if you notice these signs from your little one.
Change in temperature
When the temperature changes suddenly, cold air enters the lungs. This can create hiccups.
How to stop baby hiccups after feeding or nursing
If your baby doesn’t have reflux symptoms, don’t stress over hiccups. But if those little “hics!” are bothering your little one, there are some things you can try.
Change feeding positions
Try feeding your little one in a more upright position. Propping your baby up on a pillow so they aren’t lying flat may help them take in less air at mealtimes.
You can refer to my guide to find a breastfeeding pillow.
Burp more frequently
Burping usually helps with hiccups. Burp your baby during feeding to prevent hiccups from striking. Try taking a burp break after 2 or 3 ounces.
If you’re nursing, burp your baby before you switch sides. If your nugget already has hiccups, you can try to relieve them with some gentle pats on the back.
You can refer to my guide on how to burp a baby. But when your little one has hiccups, try to burp him right behind the stomach area, not on their ribs.
Pacifiers can sometimes stop hiccups in their tracks. The sucking motion can help relax the diaphragm.
Give gripe water
Gripe water is an over-the-counter blend of herbs marketed as a treatment for colic and tummy troubles. Some parents find it helps with hiccups, too.
But above all, don’t fret. Hiccups stop on their own and don’t cause discomfort to babies. So don’t feel you need to treat them.
Get Up And Down
An elevation change can help with burping.
For example, walking up the stairs, bouncing up and down, or going from sitting to standing can release a burp.
Try moving around with your little one after feeding time to get those burps out.
Don’t Wait Until Your Baby’s Done Feeding
Mid-meal burps might help things move along. Try to burp a breastfed baby when they’re halfway through a meal, such as when you’re switching breasts. For bottle-fed babies, stop and try to burp every 2 to 3 ounces. Over time, you’ll probably fall into a rhythm and have a better sense about when your baby needs a burp break during feedings.
Massage your baby
Even babies will find a nice rubdown super-relaxing. Gently pressing down on the babies abdomen and massaging in a clockwise motion, laying the baby flat on their back and holding their knees together then flexing them up toward their tummies, or bicycling the legs can help to relieve the hiccups.
Cover your baby's ears or nose with your hands
You can use two fingers to cover your baby's ears for about half a minute. Then you release your hand and close the nostrils parallel to cover the child's mouth. You do this movement 10 to 15 times. This makes the diaphragm tight so it doesn't contract, helping to stop the hiccups.
Pay attention though, when you close the nostrils you cannot cover his mouth, otherwise, you will make him suffocate.
Baby gets hiccups after feeding is normal and don’t need treatment if it doesn’t bother him
But there are some things you can do to help him. You have at least 8 ways to help him to relieve the hiccups.
So read and bookmark the post to come back anytime you need.