It’s hard enough to get your baby to burp, but it is even harder to burp a baby with hiccups. You seem to try to do exactly what the doctor told you, but your baby just doesn’t burp.
And when he starts to hiccup you panic.
Would he choke on the milk if he hiccups? Did you break his back and cause him the hiccup? Is it ok if you stop burping for him even though he has not burped? What do you do now?
We’ve got you covered.
We will walk you through your burning questions from should you burp a baby with hiccups to how to burp a baby with hiccups.
Let’s dive in.
Why do babies get hiccups after feeding
According to Cleveland Clinic, almost all newborns and infants experience hiccups.
“Hiccups are especially common in newborns and infants. “We don’t know exactly why, but hiccups may be caused by increased gas in the stomach,” Dr. Liermann says. “If babies overfeed or gulp air during eating, that could cause the stomach to expand and rub against the diaphragm, generating those hiccups.”
For babies, hiccups become frequent during and after feeding due to swallowing air, eating too quickly, or overfeeding. As the stomach distends, it pushes against the diaphragm and causes spasms. And bam, hiccups!
Should you burp a baby with hiccups
Your little one has hiccups. And it seems to start bothering him. You don’t know if you should burp a baby with hiccups as you are worried the milk can go to his lung and make him choke when you pat his back.
That’s what I thought when my son had hiccups after feeding.
If he could burp after eating and he had hiccups after, I felt okay. But if my son didn’t burp, and he had hiccups, I was scared if my back-patting would make him choke over the milk.
I was being paranoid, yeah.
In fact, you should burp a baby with hiccups. Doing so would help to release the gas in the stomach and solve the core problem.
How to burp a baby with hiccups
To burp a baby with hiccups, you can do one of some of the following methods.
Laying down method
Place your baby’s belly down along your forearm, supporting his head with your open palm facing up. His limbs would hang on either side of your arm. Make sure you keep his head higher than his chest.
Move your palms in a circle on his back or pat him gently on his back. This way, most of the time you can get a few burps out.
Sitting down method
Put a clean towel on your lap. Support your baby's chest and head with one hand by cradling your baby's chin in the palm of your hand. Rest the heel of your hand on your baby's chest, but be careful to grip your baby's chin, not the throat. Use the other hand to pat your baby's back. You should let your baby sit slightly forward to make the burping process easier.
Carrying up method
Put a clean towel on your shoulder, hold your baby, and rest your baby's head on your shoulder. With one hand, you hold your baby, the other hand rubs his back in a circular motion or gently pats it in the direction from the bottom up to burp him.
Are hiccups a sign baby is full
Some parents wonder if hiccups are the ways their babies are trying to let them know that they are full and don’t want more milk. And sometimes it’s true.
As they swallow a lot of air during feeding, and they eat enough, there is a lot of gas and hiccups start to come out to reduce the pressure in their stomachs.
However, hiccups do not always mean that way. Other times, hiccups are just a symptom that there is gas in their stomachs, and the gas needs to come out.
To make sure your baby is full, you have to look out for other signs, such as the number of dirty diapers, your baby’s weight gain chart, and his sleeping schedule.
What happens if a baby doesn’t burp
At the end of the day, burping is a way to help the baby to release the gas in his little tummy. And if he doesn’t show any sign of discomfort or pain, he probably doesn’t have much gas in his belly and doesn’t need burping.
For more burping side notes, read my guide on: Why A Baby Won’t Burp: When You Need To Take Him To A Doctor.
How long should I burp a baby with hiccups?
Depending on how much gas your baby has swallowed during feeding, you can burp your baby for a longer or shorter time.
When your baby has hiccups, you should try to burp him 2 to 3 minutes longer than normal until the hiccups are gone or when he doesn’t seem to be bothered by those hiccups anymore.
How hard should I burp a baby with hiccups?
Now don't think when your baby has hiccups then he will need harder patting. Burping your baby too hard can make him scared or even hurt him.
Gently pat or rub on your baby’s back as normal for 10 minutes or so to burp him. And if he seems to feel uncomfortable and cannot burp, switch to a different burping technique to help him.
Can hiccups go away themselves?
It is scary watching your little one have hiccups and spits milk. But hiccups are not as scary as we think they are.
Most of the time, hiccups will go away themselves.
You can and should try to help your little one to get rid of hiccups when it happens by burping him, but if for some reason you cannot, hiccups will eventually go away.
Burping a baby with hiccups can take quite a long time.
Just be patient, you know exactly what you have to do.
Remember, if you try too hard and nothing seems to work, but your baby seems to be comfortable with hiccups, relax. He probably doesn’t need burping or needs any help with those hiccups.