Newborn hiccups can startle you — and your child — whether you've had them before or they're a completely new sensation.
As perplexing as infant hiccups may appear at first, they are most likely bothering you more than your baby. Hiccups are common in infants, and it might be a sign that your kid is healthy and developing well. If you do not want your kids to hiccup, there are a few techniques to keep these obnoxious spasms at bay.
What is hiccup in newborn?
Firstly, a hiccup is a sound caused by involuntary contractions of the accessory respiratory muscles and diaphragm or the simultaneous closure of the glottis. Hiccups are usually harmless, with a frequency ranging from 4 to 60 per minute, and recover in a short period.
Whenever your baby hiccups, it may appear adorable, but you may question if it's normal or not. Yes, to put it short. Hiccups in babies and newborns are safe and indicate the baby's growth and development. According to Christal-Joy Forgenie, MD, a pediatrician with Soha Pediatrics in New York City, Hiccups, which occur in the gastrointestinal tract, rarely indicate a problem in newborns or infants.
What causes newborn hiccups and gas
The hiccup reflex may help to eliminate extra air from the stomach. On the other hand, people still divide the medical world on whether hiccups have a purpose. So, what causes them in the human body?
Hiccups occur when the diaphragm spasms, causing the vocal cords to close quickly. The hiccupping sound will occur when air compels via closed vocal cords.
A big muscle that runs across the bottom of the rib cage is the diaphragm. As a person breathes, it rises and falls.
Hiccups in babies usually happen for no exact reason, but feeding might cause the diaphragm to spasm infrequently. When a baby hiccups, these factors can be reasons:
- undeveloped digestive system
- eats too quickly
- swallows too much air
- changes in temperature
Another reason may come from digesting too much lactose, so the baby's body will produce more gas. Both foremilk and hindmilk are present in breast milk, with the foremilk carrying higher lactose. Some specialists recommend emptying the foremilk before nursing to decrease trapped gas and prevent excess lactose in the baby's body.
Read more: Babies Get Hiccups After Feeding?
Caregivers may not know that rapid changes in stomach temperature can cause hiccups. It could happen if you feed your kid cold milk followed by warm food or vice versa. It's usually nothing for parents to worry
Hiccups that occur regularly and create discomfort could indicate an underlying health problem, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GER). If partially digested food and stomach acid reflux, a hiccup happens. These fluids may aggravate the diaphragm and cause spasms as they move through it.
How do you tell if your baby has gas?
The newborn keeps crying and fussing for about an hour each day. That sign could indicate normal newborn gassiness caused by a small, immature digestive system. However, if it occurs every day and does not appear to be improving, you should consult your pediatrician.
The baby appears to be uncomfortable most of the time. That could signal that you have a particularly gassy baby that needs additional assistance. The gas causes a lot of discomfort and usually appears more severe than normal infant gassiness.
The babies appear to be picky eaters or sleep deprivation as well as they should be. Infant gas could be one of the causes of difficulty sleeping or eating, especially if there are other indicators. Consult your physician for an accurate diagnosis.
When the babies cry, their faces turn crimson, and they are in pain.
During periods of fussiness, the babies squirm and draw their legs up to their chests as if they are uncomfortable.
How to prevent newborn hiccups and gas
Get your child a pacifier.
A pacifier sucking motion can help a hiccupping baby relax and minimize diaphragm spasms.
Use gripe water
If your infant appears to be in pain due to their hiccups, you might want to try gripe water. Gripe water is a mixture of herbs and water that some people believe will aid with colic and other intestinal problems. Nevertheless, there is no evidence to back this up.
Ginger, fennel, chamomile, and cinnamon are some medicines for use. Gripe water has not been proven to aid babies with hiccups in research trials. Since gripe water is also considered a supplement, it is not monitored by the Food and Drug Administration.
Natural ways to help with newborn hiccups and gas
Caregivers should time the feeding correctly before the infant becomes starving, to keep them calm.
Wait it out
Hiccups are common in babies under one, so leaving them alone is the best option. Most of the time, your baby's hiccups will go away on their own.
You can just let them take their course if they aren't bothering your infant.
If your baby's hiccups don't go away after mommy leaves them alone, mom should contact their pediatrician. Hiccups can be an indication of a more serious medical problem. However, this is uncommon.
Feed your child smaller proportions more frequently
According to certain studies, hiccups may be caused by overfeeding or eating too quickly. It may be beneficial to give your baby a bit less at each feeding, whether you should be breastfeeding or bottle-feeding.
Also, keep an eye on how fast they're breastfeeding or sipping from the bottle. Drinking too quickly may cause children to inhale air along with milk or powder, resulting in hiccups.
Position your baby differently.
Depending on where your baby was when the hiccups started, it's okay to try to lay them down or prop them into a sitting position. Changing positions can assist hiccups, but it won't always stop hiccups.
A short bottle-feeding instruction
- For bottle feedings, keep your infant in a semi-upright position. Lift their head so babies can easily breathe and swallow.
- Rub the teat against your baby's lips and let them draw the teat in when their mouth opens wide.
- Allow plenty of time for your infant to feed.
Burp Your Kid
Stop feeding your infant if they start hiccupping and burp them. Burping can help decrease discomfort by releasing excess air and may even halt the hiccups.
Read my guide: How To Burp A Baby With Hiccups Like A Pro
Massage the back of your baby
To help release excess air and stop hiccups, pat your baby's back circularly. If they continue, your infant may find this motion soothing.
Exercise your baby
Grab your baby's knees and push them toward his belly. Not only does this help with constipation and bowl movement, but also help to push the gas out of his belly.
When should mommy visit a doctor?
Hiccups in toddlers under 12 months are typically not a reason for worry.
If the hiccups happen frequently or seem to be disturbing the baby, consult a doctor because this could suggest an underlying health problem.
Hiccups are a common side effect of GER (For a short definition, GER happens when the contents of your stomach return up from the stomach). A newborn may develop GER if they also exhibit the following symptoms:
- Babies cry more frequently than they frequently do, especially around feedings
- They spit up more than usual if they arch their back excessively during or after feedings.
Anyone who fears a baby has GER should consult a physician. The problem is simple to fix.
Final thought on newborn hiccups and gas
Hiccups in newborns are usually not a reason for concern. In their first year, the majority of babies experience hiccups. Some feeding practices and using various home treatments may reduce hiccups. If hiccups are often when a baby is one year old, mommy should see a doctor.