Here’s What to Do When Your Baby Has the Hiccups — Bridgetown Baby

Along with the typical grunts, squeals, and cries that come with a newborn baby, parents may also notice that their babies get sick every now and then (or often!). This is normal! Hiccups are a reflex in the diaphragm muscle that begins in utero as the baby’s respiratory system develops, along with sucking and swallowing. You may have noticed a slight fluttering sensation in the uterus since your baby was 4-6 months pregnant, a sign that your baby is being kicked in the womb.

Usually, babies are not bothered by hiccups and are able to maintain a normal diet while experiencing them. Hiccups are very common in babies and can delay their sleep, but usually resolve quickly – baby hiccups usually stop when they are sleepy enough and their muscles are relaxed! Sometimes parents are more bothered by hiccups than their baby – if your baby is experiencing hiccups, they are likely to go away on their own.

That said – while there’s no tried and true way to prevent hiccups in newborns – if you want to help prevent baby hiccups and soothe them when your baby seems fussy and has hiccups, Bridgetown Baby’s postpartum doulas have a few techniques you can try.

Techniques for calming baby hiccups

Reduce air swallowed while feeding

Some babies develop hiccups during feeding or shortly after. It is possible that this is caused by swallowing too much air which puts pressure on the diaphragm. Here are some ways to expel excess air and stop hiccups during feeding.

Slow down your baby’s feedings

If your baby eats too quickly, he may not have time to breathe before swallowing. Offers a fast bottle feed can help prevent hiccups in babies when using a bottle. You can also burp bottle-fed babies every time they finish .5-1 ounce of breast milk or formula to help prevent your baby from hiccups. If you are breastfeeding and the rapid flow of milk is causing your baby to eat quickly, help them rest and consider working with a lactation consultant if the hiccups are interfering with daily routines. activity or hiccups are bothering you or your baby.

Get the right size nipple for your baby to get a good latch

Whether you feed your baby with a bottle or from the breast/breast or offer a combination of the two, a good latch and an appropriately sized bottle nipple can help make a difference in terms of managing hiccups in newborns Bridgetown Baby’s lactation consultants are experts in supporting a successful and healthy feeding relationship at any stage of your baby’s development.

Burp your baby as needed

If your baby tends to swallow air during feedings, they may need help to release trapped gas. Many babies burp better if placed on your chest and shoulder and gently patted on their back. Another favorite position of postpartum doulas: sit the baby upright on your lap and gently pat her back. Offering burps mid-feed and at the end of feeds can help prevent newborns from swallowing and spitting up.

Help your baby stay calm

Hiccups can be triggered by overstimulation in infants, especially preemies. If you notice that your baby is becoming restless, or showing other signs of stress such as grimacing or avoiding eye contact, it may just mean that there is too much going on in their environment. You can help your baby regulate his nervous system by offering a quiet hug, some babywearing time, or other sensory calming tricks like white noise or offering a pacifier if you use it.

Keep your baby upright after feeding

Holding your baby upright for 10-20 minutes after feeding can help reduce reflux and hiccups.

Knowing that baby hiccups happen and are normal can reduce parental stress, while the above strategies to get rid of baby hiccups can increase your baby’s comfort. This one example speaks to a larger truth: with a little knowledge and little resources, you and your baby can both be supported as you move through the challenges, big and small, of early life together.

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