Baby hiccups: How to prevent them

by Mother & Baby |

It's totally normal for your newborn to get a bout of hiccups from time to time (and if you ask us, it's rather cute when a baby does a little hiccup!). Like when us grown-ups get hiccups, they're usually nothing to worry about and they tend to go away after a few minutes. However, if you want to try and prevent or get rid of their hiccups, there are a few things you can do to help.

How to get rid of baby hiccups 

Baby and infant hiccups are very normal and they’re caused by a contraction of the diaphragm and the quick closing of the vocal cords. This is what creates the sound of hiccups, which can often make that loud hiccup sound in us adults.

Although adult hiccups can be a bit annoying and even wake us up, babies are typically not affected by them. They can often sleep through hiccups without being disturbed. However, if your baby does seem to be disturbed, you can try a few things to help them.

Burp your baby

Burping your baby during and after feeding can sometimes help get rid of any excess gas that might be causing the hiccups. For breastfed babies, try burping them before you switch to your other breast and for bottlefed babies, burp periodically.

Read more: Baby burping: 6 ways to wind your baby

Give them a dummy

Sucking on a dummy will help relax your baby’s diaphragm and may help to stop the hiccups.

Let the hiccups run their course

Sometimes, if the hiccups don’t seem to be affecting your baby, you can just leave them be. Just remember, if they get hiccups a lot and they don’t stop on their own, or they seem to be bothering your baby, you should seek medical advice and let your doctor know.

How to prevent hiccups

Although there are a number of different causes of newborn hiccups, and quite often, you won’t be able to work out the cause, there are a number of things you can do to help prevent hiccups.

  • It’s a good idea to make sure your baby isn’t upset or crying before you feed them. Try to feed your baby when they’re calm, before they get to the point where they’re crying out in hunger.

  • After feeding, let your baby relax and avoid too much activity.

  • Keep your baby in an upright position for 20-30 minutes after each feed.

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