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.
What causes baby hiccups?
Just like with adults, baby hiccups happen when our diaphragm gets irritated or stimulated in some way such as eating too much or too fast or swallowing at the wrong time. The diaphragm contracts which causes air to be sucked into our throats and as this air comes in, our vocal cords respond by closing which is when many of us will release a "hic!"
How to get rid of baby hiccups
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...
Rub their back
Help release excess air by rubbing your little one's back in a circular motion. As well as potentially helping to stop the hiccups, it's also a soothing way to comfort your child.
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 bottle-fed babies, burp periodically.
Read more: How to burp a baby
Give them a dummy
Sucking on a dummy will help relax your baby’s diaphragm and may help to stop the hiccups.
While it may not always stop their hiccups, depending on their age you could try laying them down or propping them into a sitting position to see if this helps.
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.
• Check how quickly your baby is feeding their milk as drinking too fast could mean they are taking in air which can result in 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 and before they get to the point where they’re crying out in hunger.
• After feeding, let your baby relax and avoid too much activity.
• Double check your baby's bottle as some designs trap more air in than others when feeding so it's worth trying different brands if you're baby is experiencing a lot of hiccups.
• Keep your baby in an upright position for 20-30 minutes after each feed.