Baby hiccups are nothing new to babies and most of them, including adults, will hiccup every now and then. Take note that even while still inside the womb, a baby can already experience hiccups. Thus, whenever you hear it on your baby, you should not be worried since hiccups are harmless in general and will just go away after a time. There are products that are being offered to get rid of newborn baby hiccups but these can be dangerous to health, especially if they are administered without an order from the doctor.
So what causes baby hiccups? There are many causes for baby hiccups but they all have something in common, and that is they tend to extend the stomach, which then puts a stress on the diaphragm muscle. When this muscle, which is vital in the breathing of your baby, contracts involuntarily, the result is a hiccup. Usually, a baby will have a bout when air is swallowed together with milk. The body mechanism that causes hiccup is the same for both adults and babies although infants will have more spells, especially if they suck too much air from a feeding bottle.
Other factors that are associated with hiccups in infants include GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease and changes in temperature. If the body temperature of the baby drops suddenly, muscle contractions will result leading to hiccups. GERD in turn stimulates the diaphragm when food comes out in a reflux action.
As mentioned, baby hiccups are normal so you should not be nervous every time it occurs, and it can even disappear on its own. However, it can be very annoying for you and your baby and most parents who are in the same situation would try to find a way to get rid of baby hiccups. Luckily, there are several ways of doing it, such as positioning your baby properly and patting your baby on the back. Patting helps in relaxing the baby and expelling the air that is inside the baby’s stomach. Some would utilize sugar instead, by putting some on the tip of the tongue of their babies. It is said that the reason why sugar stops hiccup is that the sweet taste attracts the attention of the nerves and therefore the diaphragm contraction stops.
You should also check the nipple of your baby’s bottles. Since baby hiccups are caused by too much air in the stomach, a nipple that is too wide will contribute to it. Check if the milk is going too fast or too slow by positioning the feeding bottle upside down.
There are instances where hiccups occur more frequently than normal. The involuntary movement of the diaphragm muscle causes hiccups and if it happens more frequently, it can be a sign of a medical condition that has an underlying cause that is more serious. If your child is having baby hiccups more frequently than normal, it is best if you could bring your baby to a pediatrician for the appropriate treatment and medication.