Hiccups are common in infants. In fact, many moms remember feeling hiccups that happened while the baby was still in the womb. They happen when a muscle called the diaphragm contracts. They can happen on their own or as a result of gas, reflux or hunger. They’re usually nothing to worry about, according to HealthyChildren.org, and will resolve on their own. Still, if your child has had hiccups for an extended period of time, you might want to try a few strategies to get them to go away.
Wait about 10 minutes before trying to get rid of your baby’s hiccups. Hiccups usually pass on their own, according to the HealthyChildren.org. As babies get older, hiccups happen less frequently. Time is usually the best remedy. If your baby is upset by the hiccups, move on to another method.
Burp your baby if the hiccups haven’t passed after 10 minutes. Sometimes excess gas in the digestive tract puts pressure on the muscles that control hiccups. Burping releases the pressure and can stop hiccups.
Feed your baby, according to HealthyChildren.org. This often stops hiccups. Calm your baby before feeding and only feed when your baby is hungry to help avoid hiccups. If your baby won’t feed, try giving him a pacifier.
Soothe and comfort your baby. Helping babies relax can relax the muscles that cause hiccups. Sing, rock your baby or rub her back to help her relax. This is a good strategy if you’re waiting out the hiccups, too.
Take your baby to the doctor if persistent hiccups become a problem. They could be a sign of infant reflux, according to registered nurse Beth Iovinelli at BabyZone.com.
About this Author
Lillian Downey has a diverse background, including studies in English, social work, women’s studies, nonprofit management, political science and nursing. She’s worked as an intern sex-educator, clinic manager and mental health professional. She is currently studying to be a birth doula and childbirth educator. She served as editor-in-chief of “Nexus Journal of Literature and Art” and an assistant fiction editor at the “Antioch Review.”