From little coos to tiny yawns, you would always find your baby’s activities to be cute and adorable, but it is really tough to find that whatever he is doing is it normal or it calls for concern. When your baby hiccups, it might sound too sweet but it also at times bothers you.
Hiccupping is a harmless nuisance of the digestive system. It is completely non-toxic and just a sign to show the overall growth and development of your young one. Hiccups are very common among kids but tiny babies below the age of 1 year are more inclined to them. Repeated bouts of hiccups tend to descend with growing age and might disappear by the time your baby is 9-months-old.
Your baby is also prone to hiccups even before his birth. You might have experienced your little unborn baby hiccupping inside your womb. The reason behind this is that hiccups help in developing your infant’s lungs and prepares him for life outside the womb.
Newborn and baby hiccups: What are hiccups?
Hiccups are common conditions of the digestive system. It is caused by the sudden and irregular spasms of your baby’s tiny and developing diaphragm, due to irritation or stimulation of the muscle. The diaphragm is the large muscle that helps in breathing; it runs across the bottom of the rib cage. The contractions cause air to be sucked into your little champ’s tiny windpipe, this is followed by sudden closure of the vocal cords, which as a result produces “hic” sound.
Newborn and baby hiccups: What causes hiccups?
You would have observed that your baby generally hiccups after his meal. As hiccups are directly associated with eating since diaphragm muscle lies in close relation with the stomach. It is being found that hiccups are caused by the pressure on young tiny toddler’s diaphragm because of a full stomach or maybe because of swallowing huge amount of air; at the time of gulping down formula or breastfed milk too quickly. Generally, it leads to stomach distention. It has been noticed that when stomach distends, it pushes the diaphragm, resulting in its contraction.
You might also find that hiccups are also caused due to the sudden changes in the stomach temperature. It is generally caused when you feed your child with cold milk and then a few minutes later you serve him with some hot cereals. This situation triggers the hiccups among your little one.
At times you would observe that partially, digested food and acidic juices from the stomach flows back into the food pipe of your child, which causes discomfort and a burning sensation within him. Since esophagus (food pipe) passes through the diaphragm, it leads to irritation and results into constant hiccups. This cause of hiccup is known as GER, gastroesophageal reflux. At times hiccups turn out to be a major concern. Following are the symptoms:
1. You might notice that your child can have hiccups multiple times a day, which might last for 10 minutes or maybe longer, causing your little one some distress.
2. Your young one is crying frequently.
3. If you find your baby throwing up more than normal.
4. When your baby arches his back excessively after or during regular feeding.
Newborn and baby hiccups: How to cure it?
Though hiccups are harmless, it’s normal for you as a mother to want your baby to get some relief. Below are the few tips that can help your baby alleviate the hiccups.
1. You need to feed your baby in small quantities and make sure to burp your baby frequently. Burping helps to bring up the trapped air from your baby’s stomach.
2. During a bottle feed, you can stop the bottle feed in the half to burp your kid and then complete the feeding after an interval of 5 to 10 minutes.
3. You must reposition the bottle during bottle feed so that your baby should not swallow air through the nipple, rather air should be at the bottom of the bottle.
4. You should try to make your baby sit upright for 10-20 minutes after each feed. Holding him upright after the feed would help gas to rise and pass naturally.
5. You need to rub the back and rock him after the feed.
Newborn and baby hiccups: How to prevent it?
Obviously, prevention is better than the cure. Here are few key pointers that would help you to prevent hiccups at the first place.
1. You must feed your baby when he’s calm rather than waiting for him to become super hungry and cranky. He tends to suck more air when he cries because of hunger. This leads to gas problems, resulting in hiccups.
2. You must eliminate the food that triggers hiccups. If your little champ hiccups very frequently, generally dairy foods are the victims.
3. You should try to keep your baby warm since sudden temperature change also triggers the hiccups.
Newborn and baby hiccups: When should you consult the doctor
You should always remember that you should never startle your baby to get rid of the hiccups (like the practices that we try out with adults) and try to avoid folk remedies as well. If you notice that hiccups are accompanied by spitting up or coughing, then it is something really serious and calls for a doctor.