As a new parent, few things are more concerning than seeing your newborn suffer from hiccups. Hiccups can be distressing for both you and your baby, but rest assured that this is a common condition, and there are several effective ways to reduce the frequency and duration of newborn hiccups.
Newborn hiccups occur when the diaphragm contracts involuntarily, forcing air into the baby’s lungs and causing the vocal cords to close quickly. Hiccups are harmless, but frequent and prolonged episodes can be a cause for concern. In this article, we will explore some natural remedies, feeding techniques, and more to help alleviate your baby’s hiccups.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to get rid of hiccups in newborns is to burp them. Newborns often swallow air while feeding or crying, which can cause hiccups. Burping helps to release the air and reduce the discomfort of hiccups. To burp your baby, hold them upright on your shoulder or lap and gently pat or rub their back. Burp your baby after every feeding and whenever they seem uncomfortable.
Another natural remedy for hiccups in newborns is gentle massage. Use your fingertips to give your baby a light massage on the back or tummy to soothe their diaphragm and stop hiccups. You can also try giving your baby sips of water to help relax their diaphragm and reduce hiccups. Just make sure that the water is at room temperature and only give a few sips at a time.
The way you feed your baby can also impact the frequency of hiccups. First and foremost, it’s essential to burp your baby more frequently during feedings. Try burping your baby after every ounce of formula or every two to three minutes while breastfeeding. This will help release any swallowed air and prevent hiccups.
Using a pacifier after feedings can also help reduce hiccups. Sucking on a pacifier can help soothe the diaphragm and relax the muscles that cause hiccups.
Adjusting Feeding Positions
Adjusting your baby’s feeding position can also help reduce hiccups. Holding your baby upright during feedings can help prevent milk from flowing back into the throat and causing hiccups. You may also try tilting your baby forward slightly to assist in better digestion. Alternatively, holding your baby in a slightly reclined position can help reduce reflux and in turn, reduce hiccups.
Timing of Feedings
Establishing a feeding routine for your baby is essential to reduce the frequency of hiccups. Feed your baby every two to three hours, ideally at the same time each day, to help regulate their digestive system. This allows their body time to digest and adequately process milk, reducing the occurrence of hiccups.
Reduce Air Intake
Reducing the amount of air that your baby ingests during feedings can help reduce the frequency of hiccups. Slow down the feeding process and avoid overly vigorous sucking, as this can cause more air to enter their stomach. When bottle-feeding, make sure that the bottle is tilted so that the nipple is always full of milk. This will prevent air from being sucked in with the milk.
Strengthening the Body
Regular exercise can help strengthen your baby’s respiratory system, reducing the frequency of hiccups. Encourage tummy time and other activities that involve movement to improve respiratory function.
When to See a Doctor
Hiccups are not typically a cause for concern, but it is essential to know when to seek medical attention. If your baby’s hiccups last for more than a few minutes or occur frequently throughout the day, it may be a sign that there is an underlying medical issue. Seek medical attention if hiccups are accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting, fever, or difficulty breathing.
Having a newborn can be overwhelming, especially when they experience hiccups frequently. However, it is essential to remember that hiccups are common and not usually a cause for concern. Practicing proper feeding techniques, using natural remedies, adjusting feeding positions, and reducing air intake can significantly reduce your baby’s hiccups. Remember, if hiccups persist or are accompanied by other symptoms, seek medical attention.