Hiccups are very common in babies and adults. Hiccups in the seconds is not an issue it is just a way of body’s defense mechanism and there is nothing wrong in having hiccups it does not signifies the body’s any issue or ailments. But what is the main reason is that continuous hiccups can leave you in good anxiety and will affect your baby’s day to day activities. From the time of second-trimester baby hiccups start and it means the body’s mechanism started functioning and that is a good sign.
Causes Of Baby Hiccups
1. Gastroesophageal Reflux
Gastroesophageal reflux is a condition in which the contents of the stomach move into the esophagus. Reflux occurs as babies have an underdeveloped lower esophageal sphincter, which lies between the esophagus and stomach and prevents the upward movement of the food.
Overfeeding your baby, even on breast milk, can cause the stomach to bloat and distend. The sudden expansion of the abdominal cavity stretches the diaphragm, causing it to go into a spasm. This, in turn, makes your baby hiccup,
In few of these cases, the allergies could be triggered by a change in the of the breast milk due to certain foods consumed by the mother and then it can cause hiccups.
3. Respiratory Issues
Babies have a sensitive respiratory system and any airborne irritant such as fumes, pollution or intense fragrance can trigger a cough in them. Repeated coughing puts pressure on the diaphragm, making it flutter. This can cause your baby to break into hiccups.
If your baby is asthmatic, the bronchial tubes of his lungs get inflamed thus restricting the airflow into the lungs. This causes irritation and wheezing due to lack of breath which produces spasmodic movement of the diaphragm. Hence, inducing hiccups.
4. If your baby is bottle-fed, he may swallow excessive air since milk flows faster from a bottle than from your breast. The air inflow causes symptoms similar to those of overfeeding, and the swelled stomach will result in hiccups.
It is good if you practice some hygiene habits also like regularly clean and wash your baby’s bottle to prevent the bottle from getting contaminated.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
Never breastfeed or bottle feed your baby in large quantities in one go as they have a gastrointestinal tract which is not fully mature yet and in that case, it can cause a real problem for you like some serious distension of the stomach.
Keep the following points in mind while feeding your little one:
- Does not allow your baby to sleep while feeding with the bottle. Breast in your baby’s milk only flows on continuous sucking from the nipple.
- When feeding on the bottle and wait until the bottle is half empty and not completely full.
A break for a few seconds will help the milk flow down to the stomach from the esophagus will reduce the chances of a hiccup.
- Feed your baby small quantities over a longer period of time rather than stuffing him in one sitting.
- If your baby has grown to sit then you can bottle feed them in their sitting position. Make your position to sitting behind to support your baby’s back.
How To Stop Baby Hiccups
1. SUGAR, please!
If your baby is old enough to eat some solid food then place some sugar crystals under their tongue. In case they are too young you can always use the dropper or pacifier for the same. Dip your finger in the syrup and let the baby lick it.
Make sure that you regularly clean the bottle and the pacifier.
2. Massage the baby’s back
Position your baby in an upright sitting position and gently rub his lower back all the way to his shoulder in circular motions. You can also place the baby on his tummy and give the massage but make sure that you place them on a good cover mattress which will not harm the little one. Be gentle with your movements and do not apply too much pressure. The idea here is to loosen the tension in his diaphragm, which can relieve him of hiccups.
It is very important to take a little break time the process of feeding with burping. Place your little one on your shoulder and start gently tapping his back between their shoulder blades and to induce a burp.
3. Change the position of the baby to upright after a meal
Hold your baby vertical and upright for up to 15 minutes after feeding. Staying upright will keep his diaphragm in its natural position thus preventing any muscle fluttering.
4. Distract your baby
Whenever your baby breaks into bouts of hiccups try to distract them with some game or with their toy. Hiccups are caused by muscle spasms, which can be due to the nerves present producing impulses.
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When To Consult A Doctor?
- Gastroesophageal reflux is can be simple to detect with these symptoms which are like irritability, they will recurrently arch their back and their irritability will start after a few minutes of eating food. Gastroesophageal reflux happens due to loosening of the sphincter at an esophageal level which makes the food reflux back in the mouth with irritation.
- First of all calm down mother, it is fine that for the baby to hiccup once in a while it is not the point of concern but if the hiccups interfere with their daily activities such as feeding and sleeping then it can be a point of issue.
- The hiccups are not curbing down despite you have done almost everything and continue for an abnormally long time then it is time you take a medical intervention.
In such cases, you should certainly consult your little one’s doctor.
Patience and observation will help you and your baby deal with hiccups. Home remedies are the simple means of temporarily dealing with them and it is the way without side effects. Never get anxious about them since it is a completely physiological(natural) thing which happens in the body.
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