Does your newborn have the hiccups? Learn about this normal occurrence and what to do if your baby often hiccups during feedings.
Whether you felt them during pregnancy or they’re a whole new experience, newborn hiccups can come as a surprise to you — and your baby.
Startling as baby hiccups is at first, they’re likely bothering you much more than your newborn. That said, there are a few tricks to know to keep these noisy spasms at bay.
How do you get rid of newborn hiccups?
You probably know about a dozen “cures” for a case of the hiccups as an adult, but these tricks won’t work on your newborn (offering water, for instance, can be dangerous for babies under 6 months old — plus babies can’t yet consciously regulate their breathing or swallowing the way an adult can).
So, what’s the best way to deal with newborn hiccups? Wait them out. If you’re worried that your baby’s hiccups are bothering him, you can try feeding him or letting him suck on a pacifier, which may quell the attack.
Some parents find that giving gripe water helps. Gripe water is an over-the-counter liquid supplement of sodium bicarbonate and herbs that may help ease gas and baby tummy troubles.
How to stop newborn hiccups during feedings
If you notice your baby gets hiccups more frequently during breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, there are a couple of tricks you can try:
Why do newborn babies get hiccups?
It’s perfectly normal for a newborn to get a case of the hiccups. In fact, some babies even get the hiccups before they’re born, starting around month 6 of your pregnancy, when your baby’s lungs start developing (if you ever noticed regular little spasms in your abdomen, that’s what they likely were).
Chances are, if your baby hiccupped a lot on the inside, he’ll hiccup plenty in the first few months on the outside, too. But even if you didn’t notice your baby practicing his hiccups before he was born, newborn hiccups are not uncommon and are not a cause for concern.
Just like with adults, there’s no single cause for newborn hiccups — although there are theories. Hiccups may be brought on by air trapped in little stomachs during a feeding. They may also simply be yet another in baby’s repertoire of reflexes. Later, giggles may bring on the hiccups.
Sometimes, hiccups can be a sign of infant GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), or acid reflux, where stomach acid flows back up the esophagus. But babies with GERD will have other symptoms, too, such as arching of the back while feeding, crying while feeding, being irritable in general, spitting up and coughing. If you notice these symptoms, contact your pediatrician.