Hiccups are involuntary sounds that are made by spasms of the diaphragm. In babies hiccups are often caused by the immature irregular contractions of the diaphragm. Babies hiccup frequently when they are in utero and continue to do so after they are born. As babies grow their hiccups will lessen as their diaphragm develops and becomes stronger.
You may find that your baby gets the hiccups after feeding, however most babies are not distressed by hiccupping. The way you feed them, or whether you burp them or not, is not the cause of the hiccups. Your baby’s hiccups will usually resolve on their own and you should not need to do anything.
If you want to stop your baby’s hiccups these tips may help:
- Offering your baby another feed or dummy as the swallowing may help stop the hiccups.
- Sitting your baby upright.
- Feeding your baby while they are calm and before they become extremely hungry may help stop hiccups.
- Elevating the cot mattress slightly.
If you are concerned about your baby and their hiccups then you should speak with your local doctor for advice.
Did you know?
- Babies can begin hiccupping as early as six weeks after conception, but they are generally not felt by the mother until the baby is larger.
- Babies will often hiccup in their sleep, but it does not distress them and there is usually no need to intervene.
- Hiccups generally occur at a frequency of four to sixty per minute.
- Charles Osborne, the Guinness World Records holder for the longest attack, hiccuped for 68 years!