Baby hiccups are caused by a contraction of the diaphragm followed by the quick closing of the vocal cords. The sound of the vocal cords closing is what creates the familiar “hiccup” noise.
Since hiccups tend to bother adults, families assume they will in turn bother their baby as well.
The good news, babies are typically not affected by hiccups at all. In fact, many babies will even sleep through the hiccups without being disturbed.
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What are Hiccups
Baby hiccups are likely one of the earliest outward signs of development in the womb.
Baby's ability to inhale and exhale amniotic fluid—and therefore hiccup—is a good sign that their diaphragm is developing nicely.
This process actually begins around week ten, though mom probably will not be able to actually feel baby hiccups in the womb for a few more months.
It is important to note that fetal hiccups are, in general, considered a good sign. After week thirty-two, it is less common to experience fetal hiccups every day.
Newborn hiccups are triggered by the nerve that connects the brain to the developing diaphragm. Though nobody knows for sure why babies hiccup, we do know that these spasms can be triggered by many things.
Newborn hiccups are most frequently heard after the baby is overfed from when they gulp air during eating.
In these cases, too much baby milk or gas causes your baby's stomach to expand and rub against the diaphragm, generating those hiccups.
For newborns, hiccups caused by overeating can set in after or even during a feeding.
Baby hiccups can also be the result of sudden changes in your baby's stomach temperature.
When you give your baby some cold milk and then a few minutes later feed them some warm rice cereal, this combination can actually trigger those baby hiccups.
Reflux in Babies
In addition to feeding-related triggers, once in a while, a case of baby hiccups that happens several times a day can be caused by something entirely different.
The culprit may be gastroesophageal reflux, or GER or reflux as it is often called.
When your baby suffers from reflux, partially digested food, and acidic juices from the stomach flow back up into the esophagus causing burning and discomfort.
Since the esophagus passes through the diaphragm, it can get irritated and lead to lots of baby hiccups.
Hiccupping in and of itself is not a sign of reflux.
If you notice these symptoms and suspect your baby’s hiccups may be due to gastroesophageal reflux, it is best to start with a visit to your pediatrician and choose nutrition that soothes your little one’s symptoms and helps to keep baby's stomach acids from moving up your baby’s esophagus.
Baby Formula for Reflux
HiPP Combiotic Anti Reflux is the absolute best organic combiotic reflux baby formula on the market. This European baby formula is specifically designed to help babies with reflux.
HiPP Combiotic AR European baby formula also contains combiotic ingredients like the prebiotic (Galacto-oligosaccharides), and probiotic (Lactobacillus Fermentum Hereditum) to support the healthy bacteria growth in your little one’s intestines.
The ingredient that really is effective in babies with reflux is the organic locust bean gum which naturally acts as a thickener. This small ingredient in combination with the other clean and pure ingredients soothes babies' digestion and sets a foundation for a healthier today and tomorrow.
How to Get Rid of Baby Hiccups
Please keep in mind that the majority of the time baby hiccups are harmless, but we can help our little ones find some relief from those incessant spasms.
If your little one gets hiccups while feeding, stop and burp your baby. Burping can get rid of excess gas that may be causing your baby hiccups.
Rub your baby’s back to burp when they have hiccups. This movement will gently relieve gas bubbles.
Paced feeding reduces the risk of overfeeding that may result in hiccups. This feeding method is recommended for any baby that receives baby bottles.
Pace feeding also places your baby into an upright position. That is naturally easier on digestion and helps keep hiccups at bay.
Baby hiccups do not always start from eating.
When your baby starts to hiccup outside of feeding, allow a few moments on a pacifier. The sucking motion will help relax your baby's diaphragm and may help stop hiccups.
If your baby seems to be in discomfort because of their hiccups, you could consider trying gripe water.
Gripe water is a combination of natural herbs and water that is believed to soothe intestinal distress caused by gas, colic, and reflux.
Before you give your baby anything new, always speak with your little one’s pediatrician.
Newborn babies tend to get hiccups fairly often-even daily. More often than not, your baby’s hiccups will stop on their own.
If the baby hiccups are not bothering your baby, then you can safely let them run their course.
If your baby’s hiccups do not stop on their own, let your pediatrician know. It may be a sign of a more serious medical issue.
How to Stop Hiccups
Baby hiccups are often not preventable, but there are a few strategies that may help.
✓ Feeding your baby before they become very hungry keeps them calm, so they swallow less air
✓ Feeding the baby frequently in tiny amounts and taking small breaks gives your baby’s diaphragm a chance to relax
✓ Sitting the baby upright for half an hour after each feeding will release trapped air
✓ Repositioning your baby bottle so that no air is near the nipple
✓ Ensuring that your baby’s mouth is over the whole nipple to mimic the breast-feeding latch
It is a comfort to know that baby hiccups are not usually a cause for concern. All babies experience hiccups in their first year of life.
The majority of hiccups are related to feeding, following smart baby bottle practices can greatly reduce hiccupping.
If hiccupping is frequent, or if it causes pain or other digestive worry please speak with your little one's doctor and follow up with organic nutrition that will elevate digestive distress.
My Organic Company proudly carries European baby formulas to alleviate tummy troubles and gas pains. We have experts on hand to walk you through the best options for your baby's digestive and developmental needs.