Don’t panic, hiccups happen! Did you know that your baby can even have them in the womb? Yep.

Let’s first talk about what is a hiccup. Hiccups are involuntary contractions of the diaphragm, that happen suddenly, which occur at the same time as a contraction of the larynx and complete closure of the glottis that then effectively blocks all air intake. The glottis is the middle part of the larynx, which is where the vocal cords are located.

If you’re concerned about the frequency of your newborn’s hiccups keep a journal or diary of when the hiccups happen and what happens prior to them coming on. This will let you know of the possible causes of the hiccups.

One of the most common reasons your baby may get those annoying hiccups is due to feeding. You probably notice them come on immediately after you have had a feeding. Here are a few tips that may assist in preventing hiccups:

 

  • Since overfeeding is a common cause of hiccups You can double or increase feedings where baby is actually consuming less during more feeding sessions.
  • Burp more often. Burping your baby more often will assist with preventing hiccups. When feeding, breastfeeding or bottle feeding, slow down and take more pauses to burp baby.
  • Not only too much milk, but too much air causes hiccups. Be sure baby is latched-on appropriately by baby’s lips having a tight seal.
  • When bottle feeding tilt the bottle to a 40-45 degree angle so that the air will stay at the bottom of the bottle. Some moms swear by the collapsible bottle bags!
  • Keep baby up right for 10-15 minutes after feeding. This will release any pressure from the diaphragm and allow for air to rise to the top of the stomach to allow for better burping

If you think your baby may have a more serious problem please contact your physician. Persistent hiccups that are combined with often regurgitation and/or signs your baby has stomach pains can mean reflux. You will want to consult with your pediatrician.