Babies are very delicate and parents’ natural instinct is to be very protective of their little bundles of joy. We always want our babies to be healthy and to grow up with lots of potential. This is a positive mind-set in all parents; which makes the little worries go away.
Hiccups are defined as a spontaneous and somewhat convulsive tightening reflex of the diaphragm. This spontaneously happens with the tightening mechanism of the larynx as well as the closing of the glottis which interrupts air inflow. Hiccups are said to be happening even in the womb even before the baby is born. There is no known exact reason why hiccups occur in babies; but expert studies show that newborns that drink milk very fast tend to swallow air which may possibly be the cause of hiccups to happen. This can also happen during and after baby feeding. This is said to happen more frequently with babies who are younger than 1 year old.
There are very rare occasions though when hiccups take much longer than normal. Here are some types of hiccups that would fall into this category:
- Persistent Hiccups – This are hiccup bouts that would last longer than 48 hours.
- Intractable Hiccups – This type usually lasts for more than a month. This is something which causes alarm because this can interrupt sleep and decrease your baby’s appetite which may lead to a significant weight loss. This is something that warrants immediate medical attention. It is best to check with your paediatrician to know what interventions should be taken to alleviate hiccups.
Dealing With Baby Hiccups:
It is better to be on the preventive side when dealing with hiccups. You can effectively deal with hiccup bouts by watching your baby feed or drink his milk. If you observe that your baby is drinking or eating rapidly than usual; which happens when the baby is upset, you can withdraw the bottle or stop the feeding. When the baby seems to calm down, that is the time to start feeding again. It also helps to make the baby burp every after feedings. When dealing with onset of hiccups, you can make the baby drink water. Patting the baby’s back while having bouts of hiccup will also help your newborn relax. Also, you can bring the baby out for some fresh air or distract him with toys or music.
Generally, hiccups are not dangerous or even painful for your babies. It can rather be violent and loud; but as long as you can observe that your baby is happy, active, and eating well; there is absolutely nothing that should be an issue of concern. Most often than not, the parents appear to be more affected than the baby; which is but a natural reaction.