Just like in adults, infant hiccups are caused by spasms of baby’s tiny and developing diaphragm, the large muscle that runs across the bottom of the rib cage and moves up and down as we breathe. Though nobody knows for sure why we hiccup (it doesn’t seem to have any obvious, useful purpose), these spasms can be triggered by many things.
Hiccups usually occur 4 to 60 times a minute in children younger than 4 months.
Because hiccups are often uncomfortable in adults, many people believe that it also makes babies uncomfortable. However, infants with hiccups usually do not cause much impact. In fact, many babies with hiccups can sleep, without being disturbed, and hiccups rarely interfere or affect the baby's breathing.
According to City Pediatrician, City International Hospital, hiccups are reflexes of young children, especially children under 4 months old when the stomach is tight. If you make your baby inhale longer or hold their breath, they will stop hiccups (suck, make babies laugh). This reflex will go away when the baby gets older.
How to avoid hiccups
If your baby is having hiccups, he may stop feeding, then pat his baby on his back to burp. Gentle implementation will automatically stop hiccups.
For hiccups all. Usually, babies with hiccups stop their attacks by themselves. If hiccups do not bother the baby, the mother should let her body adjust itself.
If the mother feels that she feels uncomfortable due to hiccups, such as crying or feeling uncomfortable, she can try to breastfeed more breast milk.
It is important to note that doctors advise mothers not to use non-stereotypes for hiccups. For example, do not startle or pull the baby's tongue. These infant hiccups should not be applied, as they can do more harm than good.
Changing positions when your baby also helps to stop hiccups.
Can hiccups in newborns be prevented?
In addition to curing infant hiccups, there are several ways to help prevent hiccups. However, it is difficult to prevent hiccups completely because the cause of hiccups is not always clear. Mothers should try these methods to help prevent hiccups in babies:
Make sure your baby is calm when feeding. That is, do not wait until your baby is so hungry and cry before he starts to eat. When your baby cries a lot, he will swallow a lot and cause hiccups.
- Try feeding your baby less, but feeding more often.
- If the baby is bottle fed, he should burp after two or three minutes after feeding, should use a bottle with anti-choke valve and anti-flatulence.
- If you breastfeed your baby, burp your baby after each transfer to the other breast and suck the areola, not the nipple.
- Hold your baby upright for 20 to 30 minutes after each feed.
- After breastfeeding, do not play with your baby because when he is full, playing with him will not only hiccup but also cause him to vomit.
When to see the doctor?
Hiccups are considered normal for infants under 12 months of age. Even hiccups can occur while the baby is still in the womb. However, if an infant has continuous hiccups, which lasts longer than 48 hours, or especially if the baby feels uncomfortable or agitated during the hiccups, the mother should take her to see a doctor. This may be a sign of other pathologies. Also, talk to your doctor if hiccups are disturbing your baby's sleep or if hiccups continue to occur more often after your baby's first birthday.
Do not play with your baby for too long because it can cause hiccups.
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:
City International Hospital
- Address: No. 3, 17A Street, Binh Tri Dong B Ward, Binh Tan Dist. (Next to AEON Mall Binh Tan). Ho Chi Minh City.
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