When you hold your newborn in your arms and stare at his cute little face all you feel like doing is admire his face. “Hic! Hic!” you hear and it keeps coming again and again. You see a weird discomfort on his face and you just don’t understand what to do next.
Hiccups are common among newborns and as a matter of fact, your baby whilst in your womb has had hiccups too! Fetuses have hiccups too and you can feel and experience them from your second trimester. In your womb, the hiccups are a result of swallowing amniotic fluid but in the world outside, there are many reasons that can cause hiccups:
It is a condition in which the contents of the stomach move towards the esophagus. Since babies don’t have well developed esophageal sphincter, a reflux is caused. It triggers acid and the backflow of food causes nerves to flutter around the diaphragm resulting in hiccups.
It can be even caused by breast milk and it leads to bloating of the stomach. This sudden bloating causes the diaphragm to stretch and hence go into spasm which further results in your baby having hiccups.
3. Impurities in the air
Babies have a sensitive immune system and respiratory system. So, pollutants and irritants like fumes, concentrated fragrance triggers coughing and lack of breath due to that cause hiccups!
4.Excessive air intake
If your baby is being bottle fed, there are chances of him swallowing a lot of air. This is because the milk flows slower from your breasts than the bottle. So, it causes symptoms similar to overfeeding with excessive air swallowing. It irritates the baby and causes hiccups.
Now that you know of the possible reasons why your newborn could have hiccups, you can help them out easily.
Here’s how you can tackle their hiccups:
1.Massage the baby’s back
Position your baby sitting in the upright position and rub his back. Begin rubbing in circular motions from the lower back all the way up to the shoulders. Don’t apply too much pressure as the purpose of this is to loosen the diaphragm to relieve him of hiccups.
2.Give him sugar
Age old remedy which instantly cures all hiccups. If your baby is familiar with solid foods, you can give him few crystals of sugar to eat. If not, prepare a fresh sugar syrup and either dip your finger or his pacifier in it and give it to him to lick or suck.
Sugar has a property of easing the diaphragm’s tension further aiding in stopping the hiccups.
3.Distract the baby
A little game of peek-a-boo always does wonders. Every time your baby has hiccups, show him his favorite toys or bright colored objects, it will easily distract him.
A change in the nerve stimulus can calm a baby and reduce the frequency and the intensity of the hiccups.
4. Try gripe water
Although there’s no scientific backing to the goodness of gripe water, it is known to treat the gastrointestinal problems in infants. It is a popular thing in the mommy and baby world because it heals and cures hiccups almost immediately. Dilute the gripe water with some clean drinking water and give it to your baby.
But always consult your pediatrician before you give anything to your baby. If he is allergic to it, it might become problematic.
5.Never let baby sleep while eating/ drinking
Bottle’s mechanism doesn’t work like the breast where milk comes out upon suckling. Milk keeps oozing out of the bottle and it not just promotes hiccups but it may lead to cavities too.