Motherhood

Newborn Hiccups: Why They Happen & How to Stop Them

Team Peanut6 months ago4 min read

While very high on the cute-o-meter, newborn hiccups can spin your mind into a frenzy of questions: Adorable—but is this normal? Are baby hiccups a sign of overfeeding? Did they drink too much? Is my baby milk-drunk?

Mama and baby

First question: Are hiccups bad for newborns?

You’ll be pleased to know that newborn hiccups are normal—and, in fact, a healthy sign!

Newborn hiccups are one of the many ways your little one is learning to use that amazing new body of theirs.

While the jury is still out on a definitive cause for hiccups, what we do know is that they are typically brought on by a spasm of the diaphragm, that mass of muscle that sits horizontally at the bottom of your ribcage and plays an important role in the breathing process. Hiccups in newborn babies are no different.

Hiccups in newborns

Some possible reasons for newborn hiccups.

  1. That tiny tummy swells and pushes against the diaphragm. Hence the spasm. This usually happens as a result of:
    • Eating too much. (Yes, that breastmilk/formula is delish and your tiny human just can’t get enough of it.)
    • Eating too quickly.
    • Gulping down some air as a side dish to their milk meal.
  2. Acid reflux. Essentially, this is when juices go the wrong way. It’s called gastroesophageal reflux because it involves acidic juices flowing from the stomach (gastro) to the esophagus.

In most cases, neither of these causes of hiccups in newborns is anything to worry about. However, if your baby seems in distress or the hiccups don’t go away after some time, then it’s a good idea to get in touch with your healthcare provider.

How to get rid of newborn hiccups

Don’t worry, there are ways that you can get rid of hiccups in newborn babies—and they’re all quite effortless.

How do you stop hiccups in a newborn?

Now, how do you stop newborn hiccups? Give them a huge fright, tell them to hold their breath for a count of 100, instruct them to drink water upside down?

Um, no.

So maybe the normal methods of kicking hiccups to the curb aren’t too helpful when you want to know how to stop newborn hiccups.

Often, newborn hiccups will stop on their own—but there are ways to help the process along:

  • Have a rest. When it comes to newborn hiccups, a little breather for your little breather is a great way to reset their system.
  • One, two, cha, cha, change. Positions that is. Getting rid of newborn hiccups may be as simple as changing your baby’s position.
  • A good ol’ belch. Yup, burping your baby at regular intervals will help that diligent digestive tract do its work. Goodbye, Gas!
  • Something to suck. You might want to try a pacifier to get that diaphragm to chill.
  • Switch up your routine. Getting a feeding schedule right may require some trial and error. You and your baby are your own little team. You make up the rules. Try a different feeding schedule. Perhaps less food at shorter intervals? This might prevent that air swallowing trick that they like to perform.

Can you lay a baby down with hiccups?

While newborn hiccups are mostly harmless, it’s a good idea to burp your baby and then keep them upright for about 15 minutes after feeding. After that, they’ll hopefully slip into a beautiful milk-induced slumber.

Keep at it, mama! You’ve got this.

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