The first “hiccup” usually sounds pretty sweet: but can the hiccups also become a danger for your baby? You don’t have to worry seriously about your baby’s health. However, if the baby’s hiccups don’t stop, it can be very irritating for the little one. However, you can quickly help your baby with a few tricks: We explain why hiccups are so common in babies and what you can do about them.
Even in the middle of pregnancy, you can sometimes hear a little “hiccup” coming from your belly. This has to do with your baby’s breathing technique. Here you will find everything you need to know about hiccups in the womb.
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Why Do Babies Hiccup So Often?
Breastfeeding, your baby starts to drink, sucks on the breast and suddenly: the newborn’s body contracts. Then it emits a slight “hiccup.” What sounds cute at first can become a real test of patience for an overtired mother in the long run. To stop the hiccups in your baby, you first need to understand what causes the “hiccups” in the first place.
This is How Hiccups Occur in Humans
We also have hiccups from time to time. In us, they occur when the diaphragm cramps up. This is the part of our body responsible for breathing. If it contracts uncontrollably and quickly, the glottis closes. When we inhale, the air hits the contracted glottis. This produces a slight “hiccup” sound, also better known as hiccups.
Causes of Hiccups in Babies
In the first months of life, hiccups occur more often in babies because the muscles of their diaphragm are not yet fully developed. If your baby is breastfed or drinks from a bottle, he or she breathes in. At the same time, however, the epiglottis closes and the hiccups occur.
Another cause can be temperature fluctuations in the stomach. These are caused by food that is too hot or too cold. Babies also quickly swallow air when they laugh or breathe. This also causes hiccups in babies.
The Third Hiccup a Day: Will My Baby Be Harmed?
Hiccups in babies are not dangerous. On the contrary, when they are breastfeeding, they can even save their lives. The little “hiccup” ensures that the breast milk does not accidentally end up in the lungs instead of in the stomach. Because of this, hiccups are completely normal for babies and are not perceived as painful. Some babies do not even seem to notice the slight “hiccups”. They can sleep peacefully despite continuous hiccups.
On the other hand, there are newborns who find the “hiccups” annoying or irritating. If you notice that the hiccups are bothering your baby, you can help with anti-hiccup methods. But beware: stay away from tricks we use as adults to banish hiccups.
Helping The Baby With Hiccups: Five Tips For Parents
- A sip of water: Sometimes it’s even enough to give your baby a quick nip at the breast or a drink from the bottle. If this first step doesn’t help, you can try the other methods.
- Burp your baby: Let your baby burp on your arm after each meal. Excess air that is in the baby’s body can be transported to the outside in this way. And a little bonus: burping also helps prevent flatulence.
- Massagethe baby: As with so many physical problems, relaxation helps the baby get rid of the hiccups. A baby massage is an excellent anti-hiccup remedy because of this. Start by gently massaging the soles of your baby’s feet and stroking him. Take your child in your arms to do this. For the ultimate relaxation, you can also sing a nice nursery rhyme. Here you can find out what you should pay attention to when giving your baby a massage.
- Make it cozy and warm: Make sure that your baby is always dressed warmly enough. After all, baby hiccups can also be triggered by cold and temperature changes. A warm cherry pit pillow on the baby’s belly therefore works wonders for hiccups. This not only relaxes your newborn, but also his diaphragm. However, make sure that the pillow is not too hot. To keep your baby warm and cozy, you can also equip the changing table with a heat lamp.
- Blow gently intoyour child’s face: It sounds absurd, but it has a great effect – if you blow gently into your child’s face, it changes its breathing rhythm. The diaphragm relaxes and the hiccups are quickly over.
“Boo” is Taboo: Do Not Scare Baby!
“Drive away the hiccups? That’s easy, we just scare the little one,” many parents think to themselves. This everyday wisdom may work for adults and teenagers, but it should never be applied to babies. Scaring is an absolute no-go, as it triggers anxiety in your baby. After all, your newborn is still very sensitive. Only gentle methods, such as those we have presented, are therefore suitable for banishing baby hiccups.
If none of our tips work, wait until the hiccups disappear by themselves. Under no circumstances should you then resort to “adult anti-hiccup methods”. Swallowing and holding your breath at the same time is something your child can’t do yet anyway. However, simply holding his nose or something similar is not an option. Again, your child will panic and you will only make things worse.
“My Baby Hiccups” – Hiccups in The Womb
Babies already have the hiccup reflex in the womb. Usually, the first “hiccups” occur from the 25th week of pregnancy. In fact, however, the baby can have hiccups in the womb even as early as the 9th week of gestation. For the baby, the hiccups are a kind of breathing exercise. The neck and rib muscles and the diaphragm contract. In addition, the lungs contract. So by hiccupping in the belly, the baby simulates the natural breathing process. Don’t worry, though, the baby cannot accidentally inhale amniotic fluid during this process. During hiccups, the larynx is tightly closed.
If you are lucky, you can even observe the baby’s hiccups during an ultrasound examination. If your baby has hiccups in the abdomen, it looks as if it is jumping up and down in the womb. You can find out when it’s time for the first ultrasound examination here.
Breathing Exercise Instead of Life Risk: Hiccups in Babies in The Womb and As Newborns
Whether in the womb or in the world: the baby’s hiccups are not dangerous, but help him learn to breathe naturally. In fact, in the newborn, the diaphragm is not yet fully developed.
Because of this, babies usually do not feel disturbed by the “hiccups”. If your baby still reacts to the hiccups in an annoyed or irritated way, you can help to stop the hiccups with some gentle methods. The secret tip is to blow lightly in your little one’s face and he will change his breathing.