When your little baby hiccups, it can sound cute and sweet. But you might be wondering if that’s normal as part of development. Yes, it is harmless and is a sign of baby’s growth and part of development for babies under a year old. Babies even hiccup in the womb, which sometimes alarm pregnant moms but is also totally normal. Hiccups are sudden contractions of the diaphragm as a result of irritation or stimulation of the muscle.
However, if your child has hiccup very frequently, or occur often after age 1, it is best that you talk to your child’s doctor. Unusual hiccups can – in very rare cases – be a sign of a more serious underlying medical condition.
Here’s a few things you can do to prevent or reduce hiccups in babies.
1. Listen to the sound your baby makes
If your little one is making too much slurping sound, it may mean that he is ingesting a lot of air. If your baby is breastfed, ensure that the baby’s mouth covers the entire nipple.
2. Hold your baby in a vertical position while feeding
Feeding your baby in this position will enable smooth flow of the milk through the esophagus.
3. Feeding in sitting position
If your baby is old enough to sit, then you can bottle feed him in a sitting position. Sit behind your baby to support his back. Feeding in this position will ensure that gravity plays its part in pulling down just the food and not the air.
4. Feed your baby in small quantities
Feed your baby in small amounts and over a longer period of time. This will help to prevent overfeeding that is a cause for hiccups in babies.
5. Keep baby in upright position after feeding
Hold your baby upright for up to 15 minutes after feeding. Staying upright will keep his diaphragm in its natural position thus preventing any muscle fluttering.