Is it normal for babies to hiccup all the time?

The answer to the question is a yes.

It is normal when babies hiccup in the mother’s womb. It may, at times, alarm the pregnant mums, but there’s nothing really to worry about. So, as a mum-to-be, you may be wondering how your little one can hiccup when he or she is inside of you? You surely know that they are not breathing yet! But that’s where you are wrong. Breathing has nothing to do with your baby’s hiccup. If there are unexpected tightening of the diaphragm possibly as a result of itchiness or stimulation of the muscle, the baby may have a hiccup.

Once the baby is born and if you are worried about the constant hiccups then, Lynnette Mazur, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston says,

It’s a nuisance to parents, but not so much to the baby. Unless the hiccups interfere with daily activities like sleeping or eating, there’s no need to see a healthcare provider.[1]

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a probable cause of frequent hiccups if your baby is suffering from it. If the baby has a tendency to spit up or coughs and has a cranky disposition, then, Mazur advises that you should definitely mention that to your pediatrician. Additionally, if you observe that your baby’s hiccups are out of control, is occurring pretty regularly, especially post age one, then you should again consult the pediatrician as it may be an indication of a more serious medical disorder.

Karen Fratantoni, MD, MPH, a pediatrician at Children’s National Health System observes that,

Generally, if it seems the baby or newborn hiccups are related to overfeeding, belly distention or reflux. You can help alleviate hiccups by feeding baby smaller amounts more often, and remember to burp baby frequently.[2]

Whilst in most cases, baby hiccups are harmless; here are some tips that you can follow to get rid of them.

  • If the baby is being breastfed, try and burp the baby when you are in the process of switching from one breast to the other. You may be aware of the fact that babies have tendency to consume their surrounding air. Have the baby latch higher to the breast, ensuring that your baby’s lips are tightly sealed around the areola of your breast, not just the nipple.
  • “Completing the feeding while he is relaxed can actually end the hiccupping,”[3] is what Forgenie recommends. Stop and burp the baby halfway, if you are bottle-feeding the baby. The bottle should be positioned in such a manner so that it isn’t any air near the bottle teat. The air can form at the bottom of the bottle instead.

There are also other theories by which you can help stop your baby’s hiccups. However, Mazur thinks,

There’s really not much you can do, and they’ll go away soon.[4]

[1] Is it normal that my baby hiccups all the time? – The BabyCenter Editorial Team
[2] Why Babies Get Hiccups (and How To Get Rid Of Them) – Meredith Franco Meyers
[3] Why Babies Get Hiccups (and How To Get Rid Of Them) – Meredith Franco Meyers
[4] Is it normal that my baby hiccups all the time? – The BabyCenter Editorial Team


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