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Hiccups in Newborn Babies- Causes and Treatment

The newly born are learning to live independently every day. Their body’s processes try to adjust to the exterior environment and as a result the baby may have to face quite some difficulties too. One of these difficulties is hiccups. For a grown up, it is just a nuisance that settles om drinking some water. But what do we do to deal with hiccups in a newborn baby who cannot drink water like us? It is a very disturbing natural phenomenon for them that could leave them crying hard. Lets know more about causes of hiccups and remedies for hiccups in a newborn.

Causes of Hiccups:

The biology behind causes of hiccups is simple. Hiccups are caused due to contraction of diaphragm and quick closing of the vocal cords. The rapid closing of the vocal cords lead to creation of sound of hiccups.

While it is a fact that most babies are troubled by hiccups, some of them are completely unaffected by them and can even sleep soundly while they are having hiccups in the middle of the sleep.

How to stop the Hiccups in Newborn Babies?

1. Burp your baby:

While feeding, your child may begin to burp. If that is the case, take a break from feeding and make your child burp. Burping is essential to elevate gas from your baby’s stomach. A lot of times, hiccups are caused due to gas formation in the stomach. Burping shall thus ensure the gas is let out thus relaxing the muscles of the vocal cords and the hiccups shall stop. Ensure that you use the most frequently used methods of burping so that the gas is let out instantly. Once the baby has burped, you can continue to feed him/her.

2. Use a Pacifier:

Sucking Pacifiers relaxes the diaphragm and may thus stop the hiccups.If your baby is troubled allow the child to suck on a pacifier to stop the hiccups. However, doctors these days suggest you must avoid giving pacifier to your baby. Just use it only when most required and try not to make it a habit for your toddler.

3. Just wait:

Sometimes all you need to do is wait and divert your child’s attention. You can hold up the child on your chest and let the hiccups stop on their own. No more efforts needed. If the hiccups still persist, consult your doctor.

4. Use Gripe Water:

Gripe water is herbal water. It contains a lot of herbs like chamomile, fennel, ginger and distilled water. It is used to relieve colic pains. It is a traditionally used remedy to avoid gas. To stop hiccups, you can use gripe water. It is an instant solution for your baby’s hiccups.

5. Distilled Water:

Doctors usually suggest that for 6 months the baby must not be given anything apart from mother’s milk. Not even water. However if your baby is troubled due to hiccups and is crying, you can give him a few drops of distilled water. It is available in pharmaceutical shop. It isn’t the regular water .It comes in a small package, just about 2 ml. You can give 2-3 drops in emergency situation.

7. Feed your baby when she is calm:

If your baby is crying a lot due to hunger, calm her down first. Avoid making the baby wait for too long before you feed. Do not keep the baby hungry. Usually a baby that cries profusely starts to hiccup as soon as he is fed.

8. Avoid Jumping:

After feeding you must make sure to avoid any kind of heavy activities like jumping or holding baby up in the air. These activities may irritate the diaphragm and cause hiccups.

9. Keeping baby in Upright position:

Try to practise this as often as you may. After giving the baby his meal, make them sit upright. After feeding too, if its not the time for your newborn to sleep, then hold the baby upright for 15 minutes atleast to prevent hiccups.

10. Hiccups could be due to cold:

Sometimes, the cause of cold is plainly a symptom that your baby has cold. If it is true, you need to treat the cold of your baby to stop frequently occurring hiccups.

While a lot of people believe hiccups are extremely healthy for your baby, there are a lot others who suggest that if your newborn has too many hiccups, you must consult a doctor. Traditionally grandmothers believe that hiccups are sign your baby’s stomach is growing. They say if your baby has hiccups, you must feed him/her. While most people believe they must not be fed during hiccups. Different people have different opinions about babies and have their own ways of bringing up their children.

Shabnam Vandeliwala

Venturing into writing is my second most admired hobby after litigating in courts. An advocate by profession, writing gives me immense sense of satisfaction especially in the time that I'm free from other work.

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