Home Remedies for Infant Hiccups

Infant hiccups

could brew some worries in a household which has welcomed a new baby. It is a common feature in new borns and can be a persistent symptom till the baby is about a year old. Hiccups can occur prior to delivery even in the mother’s womb. It is a normal physiological reflex and can often be resolved with a few home remedies. However, it is always useful to know what is a hiccup and the causes of hiccups in babies.

What is a hiccup?

A hiccup is contracting movement of the diaphragm in human beings which is sudden and involuntary in nature. The diaphragm is the thoracic muscle situated at the bottom of the rib cage that helps us to breathe. It actually separates the thorax from the abdomen. It contracts when we inhale and expands when we exhale. It might respond to some external stimulation and contract with a sudden movement causing a hiccup. Hiccups don’t last for more than 15 minutes usually.

Causes of Infant Hiccups

The different causes of hiccups in children are as follows:

  • Feeding

    : In a lot of babies the hiccups increase after a feed. This is because babies suck in a lot of air when they are fed. The excess air causes the diaphragm to contract suddenly.

  • Temperature Changes

    : Sudden temperature changes can cause hiccups in babies. Being exposed to extreme heat or cold suddenly can bring about the said reflex.

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD

    : Hiccups may co exist with the said disease. This happens when the sphincter muscle at the base of the esophagus functions abnormally either due to a build up of pressure in the abdomen or due a congenital defect and gastric acids from the stomach are drawn backwards in to the esophagus.

Try holding baby upright to stop hiccups

Home Remedies for Infant Hiccups

  • Rub the Baby’s Back

    : Hold the baby straight up against the shoulder. Gently rub the baby’s back so that he is urged to burp and release some of the excess air.

  • Check the nipple of the bottle used for feeding

    : If the nipple is big then it might cause extra air to be sucked in. Hence, check and get a nipple which suits the baby.

  • Distract the baby

    : Diverting the baby’s attention might just be the trick. Getting the baby to focus on something else can make the hiccups disappear.

  • Gripe water

    : A tablespoon of gripe water may also provide relief from the hiccups.

  • Sip of Water

    : A sip of normal drinking water could also be equally useful.

  • Sugar

    : For babies who have been started on solids a pinch of sugar on the tongue can distract the nerves and cause the hiccups to stop.

  • Anise Seeds

    : Add a tablespoon of anise seeds to a cup of hot water and let it steep. Strain it and give a teaspoon of the mixture at a time to the baby. This remedy is known to bring relief to babies having hiccups.

The above home remedies are without any side effects and can definitely be tried. However, if the hiccups persist with symptoms of visible discomfort then the physician should be immediately contacted.

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