How to Get Rid of Baby Hiccups
Does your baby have the hiccups? Are you frustrated after each time you feed your infant son or daughter? Although baby hiccups are perfectly normal, it’s also normal to want to get rid of them. Here are some tips on how to help them go away faster.
Try breastfeeding. Hiccups happen when the diaphragm gets irritated. Drinking a small amount of breast milk as it comes out slowly might give the diaphragm time to relax and go from herky-jerk back to its normal motion.
Place a little sugar under your baby’s tongue. This suggestion might have started out as an old wives’ tale, but some doctors are actually behind it. The (as of yet, very unscientific) thinking is that the effort required to swallow the sugar in its granular form disrupts the diaphragm back into normal, for lack of a better phrase.
- Note: try to put only a little bit of sugar underneath your son or daughter’s tongue and encourage them to swallow the sugar quickly, before it dissolves.
- Another way to do this is to dip a pacifier in sugar put it into your child’s mouth.
If the hiccups happened organically, try giving your baby something to eat.Again, the idea is that the act of swallowing may help regulate an out-of-whack diaphragm. Some ideas of things you might give your baby are:
- Rice cereal
- Mushed bananas
If your baby is old enough, give them a drink. A lot of people advocate drinking water from the “wrong side” (i.e. bending over, half-upside down), but this is obviously both hard and dangerous to make your baby go through. Best try to give your baby a water bottle (with a nipple adaptor, for example) or even a sippy cup if your child is old enough.
Try gripe water. Although there is no clinical evidence that gripe water is effective against the hiccups, many parents use gripe water to soothe intestinal discomfort in their children.
- Dissolve a little bit of gripe water in a bit of water and administer it in a dropper. Note that your baby may be allergic to one of the many ingredients in gripe water, which includes alcohol, ginger, dill, and fennel, among others.
- Play peek-a-boo
- Give your baby a rattle
- Give your baby a chew toy
Give your child a gentle back rub. A gentle back rub may loosen your child’s muscles, giving the diaphragm the okay to relax. Using upward motions, move your hand from the small of the back up to the shoulder, preferably while the baby is still upright. This technique may take several minutes to start working.
Don’t try any of the following methods. The following methods, while popular folk remedies, could actually hurt your baby inadvertently and are best avoided. These remedies include:
- Startling your baby (what works for adults often doesn’t work for children)
- Pressing down on their fontanels
- Pressing down on their eyeballs
- Pulling their tongue
If all else fails, wait it out. While hiccups are annoying, they’re almost never a sign that something is seriously wrong. If your child hiccups for more than several hours or for more than a day, it’s acceptable to visit your pediatrician. But for most parents, some good-fashioned hands-off patience should be just what the doctor ordered.