If you’re a new parent, you may worry too much when your baby experiences what adults consider as normal. Hiccups are included in one of them. Find out how to treat hiccups and what causes them.
What causes hiccups?
Hiccups are caused by a contraction in the diaphragm. It is a layer of huge muscle located below the lungs, in which, along with muscles between ribs, help us breathe.
The contraction of the muscles sucks air to the lungs quickly. The quick movement of the air then causes the epiglottis to close.
Epiglottis is a flap membrane in the throat that closes when we swallow food or drink, preventing them to be sucked to the lungs. This immediate closing is what cause hiccups.
It’s true that hiccups can be annoying. But Hiccups are not dangerous and don’t harm your baby’s health. It’s a natural phenomenon that everyone experiences, especially a baby under one year.
How to treat hiccups
There is no medical way to treat hiccups. You can do everything on your own at home. Below are six ways to get rid of hiccups in your baby.
Breastfeeding your baby can be a way to get rid of hiccups. The way your baby drinks the milk can help her diaphragm become more relax and stop the hiccups.
When you breastfeed her, try to do it when your bay is calm, not crying, and hungry. This will prevent the chance for air to enter her stomach.
After you breastfeed her, you can let her burp to give some space for the air trapped in her stomach.
If your baby hiccups after feeding, take a break. Reposition your baby and start feeding her again slowly.
Put your baby in the right position
Breastfeeding your baby in a wrong position can cause hiccups instead. This is because the air can get inside her stomach while she’s fed.
The correct position to breastfeed your baby is your nipple, along with the areola (the darker area that surrounds nipple), gets in your baby’s mouth perfectly. Also, your baby has to face your stomach directly. If she’s already well-positioned, she can drink slowly, minimizing her chance to get hiccups. After that, keep your baby upright for 20-30 minutes.
Give her a pacifier
Giving your baby a pacifier can also help to treat hiccups. It acts similarly when you breastfeed her. The way your baby mouth suck the pacifier can stimulate her to burp, thus causing the hiccups to stop.
Take her to a warm place
Hiccups can be caused by cold temperature. Therefore, taking your baby to a warm and humid place can help her stop her hiccups.
Give her gripe water
Another way to stop your baby from having hiccups is to feed her gripe water. Gripe water consists of water and herbs such as ginger, chamomile, fennel, and cinnamon. It is believed that gripe water may ease colic and intestinal problems.
However, it is not guaranteed that gripe water can help with hiccups. And even it’s a fairly low-risk product, you still have to consult it with your doctor before giving your baby over-the-counter liquid supplement.
Let them stop on their own
The last but not least solution is to let them stop on their own. Hiccups are not dangerous and if your baby is experiencing one, doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the world. However, if you see that she’s bothered and showing a sign of discomfort, you can try the tips that have been written above.