Hiccups in babies are usually caused by swallowing air during feeding, but frequent hiccups could be a sign of GERD. Switching to a slower-flow bottle nipple can help prevent hiccups, while smaller meals and elevating the baby’s head can relieve GERD symptoms. Carbonated drinks, spicy foods, and temperature changes can also cause hiccups. Most hiccups are harmless, but stroking the baby’s back or giving warm milk or water can help stop them.
Hiccups in babies are a common occurrence and are usually nothing for parents to worry about. Hiccups in newborns usually occur when too much air is swallowed during a feed. Very frequent hiccups in babies could also be caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Some foods and drinks are also thought to cause hiccups, and some researchers believe that changes in temperature or excitement can also cause hiccups.
The most common cause of hiccups in newborns is swallowed air when the baby is eating. This generally occurs more in bottle-fed babies and babies who try to feed too quickly. These types of hiccups can be prevented by switching to a slower-flow bottle nipple, which will cause your baby to swallow more slowly. It can also be helpful to monitor the bottle while breastfeeding to make sure your baby isn’t swallowing too much air.
GERD occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter doesn’t close as it should. This allows the acidic stomach contents to flow back into the esophagus. Hiccups in babies with GERD are very common and many times these hiccups occur at least once a day. Other symptoms of this disorder include frequent vomiting or regurgitation, irritability when feeding or not wanting to eat at all, and waking up frequently at night, often in pain.
Smaller meals given more frequently may help relieve GERD symptoms in some children. Also, elevating your baby’s head while he’s sleeping or napping can help prevent stomach contents from backing up into the esophagus. While these techniques often help relieve symptoms, such as hiccups in babies, more severe cases of the disorder may require medication or even surgery.
Some drinks and foods can cause hiccups in adults and children. Carbonated drinks and spicy foods or drinks shouldn’t be given to babies, as they can cause hiccups, along with other health problems. Drinks that are too hot or too cold can also cause hiccups in infants, children and some adults.
Some studies also show that a drastic change in temperature can also be another cause of hiccups in babies. If a baby gets too cold, they may develop hiccups. Hiccups in babies can also be caused by excitement or nervousness.
Most hiccups are harmless, but sometimes they can make your baby more irritable than usual. Stroking a baby on the back can cause trapped air in the stomach to rise and stop the hiccups. Warm milk or formula can also help, and some pediatricians recommend drinking water for babies with frequent hiccups.