For some baby hiccups are quite funny, but for others, especially newbie moms, they can be a little disturbing. The fact that baby’s hiccup in the womb should tell you that it's quite normal. While most think that hiccups have to do with breathing or not breathing properly, this is not quite true. Case in point, babies don’t breath whilst in the womb.
No, hiccups are born from agitated diaphragm muscles. So while relaxing the breathing can help it doesn’t help much with a baby, as you can't get them to do this by command.
But, unless it's interfering with eating and sleeping, don’t pay much heed to these baby hiccups. You can try rock baby gently, sing a soft lullaby or just get baby to relax. This may ease the diaphragm muscles a little.
Whatever you do don’t try crazy stuff, like adults do for themselves, like giving the baby a scare (that may make it worse), pulling their tongue or pushing on eyeballs. Or heaven forbid stopping them breathing! Please, please don’t try this. It does not work!
Safe methods that may work are breastfeeding, feeding them soft, easily digested foods or try giving them any sort of drink they can suck from a bottle or sippy cup. Sometimes drinking too quickly can cause the hiccups, so try slow down their sucking. Regular burping during feeding is a good idea too. A slightly elevated seating position could assist the diaphragm as well as ensure baby is latched on properly when breastfeeding. In some countries, you can get a gripe water, which helps with the hiccups and in particular colic. Try it!
When to Worry
If you are very worried and the baby hiccups persist or are consistent, try to see when they occur and work on the underlying issue that’s causing them. For example, if it's always after a breastfeeding or after eating solids. A visit to the doctor may be in order if it's an ongoing occurrence. There may be a medical problem but not necessarily. Sometimes a baby may just have an underdeveloped diaphragm and over time, as they grow, it will adjust.
So, next time your little bud or buddess has the hiccups, take a deep breath yourself and don’t get too worked up about it.