How to Get Rid of Hiccups in a Baby Quickly

There are plenty of old wives tales about how to get rid of hiccups in a baby. While there may be some truth to some of those methods, most of them have no legitimate or proven track record of actually working. It is very common for babies to get the hiccups after, or even during feeding. Therefore, don’t worry too much if your baby gets the hiccups.

Sometimes it is hard to know what a normal part of your baby’s development is. You might worry if the hiccups bother your baby and how to get rid of hiccups in a baby once they have them. Hiccups are generally harmless and have fairly simple ways to prevent and cure them. Check out these seven ways to relieve your baby of those pesky hiccups, and put your mommy-mind to rest over worrying about your baby.

concerned mother holding her crying baby

Where Do Hiccups Come from?

Nobody knows for sure why people and babies get hiccups, but there are a few things that can trigger it. Hiccups occur when the stomach distends and actually pushes against the diaphragm. Then the diaphragm begins to spasm, and the vocal chords slap together creating the “hic” sound. Taking precautions to keep air out of your baby’s stomach can do wonders for whether or not your baby will have to go through another round of hiccups.

Baby hiccups are often caused by overfeeding and sudden changes in stomach temperature. For instance, your baby may develop the hiccups if you feed him cold milk and then hot baby cereal a few minutes later. Make sure that your breastfed baby has a secure latch, and isn’t sucking in the air during his meals. If your baby is bottle fed, make sure that there is nothing wrong with the nipple and that the air is at the bottom of the bottle.

Hiccups are rarely a cause for concern. They will usually run their course in about ten to twenty minutes. Don’t try the old wives tales for getting rid of your baby’s hiccups. Scaring them or putting a wet cloth on their forehead won’t work, and holding their breath is just dangerous. Legitimate preventive measures are actually very similar to tactics for how to get rid of hiccups in a baby.

7 Ways for How to Get Rid of Hiccups in a Baby

1. Let Them Run Their Course

For the majority of the time, hiccups are harmless. The easiest way to get rid of them is to let them run their course. Most bouts of hiccups will only last about ten to twenty minutes.

If they last any longer, it can be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease. If you are concerned about this, you should consult your child’s pediatrician. If the hiccups stop on their own, you have nothing to worry about.

2. Burp Your Baby

father burping newborn at home

Since hiccups are usually caused by too much air in the stomach, removing the pocket of air will probably provide some relief for your baby. Gently rub or pat your baby’s back to burp them. Do not pat their back too aggressively, as that can make the hiccups worse or actually scare or hurt your baby.

3. Give Them a Pacifier

Using a pacifier is a great tactic for how to get rid of hiccups in a baby. It provides a certain amount of comfort that allows your baby to calm and relax their vocal chords enough to let the air pocket out.

If your baby is really upset, try giving them a pacifier to calm them down. This will also prevent any further extra air intake.

4. Sit Them Upright

Pediatricians tend to agree that babies should be sat upright for several minutes after they are finished eating. This will not only prevent hiccups from occurring in the first place, but it is a great way for how to get rid of hiccups in a baby. It opens the airway, so the air pocket has a clear pathway to travel up and out of your baby’s digestive system.

5. Get Them to Relax

Getting your baby to relax enough to get rid of the hiccups is all about loosening the core muscles. Loosening the muscles in the digestive tract will give your baby space. As a result, the air pocket can make its way out of your baby’s body and end the hiccups.

Make sure that you help your baby to relax if they have been crying a lot. Crying can trap air in a baby’s stomach and cause hiccups, while relaxing will help get rid of them.

6. Give Them Gripe Water

Gripe water is a solution of water and herbs that many people swear by. Its effectiveness against hiccups hasn’t really been proven yet. However, it has been proven to soothe problems within the digestive tract that could be causing some of the hiccups, especially as they relate to gastroesophageal reflux disease.

7. Avoid Overfeeding

black and white photo of baby eating from bottle with closed eyes

Avoiding overfeeding your baby is both a preventive measure and a tactic for how to get rid of hiccups in a baby. If your baby already has the hiccups in the middle of their meal, try to slow down. Take a break from feeding them and let their food digest a little. Giving their bodies enough room to get the digestive process started will help your baby naturally get rid of their hiccups.

Final Thoughts

There are many options for how to get rid of hiccups in a baby. Avoiding overfeeding them, getting them to burp, and relax are some of the most obvious tactics you can employ. Placing your baby upright and giving them a pacifier can help your baby feel more comfortable while you let the hiccups run their course.

Hiccups are normal and rarely a cause for concern. Nonetheless, as parents, you always want to help your kids feel better. If you have any other suggestions for how to get rid of hiccups in a baby, please feel free to share them in the comments.

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