Children usually not particularly bothered by having hiccups, as it is completely natural for this to occur. However, as a parent it can be worrying to witness your child’s persistent hiccupping. Luckily, there’s plenty of great advice available to use to relieve the hiccups.
Why do babies hiccup?
Babies, who have recently begun to eat solid foods, will often hiccup in connection with their eating or drinking too fast. Just as we know happens with older children and adults.
Hiccupping is the body’s natural response to food sitting in the oesophagus. It is simply a mechanism that the stomach applies when it registers that something may be stuck in the oesophagus. Hiccups are therefore entirely safe and usually stop as soon as all food has reached the stomach.
What to do if your child gets the hiccups?
Very small children will often hiccup in connection with ingesting too much air during breast-feeding. If hiccupping occurs, it is recommended that you pause the feed and hold the child upright so that they can expel any excess air or milk. It is generally advisable to lift up the child several times during breast-feeding, as this small break in lying down will help to minimise the risk of the child swallowing too much air. Offering the child a dummy may also help, as the extra saliva stimulated through sucking will often help to cure the hiccupping.
If your child has a tendency to develop hiccups often, it may also be a good tactic to offer the child a feed more often, rather than waiting for them to become hungry again. If the child isn’t ravenous, they are more likely to suckle calmly which in turn is a good prevention for hiccups.