January 24, 2011

Home Remedies For Hiccups In Babies and Newborns

Posted in Category : Child Health

A hiccup can be referred to as the contraction of diaphragm repetitively, several times per minute. The word “hiccup” is derived from a Latin word which means “the act of breathing while sobbing.” It is called hiccup as creates a sound “hic” due to inadvertent rush of air in the lungs, leading to the closure of the vocal cords. Hiccups are an involuntary act with no human control. Hiccups generally do not cause any damage and stop without any intervention or medicine intake. However, certain remedies for hiccups could be employed to shorten their duration.

Hiccups in babies are a common phenomenon. In fact, hiccups in babies start when the baby is inside the womb. Pregnant women can feel baby hiccups in the womb as early as six weeks from the date of conception. Baby hiccups during pregnancy can be daunting for the expecting mother, but there are no adversities associated with it. Hiccups in babies while the woman is pregnant are natural, the major cause being immaturity of the internal organs. It is one of the natural behaviors for infants and babies and does not call for any medical treatment.

One of the causes of baby hiccups is feeding at a faster pace. Sometimes, a baby consumes breast milk at a fast rate, which leads to abrupt rush of air in baby’s lungs, leading to hiccups. Other causes of hiccups in babies are overeating and stomachache, which causes the stomach of the baby to distend, thereby causing hiccups. Hiccups in newborns are not risky and do not harm the baby. You may be worried if your baby hiccups all the time. However, as such, no cure for baby hiccup is needed. Hiccups can irritate the baby if they continue for a longer while. They can also then interfere with baby’s appetite and mood. Your baby might refuse to eat and become fussy and tough to manage. In such cases, there are quite a few remedies for hiccups in babies, some of which are listed as follows:

  • You must try not to over feed the baby. In fact, you must feed the baby only when it is really hungry.
  • An effective remedy for hiccups in babies is to give a cup of water to your baby.
  • You might notice baby hiccups after eating, that is, after feeding the baby. In such a case, you can mildly pat the back of the baby to help reduce the intensity and duration of the hiccups in babies.
  • As hiccups in babies are also caused by intake of feed at a faster pace, you are recommended to control the pace of feed. You can reduce the pace of milk flow by reducing the size of the hole of the nipple of the bottle.
  • You can also give your baby water sweetened with some honey to cure hiccups.
  • Baby hiccups after eating is common, the cure to which is getting the baby to burp.
  • You can also give a slice of lemon to the baby to reduce the intensity and frequency of hiccups in babies.
  • One of the other effective remedies to cure hiccups in babies in the use of aromatherapy. You can put a drop of mandarin essential oil on a tissue paper for the baby to inhale. You must never let the baby intake the essential oil that can otherwise lead to adverse consequences.
  • You are recommended not to use remedies like making the baby inhale in a paper bag or anything that is harsh on the baby.

Hiccups are generally not harmful and last from a minute to about half an hour. However, sometimes hiccups in babies last for 48 hours or so, referred to as “persistent hiccups.” In such cases, consultation with a medical practitioner is recommended.