Why do newborns get so many hiccups?

Answered by Frank Schwing

Newborns get hiccups quite frequently due to various reasons. One of the most common causes is overfeeding. When a baby consumes more milk or formula than their tiny stomach can handle, it can lead to stomach distention. This distention occurs when the stomach becomes expanded or swollen, putting pressure on the diaphragm. As a result, the diaphragm goes into spasms, causing the hiccups.

Another reason for newborn hiccups is when they eat too quickly. Babies can sometimes get excited or eager during feeding, causing them to gulp down their milk or formula rapidly. This fast-paced feeding can result in swallowing excess air, which can lead to hiccups. When air enters the stomach, it contributes to the distention and subsequent diaphragm spasms.

Additionally, newborns may experience hiccups if they tend to swallow a lot of air during feeding or while crying. Babies have immature digestive systems, and they may inadvertently swallow air along with their milk or when they cry. This swallowed air can accumulate in the stomach, causing it to expand and trigger hiccups.

It is worth noting that hiccups in newborns are typically harmless and resolve on their own without any intervention. However, if your baby seems uncomfortable or the hiccups persist for an extended period, it may be helpful to try some techniques to alleviate them. You can try burping your baby more frequently during feedings to release any trapped air in their stomach. Taking short breaks during feeding can also help prevent them from swallowing too much air.

In some cases, changing the feeding position of your baby can make a difference. For example, feeding them in an upright position or keeping them slightly elevated after a meal can reduce the likelihood of hiccups. Additionally, ensuring that the baby is latched onto the breast or bottle properly can help minimize the amount of air they swallow.

Newborns get hiccups due to factors such as overfeeding, eating too quickly, or swallowing excess air. These actions can lead to stomach distention, which pushes against the diaphragm and causes it to spasm, resulting in hiccups. While hiccups are generally harmless, if they persist or cause discomfort, it may be necessary to try some techniques to alleviate them.