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Baby and Newborn Hiccups: What Are They & Should You Be Concerned?

newborn hiccups

Things to Know About Newborn Hiccups 

If you're a brand-new parent, you may be surprised by the amount your newborn hiccups. Hiccupping in healthy young babies is usually normal. If you're concerned about a newborn hiccup, want to know how to get rid of hiccups in a newborn, or just want to understand why they happen, here are some FAQs about infant hiccups and tips on how to prevent them.  

After you've finished up reading this informative post, be sure to see Bitsy Bug Boutique's Panada Onesie collection for newborn babies. 

Why does my newborn get hiccups so much? 

Hiccups in newborn babies are caused by a contraction of the diaphragm, followed by the closing of the vocal cords, which makes the recognizable hiccup sound. Hiccups are generally caused by overfeeding, feeding too quickly, or an excess amount of swallowed air. Infants with gastroesophageal reflux tend to hiccup more frequently than other babies as they have extra air in their stomachs and will experience spasms of the esophagus due to the reflux. 

Are hiccups dangerous for infants or newborns? 

If you notice that newborn has hiccups frequently, you may be worried about their health. Many parents become concerned that frequent hiccuping can become dangerous and pose risks to their child. Because newborn hiccups are so common in babies under 12 months, they are generally not a cause for concern. Most cases will go away naturally on their own. However, if your baby seems to hiccups more often than normal, or if the hiccups don't disappear, it is recommended that you speak to your family doctor and make sure everything is ok. 

Unlike adults, babies are generally not bothered by a session of the hiccups. In fact, many babies are able to sleep soundly through a fit of hiccups when they occur during the night. With most cases of baby hiccups, your child's breathing, stomach, and esophagus will be unaffected, meaning there are no medical risks to worry about. 

How do I stop my newborn babies hiccups? 

If you're wondering how to prevent hiccups or get rid of newborn babies hiccups, most people advise you to wait it out and let the hiccups go away on their own. However, if you are still looking for a newborn hiccups cure, there are a few ways to make the hiccups go away more quickly. If you notice the hiccups tend to occur during feedings, try taking a feed break and burp your baby. Burping will help get rid of any trapped air that may be causing excessive hiccup spasms. Our advice is to gently rub and pat your baby's back rather than hitting or slapping.  

If you want to know how to stop newborn hiccups that aren't caused by feeding, try using a pacifier. This helps to relax their diaphragm, and the hiccups tend to stop faster. 

Gripe water is a final method of how to get rid of newborn hiccups. Although it is not proven to work, many people swear by gripe water as a calming, beneficial treatment for hiccups and other gastrointestinal ailments your baby may be experiencing. 

How can I prevent my baby's hiccups? 

Preventing hiccups is not always possible or even advised. However, if you notice that your child's hiccups seem to happen after or during feeding, there are a few things you can try that help avoid another hiccup attack. Always make sure that your baby is calm and relaxed before feeding. This usually means scheduling feeding times so that you avoid only feeding when they are distressed and crying. 

You can also try avoiding high-energy activity straight after feeding your child as this may irritate the diaphragm and cause unnecessary hiccups in your infant. 

A third thing to bear in mind is your baby's position post-feeding. Try keeping your child upright for 20 to 30 minutes after feeding. Putting them directly to sleep after a meal is likely to cause your baby s hiccups as much as excessive bouncing and movement will.  

You may also want to look into a baby swing to help with preventing hiccups. 

Should I pick up a baby with hiccups? 

Even though hiccups in newborns are very common, many people worry that it is advised to move a baby during a bout of hiccups. If you've just put your little one down for a nap and they begin to hiccup, it is not advised to pick them up unless they seem to be bothered. Usually, your child will be able to fall asleep despite the bout of hiccups, so there is no need to move them and interfere with their precious nap time. 

What is normal in baby hiccups? 

In all newborn babies, hiccups are completely natural. However, if your newborn hiccups a lot, it is worth doing some research into what is normal. While frequent hiccups in newborn baby boys and girls are perfectly normal in children under 12 months, if your child is still hiccuping after their first birthday, you may want to check with your doctor.

Newborn hiccups after eating

Newborn hiccups after eating are also common, but if your child seems to be in distress during a bout of hiccups, this may also be a cause for concern. Keep a close eye on your baby each time they get the hiccups and take note of how often they seem to be bothered by their hiccup spasms. If they are in distress more than a few times a week, it's a good idea to visit the doctor, as this may be a sign of a more serious condition of the intestines or stomach. 


Babies hiccuping frequently is perfectly ordinary. In most cases, a session of the hiccups will go away in a few minutes by itself. It is very rare that hiccups are ever dangerous or a sign of a serious health problem. If your child tends to hiccup after feeding, try to learn some clever ways to prevent the hiccups by trying different tactics during or after each feeding session. Of course, if you are concerned about the frequency of your child's hiccups or if you feel that your baby is in pain or discomfort, it's always a good idea to pay a visit to your family doctor. While hiccups are normal, it's always best to check with a professional as every child is different. 

Grace Johnson

Grace Johnson, author

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