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Baby Hiccups - is it safe for a baby to lie on the back with hiccups

Is it safe for a baby to lie on the back with hiccups? Answer from Experienced Mothers

Is it safe for a baby to lie on the back with hiccups? – This is probably one of the most frequent questions I get concerning babies lying on their backs. The simple answer is “it depends.”

Although hiccups are super annoying and worrisome, they are harmless. Hiccups can happen to anybody, even an unborn baby.

When you breathe, a band of muscle expands and contracts. When the muscle gets a specific odd stimulation, it is likely to spasm. The spasm strength is equivalent to muscle size.

Therefore, a baby hiccup is not as powerful as that of an adult. Your newborn might find them discomforting or irritating or even not seem bothered at all.

On another note, your baby could have hiccups as a result of acid reflux, GERD, or other digestive sensitivities, but these rarely occur in babies and may not be the case with your child.

While you shouldn’t bother about your baby’s hiccups, you should devise ways to prevent or stop the hiccups whenever it occurs.

Find out if there is any threat to a baby from experiencing hiccups while lying on the back. If so, what methods can be used so that the baby does not experience hiccups during and after feeding and while lying on the back?

Is It Normal For A Baby To Hiccup?

Adding to the question “is it safe for baby to lie on back with hiccups” many parents, especially first-timers, also ask if it is normal for a baby to hiccup.

Hiccups are a regular and natural part of your infant’s development and so should not be a cause for alarm. Babies tend to experience it more frequently than adults. As a matter of fact, some babies get hiccups while in their mothers’ wombs. You might likely experience this from 6 months of pregnancy when the baby’s lungs start to develop. Even after birth, you may notice your baby hiccupping during or after feeding and even while sleeping.

However, suppose you observe that your infant or toddler is having frequent hiccups, causing sleeplessness and pains, or the hiccup is accompanied by vomiting after eating. In that case, we advise that you have a doctor examine your baby. Your baby is probably experiencing acid reflux, GERD, or other digestive insensitivities. In some other rare cases, the hiccups might interfere with their breathing, leading to suffocation.

You will have to provide precise information on how frequently your baby hiccups and their effect on the baby. The reason for the checkup is to enable your doctor to rule out or treat any underlying health conditions that are triggering the hiccups.

What Causes Hiccups in Newborns?

Many parents who are fascinated by this action often ask, “what causes hiccups in newborns.”

You know that similar, funny sounds you hear when your baby is probably eating or sleeping. They are called baby hiccups. Hiccups sound midway between a cough and a laugh and are very common in babies, but they don’t last forever.

Baby hiccups are a reflex action that starts early enough, even before you give birth (while the baby is in the uterus). The hiccupping reflex action is very frequent in newborns especially. They can spend close to 2.5 percent of their time hiccuping in the newborn phase. The hiccups tend to reduce as soon as they outgrow the newborn stage.

Since a hiccup is a reflexive action, like coughing and sneezing, we can’t stop it from occurring. We can also only do a little to control it.

Researchers and medical experts believe various activities trigger hiccups both in adults and children. But there is no exact cause(s) of hiccups.

The common hiccup triggers include stress, esophageal irritation, excess air in the stomach, among others.

The occurrence of a hiccup is activated by the nerve connecting the brain to the diaphragm, and different activities often set off the hiccup. Activities like eating too fast or gulping down food at the wrong time can trigger hiccups.

Generally, when you breathe, you take in air to your lungs. Your diaphragm then relaxes to allow that air to leave the body through your mouth.

However, when you hiccup, your diaphragm spasms, and the air you are trying to take in get stuck against the close vocal cords, and this results in that unique “hic” sound of hiccups.

Although the occurrence of hiccups closely relates to breathing, some studies have discovered that hiccupping and breathing are not connected. These two seem to operate in separate mechanisms in the body system. This means that your body will not trigger a hiccup if it needs more air.

The process of hiccupping and breathing might be unpredictable or uncertain for infants. Still, some research shows that normal bouts of hiccups don’t result in any significant changes in the oxygen saturation, heart rate, or respiratory rate of healthy babies.

How Long Do Baby Hiccups Last?

It is normal to get lost in awe in the way babies hiccups or worry and ask, “how long do baby hiccups last?”

Hiccups seem so cute. They look pretty, they sound cute, and most parents are fascinated to find out how long their child’s hiccups last. Most babies leave hiccups as they wake up, but some will continue the sound even if they’re sleeping.

Baby hiccups are acute symptoms of infantile spasms in babies. They may last a few seconds, a few minutes or as long as an hour or two, and these hiccups in babies can occur multiple times a day. The cause of the hiccup, or even why it appears in the first place, is not understood.

A general rule as regards hiccups is if an infant seems happy and unbothered about the hiccup, instead of being uncomfortable, it is not a cause for alarm.

Even though it is normal, most parents, especially first-time moms and dads, tend to panic at the occurrence of hiccups. The hiccups may resolve and return a few minutes after in some babies, whether during their feeding or sleeping time: it will resolve on its own.

However, if the hiccup persists frequently and appears to deprive your baby of feeding, sleep or cause any distress, talk to a pediatrician or doctor to diagnose the cause.

How to Stop Baby Hiccups During Feeding?

Hiccups are one of the most beautiful annoying sounds any parent can hear. They come in many different forms and may ruin a feeding. Hiccups can be generated by many other triggers, including frustration, stress, and crying. So what should one do to stop baby hiccups during feeding?

If you discover that your infant gets hiccups most frequently during bottle-feeding or breastfeeding, you can try out specific home remedies to prevent or stop it.

Don’t Always Wait for a Cue to Feed Them

Ensure that your infant is calm and not craving attention before you feed them. If you always wait for your baby to be very hungry to the point that they get upset and cry before feeding him, you could increase the chance of a hiccup.

Burp Your Baby

If your baby hiccups while feeding him, stop feeding and burp the baby. This will help in releasing excess air. But when you burp for a few minutes and notice that your baby is still hiccupping, try feeding your baby to help calm the hiccups.

Change Your Feeding Routine

If your infant hiccups frequently during feeding, you may want to attempt feeding him in little quality at an increased frequent interval. This can prevent your baby from swallowing excess air during feeding periods.

How to Stop Baby Hiccups After Feeding?

It is usually fine to allow a baby to quit hiccupping on their own. If they do not stop, it is a good idea to speak to a doctor.

You are likely to read, know and practice several cures for hiccups in adults. However, these hacks will not work on babies. A popular tip- drinking water to suppress the hiccups- is hazardous for infants below 6 months. Moreover, babies cannot consciously control their breathing, nor can they swallow foods and fluids like adults.

Avoid other activities such as placing a wet cloth on your baby’s forehead, scaring him, or holding his breath.

So What is the Best Method to Handle Baby Hiccups?

Wait them out.

But, if you are concerned that your infant’s hiccups are disturbing him, you can use our home remedies after breastfeeding to calm or stop the hiccups.

Avoid Engaging Them in Heavy Activities

After feeding your baby, avoid doing any heavy play with them. They include throwing up and catching your baby, tickling him, and other high-energy activities. Position your infant uprightly for about 20 to 30 minutes after every meal.

Rub Your Infant’s Back

Whether or not your baby is hiccupping, rub his back in a circular motion after feeding. This may help him either stop hiccups, release excess air or prevent the occurrence.

Change the Position of Your Infant

Try to either lie your baby down or place them in a safe sitting position- this depends on where he was when the hiccups began. Switching positions may not always stop your baby’s hiccups, but it is worth a try.

Give Your Baby a Pacifier

The pacifier sucking motion can help to relieve a baby from hiccupping and reduce their diaphragm spasms.

Allow Your Baby Some Tummy Time

If your baby’s hiccup is refusing to subside within a few minutes, you can keep your baby on the ground and allow him to play and move around on his tummy. Sometimes, the pressure against his tummy will instantly stop hiccups.

Should I Pick Up the Baby With Hiccups?

You can pick your baby up when he experiences hiccups, but we will advise that you let go of the panic and first allow the hiccups to go naturally while the baby is laying or sitting. The hiccups are normal and frequently occur in babies; they will eventually disappear within a few minutes.

But if you are concerned for your baby, you could pick him up and attempt bottle-feeding or breastfeeding the baby. You could also allow him to suck on a pacifier, which may calm the attack.

Is it Safe for Baby to Lie on Back With Hiccups?

Short Answer? Yes. Largely, it’s totally safe to put babies on their backs when they have hiccups. Breathing and hiccups operate on different mechanisms and babies lie comfortably on their back while hiccupping in most cases.

However, you can feed them a little then burp them to stop the hiccups before laying them down again whenever hiccups are persistent.

Other times, there may be other underlying medical issues that may cause your baby to have breathing problems or vomit while hiccuping. You should contact your doctor immediately after you start to see these disturbing signs.

Related: How Gripe Water Help Relieve Colic in Babies

In a Nutshell

There is no clear cause for a bout of hiccups in infants and toddlers.

They are a normal part of babies’ development. As much as your infant is not vomiting nor in any pain, discomfort, sleeplessness or other health conditions, you should bother about their hiccupping.

Most babies below 12 months do not seem to be disturbed about their hiccups; they feed and sleep peacefully.

Typical hiccups should go away, or their frequency should reduce by the time your infant reaches 12 months.

However, if the occurrence often continues after this period or your child seems abnormally cranky or upset by them, visit your doctor to diagnose and strike out any other underlying causes.

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1 Comment

  • by Giselle
    Posted July 30, 2021 12:18 pm 0Likes

    Thank you for this wonderful article. I’m a first-time mom, and I’d worry my baby’ll choke if her put him to bed while he has hiccups. One thing I now do is to nurse him and try to burp him so that the hiccup can go away. It doesn’t work all the time, but it does for the most part.

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