Hiccups are highly frustrating and can drive you nearly out of your mind at times when they affect us. Likewise then they can also be highly frustrating for young babies and if your newborn has the hiccups then it will be just as frustrating for them – and it also means you aren't likely to get much peaces and quiet yourself.
What makes this harder to deal with is the fact that newborn babies tend to hiccup even more frequently that adults and this means you are likely to experience this problem regularly – particularly if they are getting excited or when they have just been sent to bed. (In fact many mothers even report feeling their baby get hiccups while they're still in the womb!)
It's perfectly normal and nothing to worry about, but it is nevertheless a disturbance. So what can you do about it?
Why Do Babies Hiccup?
The reason for newborns getting regular hiccups is debated. It is believed that it is to do with the young age of the baby's internal organs and the fact that they are not fully developed yet. It may also be to do with the fact that babies are less adept at controlling their breathing to avoid the triggers that can cause hiccups. However it is known that as your baby gets older the hiccups will occur less frequently – so it really is nothing to worry about.
If you had the hiccups you would try one of several things – you would ask someone to jump out and shock you, you might drink backwards out of a cup... etc. However these cures are not always recommended or even safe for babies, so instead you just need to weather the storm and let them finish. If it's really frustrating you then try to keep your baby calm and this might help to slow their breathing and this can get it to calm down. Alternatively you can try getting your baby to drink which might also cause them to hold their breath briefly and swallow (and giving them a passifier to suck on can work for the same reasons). Finally you can try burping them.
None of these methods are guaranteed to help your baby stop hiccuping however – just remember that the hiccuping may be bothering you, but it's unlikely to be affecting your baby – so don't worry too much if it carries on.
While there's similarly no way to guarantee your baby doesn't get hiccups you can help to avoid the problem by making sure they are sitting up when you feed them, and by burping them regularly.