Watching your little one, barely a couple of weeks old, suffer through hiccups can make you feel very helpless. You often don’t know what is causing it, and you more often don’t have a tangible solution to it. There are a number of physiological factors that can cause hiccups.
What are hiccups?
They are a normal physiological condition that afflicts all new born babies. Hiccups are a physical sign of convulsive, spontaneous tightening of the diaphragm. As a result you hear a rhythmic noise produced from your baby’s throat.
Why is your little darling hiccupping?
New born babies hiccup more often than adults and other older babies. It is a normal reflexive behavior, but one does not know the exact reason behind it. It’s possible that your young one might be drinking the breast milk too quickly. When drinking too fast, your baby might swallow air. This compresses the diaphragm, resulting in hiccups. Try ensuring that your baby is not upset while breast feeding, because they tend to drink up their milk faster than otherwise.
How long do hiccups normally last?
Hiccups normally do not follow a pattern. They tend to come and go. As to how long they last also varies. Each hiccup lasts for barely a second and settles immediately after.
Persistent hiccups: Sometimes and that too seldom, hiccups may persevere as long as up to 4 hours. Don’t get too worried. Be patient and monitor if she hiccups for long Consult your pediatrician.
Intractable hiccups: In very rare cases, hiccup may continue beyond a month at a stretch. These are called intractable hiccups. It will cause the baby to lose weight rapidly and suffer from fatigue and insomnia. In such cases you need to speak to your pediatrician.
What can you do?
You can’t really do too much. Watch how your baby reacts to the hiccups. Mostly babies are not discomforted by hiccups, but if they seem to be you could distract them from the hiccups. The hiccup will die down in its time.
Feed slowly: If you can figure that your baby’s hiccups are being caused by fast feeding, and then try to make your baby drink it as slowly as possible. Take a number of short intermissions within each cycle of hiccups. It will prevent the little one from gulping on too much milk or air at one go and too fast.
Nothing to worry about: Recurring hiccups are very common, especially with new born babies and it will continue through the first few months. It is perfectly normal, so there’s nothing to worry about, really. In fact, its parents who seem more worried about hiccups.
Most babies remain unperturbed to them. Keep your calm and follow the steps discussed here.