Hiccups in babies are normal and do not bother your baby much, if at all.
Read on to find out what causes hiccups in babies.
Baby hiccups are caused by diaphragm contractions
Like adult, your baby’s hiccups occur due to their diaphragm spasming, which is the muscle that rests below their lungs. When your baby’s stomach expands and rubs against their diaphragm, it contracts and causes their vocal cords to shut and make a “Hic” sound.
- There’s no singular cause for hiccups, but they often occur when:
Your baby eats too much.
Your baby eats too quickly.
Your baby inhales a lot of air.
In some cases, they are a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux
Gastroesophageal reflux (GER, or acid reflux) is a condition in infants where they regurgitate, or spit up, contents from their stomach into their esophagus. Your baby’s hiccups might be a sign of GER if they’re also showing symptoms like:
- Crying and irritability
- Spitting up frequently
- Arching their back during feeding
- GER is very common and doesn’t require treatment; it usually stops by the time your baby is 12 to 14 months old.
- GERD is a more severe form of GER that typically shows up as frequent GER symptoms that also cause complications. Visit your pediatrician if your baby refuses to feed or has poor weight gain, frequent coughing, pneumonia, irritability, trouble sleeping, or green vomit.
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