Some experts believe baby hiccups can be the result of food and acid rising up from the stomach when baby is full. Baby hiccups can also be related to overeating or eating too quickly. To that end, you may be able prevent hiccups by feeding baby slowly and taking breaks for burping.
Effective Latching – Too much milk can cause infant hiccups. But so can too much air. When too much milk and air get in the mix, it causes the stomach to expand into the diaphragm's area and create hiccups. So, make sure that the baby is latched on correctly.
Though in babies, hiccups are generally understood to be due to feeding. Hiccups are common in babies aged up to 12 months, especially in newborns just after they've been fed. Babies can even hiccup when they're in the womb before they are born.
If the baby gets hiccups often, always try to feed when the infant is calm and before they get extremely hungry. This should reduce the chances of hiccups occurring during feeding. Try to make feeding as calm, quiet and leisurely a process as possible with the minimum of external distractions for the child.
Newborn hiccups are most frequently caused by baby overfeeding, eating too quickly or swallowing a lot of air. “Any of these things can lead to stomach distention,” Forgenie says. When the stomach distends it actually pushes against the diaphragm, which causes it to spasm, and voilà—hiccups!
Although overfeeding a baby is rare, it can happen. The most common cause of an overfed baby is a parent or caregiver misinterpreting a baby's hunger and fullness cues. When a baby has enough to eat, they turn away from the breast or bottle and do not want to suck.
Needing to Burp
One doctor, Daniel Howes, has proposed that hiccups are a baby's way of clearing excess air out of their stomach—or essentially burping themselves. 1 Obviously sometimes hiccupping doesn't work and your baby might need a little help getting that extra air out.
Your baby may also exhibit some “autonomic” signals that they're tired and these include: Sneezing. Hiccups. Sweaty palms.
Newborns who sleep for longer stretches should be awakened to feed. Wake your baby every 3–4 hours to eat until he or she shows good weight gain, which usually happens within the first couple of weeks. After that, it's OK to let your baby sleep for longer periods of time at night.
If your baby gets hiccups a lot during or just after feeding, it might be a sign of reflux. Reflux most commonly develops in babies after the age of 2 months. It usually clears up by around the age of 12 months.
Signs your baby is getting enough milk
They seem calm and relaxed during feeds. Your baby comes off the breast on their own at the end of feeds. Their mouth looks moist after feeds. Your baby appears content and satisfied after most feeds.
What happens if a sleeping baby doesn't burp? If you're concerned about what happens if your baby won't burp after feeding, try not to worry. He'll likely be just fine and will end up passing the gas from the other end.
At about 2 months of age, babies usually take 4 to 5 ounces per feeding every 3 to 4 hours. At 4 months, babies usually take 4 to 6 ounces per feeding. At 6 months, babies may be taking up to 8 ounces every 4 to 5 hours.
Most babies start sleeping through the night by 6 months. This means they can sleep for five to six hours at a stretch without feeding. Some babies start sleeping longer even sooner, around 4 months. It's natural and common for babies to wake up throughout the night.
Newborns should not go more than about 4–5 hours without feeding. Signs that babies are hungry include: moving their heads from side to side.
Hiccups are especially common in newborns and infants. “We don't know exactly why, but hiccups may be caused by increased gas in the stomach,” Dr. Liermann says. “If babies overfeed or gulp air during eating, that could cause the stomach to expand and rub against the diaphragm, generating those hiccups.”
You should stop swaddling your baby when he starts attempting to roll over. Many babies start working on this move at about 2 months old. Swaddling once your baby can roll over may increase the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and suffocation.
Babies may start hiccuping during feeding because they have excess gas that's irritating their stomach. Propping them upright and gently tapping their backs can help.
Rapid Eye Movement (REM) or Active Sleep
The vast majority of newborns' smiles during sleep appear to occur when the eyes are moving rapidly, as they would during a dream. Studies suggest that adults smile in response to positive dream imagery.
What's the best position to burp my baby? Support your baby's head and neck, make sure their tummy and back is nice and straight (not curled up), and rub or pat their back gently. You don't need to spend ages burping your baby, a couple of minutes should be enough.