What are the causes of baby hiccups and how to deal with them?

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Does your child often have hiccups? Is it normal for your baby to have hiccups? Hiccups are often experienced by newborn babies. So, what are the causes of baby hiccups and how to deal with them? Let’s look at the full explanation of the condition of babies who often hiccup:


As in adults, hiccups occur due to the contraction of the diaphragm in infants who are still in the developmental stage.

Quoted from the Indonesian Pediatrician Association, hiccups, or in medical language singultus are sudden and involuntary contractions of the diaphragm.

This condition causes a sudden intake of air into the lungs through the space between the vocal cords. This is what causes the distinctive “hic-hic” sound.

The exact cause of hiccups in babies is not known. However, it is common for children to experience hiccups under 12 months of age.

Although it is not a condition that is too worrying, you need to know some of the reasons why babies often hiccup, namely:

Drinking too much milk

In newborns, hiccups are often caused by the child drinking too much milk and swallowing too fast due to which a lot of air enters the body.

This can lead to gastric distension. The presence of gastric distention can push the diaphragm, causing the diaphragm to contract and hiccups to occur.

Gastroesophageal reflux

In addition, in baby hiccups can also be caused by gastroesophageal reflux or commonly referred to as GERD.

Gastroesophageal reflux in infants is a condition due to the valve between the stomach and the esophagus not functioning properly.

This valve serves to prevent food that has entered the stomach from going back up into the esophagus.

In children, especially premature babies, the valve is not functioning properly so that food can back up into the esophagus and can cause gastroesophageal reflux.

In addition to experiencing hiccups, children with gastroesophageal reflux become more likely to cry and experience spitting up more often.


In some conditions, allergies can also cause the baby to experience hiccups. This is because your child can not accept certain foods or drinks that’s why a reaction occurs.

For example, when your child’s body does not match the protein content in milk then it is difficult for the body to digest. Therefore, this allergy in babies makes them experience hiccups.

Swallow a lot of air

Too much air entering the body can also be the cause of the baby’s frequent hiccups.

This condition occurs when the baby uses a bottle, so it is at risk of swallowing a lot of air.

Of the several causes above, there are also other factors that cause your child to experience hiccups, such as:

  • Eating too fast
  • Drinking too cold water by babies over 6 months
  • Laughing or coughing too hard
  • Eating food that is too hot
  • Irritation of the diaphragm


Children can experience hiccups several times a day. In a developing baby, hiccups can last for 5 to more than 10 minutes.

If your baby seems calm and okay, you don’t have to worry. Try waiting for a while until the hiccups go away on their own.

However, if the child’s hiccups don’t stop for more than an hour, you should immediately take him to the hospital.

How to deal with babies who have hiccups?

Hiccups in children will usually stop on their own. However, if you feel this condition makes your child uncomfortable, it never hurts to try several ways to deal with hiccups in babies.


Give him milk and let the baby burp

Giving a baby some milk can be one way of dealing with hiccups in babies. It can help your child’s diaphragm relax and stop hiccups.

Another thing to remember is that when giving milk, make sure that the baby is calm.

If he is hungry and crying, the air that enters along with the food can cause the child to experience more hiccups.

After feeding, you can let your baby burp to make room for any trapped air.

Adjust the baby’s position

After feeding and burping, it’s time to position the baby. Hold and position the baby in an upright position for 20 minutes, which can be while holding.

You can also gently pat the baby on his back. This aims to help the gas in the stomach to rise, so it is not held back and makes the baby hiccup.

Give him something to bite

Give your child something to bite on, such as a pacifier. You can use this method to treat hiccups in babies.

This mouth movement will help relax the diaphragm so that it can stimulate burping and stop hiccups.

In addition, you can also give him water when he starts to feel uncomfortable. This method may be able to soothe the throat and stomach.

Take the baby to a warm place

To deal with hiccups, take the child to a warm and humid place. Avoid air-conditioned rooms or slightly cold temperatures.

Considering hiccups in babies can be caused by the temperature turning cold.


All of these measures are quite enough to cope with hiccups quickly, but the main component is the calmness of the mother. Do not panic and run around the child with all possible ways of helping, give the baby a little time and the body will return to normal. Some parents try to help the child with “treating hiccups in adult” methods, which are strictly prohibited and lead to negative consequences!

What not to do:

You should not scare your child with some sounds. This will not help with hiccups, but it may cause a mental disorder and subsequently lead to stuttering;

Do not give him sour candies, we are talking, of course, about older children;

Do not knock or hit on the back/chest. Children have a fragile skeleton and negative consequences can occur.

Read also: Most common baby health problems and how to overcome them?

Sue Brown

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