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By Planning Family


Many mothers recall feeling their babies hiccupping while inside the utero. Hiccups are very common in healthy newborn babies, and they are caused by frequent, sudden contractions of the diaphragm muscle. Hiccups seem to bother parents more than they do babies.

How long does it last?

An individual session of hiccups usually lasts only minutes. The tendency to hiccup frequently usually disappears within the first year.

How is it diagnosed?

Hiccups are easily recognized, and no diagnostic tests are needed unless either the hiccups are unusually prolonged or are accompanied by other symptoms.

How is it treated?

Folklore is filled with many suggestions to help a child break a cycle of hiccups. Nothing needs to be done unless the child seems upset or the hiccups last longer than five or ten minutes.

If you want to try something:

• Blow on the baby's face. This might cause him to inhale quickly and change the movement of his diaphragm.

• Feed the baby some sips of water. The regular swallowing and breathing might set the diaphragm to normal.

• Take the baby outdoors. The sudden burst of cool air might change the rhythm of her breathing.

• Burp the baby.

How can it be prevented?

Like sneezing and snuffling, hiccups are normal and are very rarely due to any health problems. Generally nothing needs to be done to prevent them. Feeding when the baby is calm, and before the baby gets too hungry, may prevent some episodes of hiccups.

A word of caution

if the baby has hiccups, do not attempt to end them with adult methods. Do not try to hold baby’s breath; do not frighten baby with loud noises thinking a shock to the system will make the hiccup go away


Although hiccups occur without an obvious trigger and are common in babies, it has been claimed that they can sometimes indicate that the baby is stressed. Hiccups may be one of the signals that tell you that you need to help your baby relax for a while or do whatever you know which will comfort your baby.

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Disclaimer: Information contained on this Web site is intended solely to make available general summarized information to the public. It should not be substituted for medical advice. It is your responsibility to consult with your pediatrician and/or health care provider before acting on any advice on this web site. While OEM endeavors to provide up-to-date and accurate information, it is not liable for any advice whatsoever rendered nor is it liable for the completeness or timeliness of any information on this site.
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