How to Get Rid of Baby Hiccups

Three Methods:Changing Feeding HabitsUsing Unverified RemediesDetermining if Your Baby Has Reflux

Does your baby have the hiccups? Are you frustrated after each time you feed your infant son or daughter? Although baby hiccups are perfectly normal, it's also normal to want to get rid of them. Here are some tips on how to help them go away faster.

Method 1
Changing Feeding Habits

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    Try breastfeeding. Hiccups happen when the diaphragm gets irritated.[1] Drinking a small amount of breast milk as it comes out slowly might give the diaphragm time to relax and go from herky-jerk back to its normal motion.
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    If the hiccups happened organically, try giving your baby something to eat. Again, the idea is that the act of swallowing may help regulate an out-of-whack diaphragm. Some ideas of things you might give your baby are:
    • Applesauce
    • Rice cereal
    • Mushed bananas
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    If your baby is old enough, give them a drink. A lot of people advocate drinking water from the "wrong side" (i.e. bending over, half-upside down), but this is obviously both hard and dangerous to make your baby go through. Best try to give your baby a water bottle (with a nipple adaptor, for example) or even a sippy cup if your child is old enough.
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    Slow down your feedings. When a baby takes in too much milk, too fast, it causes the stomach to distend, triggering hiccups in the diaphragm. Try feeding your baby about half as much, twice as often, instead of giving him or her one big feeding.[2] That way your baby will take in less milk at a time, hopefully nipping those hiccups in the bud.
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    Stop and burp your baby halfway through a feeding. Another way to slow down your baby's milk intake is to take a break halfway during each feeding. When you're ready to switch your baby from one breast to the other, pause and burp him or her gently before resuming feeding with the other breast. If you bottle feed, take a break to burp your baby when the bottle is halfway finished. This gives your baby the chance to digest some of the milk, reducing the chances that he or she will get too full and start hiccuping.[3]
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    Sit your baby upright during feedings. Your baby's stomach may also be getting distended from swallowing too much air during feedings. Sometimes shifting positions can remedy this problem. Shift him or her to a more upright (30 - 45 degree angle) position during feedings so that air doesn't get a chance to settle in the stomach and cause the diaphragm to contract.
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    Make sure your baby is latched on correctly. If your baby's mouth isn't latching tightly to your nipple, he or she may be swallowing air during nursing. Do you hear a lot of gurgling, gulping sounds while you're feeding your baby? If so, work on latching techniques that create a better seal around your nipple.
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    Bottle feed in a way that reduces air intake. Holding the bottle at a 45-degree angle causes the air to settle at the end of the bottle, reducing the chances that your baby will swallow it. You can also purchase bottles designed to reduce the amount of air in the bottle.[4]

Method 2
Using Unverified Remedies

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    Try a little sugar. This suggestion might have started out as an old wives' tale, but some doctors are actually behind it.[5][6] Put some sugar on a pacifier or your finger. Just lick your finger/pacifier and dip it into a sugar bowl. Have the baby suck on it for a few minutes, and the hiccups will most likely fade away.[7] The (as of yet, very unscientific) thinking is that the effort required to swallow the sugar in its granular form disrupts the diaphragm back into normal, for lack of a better phrase.
    • Note: try to put only a little bit of sugar underneath the infant's tongue and encourage them to swallow the sugar quickly, before it dissolves.
    • Another way to do this is to dip a pacifier in sugar put it into your child's mouth.
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    Massage your baby's back. A gentle back rub may loosen your child's muscles, giving the diaphragm the okay to relax. Using upward motions, move your hand from the small of the back up to the shoulder, preferably while the baby is still upright. This technique may take several minutes to start working.
    • Another way to do this is to place your baby on the ground on his or her belly, and allow him or her to move around a little bit. This should help to get rid of any air bubbles causing the hiccups in the first place. Now gently rub your baby's back until the hiccups subside.
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    Burp your baby. This may help your baby to get rid of any excess gas in their system. They will normally give one last loud hiccup before it's over.[8]
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    Try gripe water. Although there is no clinical evidence that gripe water is effective against the hiccups, many parents use gripe water to soothe intestinal discomfort in their children.
    • Dissolve a little bit of gripe water in a bit of water and administer it in a dropper. Note that your baby may be allergic to one of the many ingredients in gripe water, which includes alcohol, ginger, dill, and fennel, among others.[9]
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    Keep your child entirely upright. Try to hold your baby upright if you can, or hold their hands as you get them to stand. Your baby may be suffering from reflux after eating something. In this case, doctors may advise to keep your child in an upright position for 30 minutes after eating.
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    Distract your baby. Distracting your baby with a game or toy can not only keep them happy when they have the hiccups, but can also help to get rid of them.
    • Play peek-a-boo
    • Give your baby a rattle
    • Give your baby a chew toy
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    Don't try any of the following methods. The following methods, while popular folk remedies, could actually hurt your baby inadvertently and are best avoided.[10] These remedies include:
    • Startling your baby (what works for adults often doesn't work for children)
    • Pressing down on their fontanels
    • Pressing down on their eyeballs
    • Pulling their tongue
    • Slapping your baby's back.
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    If all else fails, wait it out. While hiccups are annoying, they're almost never a sign that something is seriously wrong. If your child hiccups for more than several hours or for more than a day, it's acceptable to visit your pediatrician. But for most parents, some good-fashioned hands-off patience should be just what the doctor ordered.

Method 3
Determining if Your Baby Has Reflux

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    Examine your baby for other symptoms. Sometimes hiccups are caused by gastroesophageal reflux. This is a common condition in which babies regurgitate contents from the stomach into the esophagus, causing pain and hiccups to occur. If your baby seems to have hiccups all the time, this might be the culprit. Here are other symptoms to watch for:
    • Colicky behavior
    • Stomach pain
    • Spitting up frequently
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    See your pediatrician. If you're concerned that your baby might have reflux, it's important to see your pediatrician to look into treatment options. In many cases the condition is temporary, so your doctor may advise you to let it go away on its own.[11]


  • A newborn baby may get uncomfortable while they have hiccup. Try to feed him/her or try to rock him/her until he/she relaxes. Might help the muscles relax.
  • Your baby's hiccups will eventually go away on their own.
  • Talk to your baby: if you talk to your baby it might distract them and the hiccups will leave.


  • Don't scare your baby or try to make them cry. Though it may get rid of your baby's hiccups, it won't be worth it in the long run.

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