It’s inevitable. Every time you feed your baby, he gets hiccups right after. Every single time. You just know to expect his little body to hop up and down after he eats and while you secretly think it’s cute, you worry a little bit. You may wonder if it’s just annoying for him or if the hiccups cause his teeny chest any discomfort. You know how upsetting hiccups can be for you so it’s only natural that they are a major inconvenience to him. What you don’t know is how to stop them. Or better yet, how to prevent them in the first place. For many babies, the positioning of the bottle is the trick! When the bottle isn’t held just right, it allows too much air and thus, hiccups happen. When the speed of feeds is too fast, get ready for more belly pain. The following tips are open secrets of the trade and may allow your baby and you to look forward to eating!
Position of bottle
The way you hold the bottle matters. If you hold it too low, it encourages air to become trapped behind the nipple. This makes it more difficult for the milk or formula to flow or be eaten by baby. It also creates a perfect combination of low pressure and excess air. Notice how bubbles begin to form right at the base of the nipple inside the bottle. That’s because there isn’t enough milk on top to create a downward flow and because the harder baby tries to remove the milk, the more he creates those air pockets. Having a bottle that can tell you if you are holding it at the right angle is beneficial if you just can’t quite get it right and want a little insurance that baby’s hiccups will peter out.
Speed and amount of feeds
The speed and flow of the bottle is a contributing factor as well as how often your baby is eating. Both overfed and overly hungry babies can get hiccups because of their eating pattern and how full (or not full) their bellies are. Make sure that the flow is appropriate for baby’s age and read your baby’s hunger cues. Sometimes, their schedules change suddenly, so it’s important to always be aware of how they behave when they are both hungry and satiated. Try to ensure enough time between feeds for digestion. If you notice that your baby is hungry often, try giving smaller amounts more frequently.
Take them! Use the paced feeding method, especially for younger babies so that they don’t choke or get hiccups. Sometimes, babies’ eyes are bigger than their tummies, metaphorically speaking. So, it’s a good idea to let them take a few draws (5-6), then take a break, then repeat three to four times. After that, lift baby and burp him! Then repeat the process. Taking breaks allows their bellies to catch up with them so to speak and allots you time to get the ever-important burps done!
Eating is big work for little babies! Use the above tips if your baby gets hiccups after bottle-feeding. After all, your little bub’s gotta be still enough for you to snuggle!