Infant & Newborn Hiccups

A hiccup is an unintentional spasm of the muscle at the base of the lungs—the diaphragm—followed by an abrupt closing of the vocal cords that produces a distinctive sound.1 While hiccups may not typically bother babies, they may cause new parents a fair amount of concern, especially if they seem to go on for a long time. Understanding what causes hiccups in babies and whether or not to call a doctor can go a long way toward helping parents feel more comfortable with their new baby.

Why Do We Get Hiccups?

A very full stomach can lead to hiccups.2 In this case, the hiccup can be caused by swallowing air or eating food too quickly.2

Should We Try to Stop Infant & Newborn Hiccups?

Typically, hiccups are nothing to stress about. If they are persistent, you can try to soothe hiccups by feeding your infant, but it’s not necessary to treat or stop them.3 They will most often stop on their own, so it’s okay to let them be.2,3

Should We Call the Doctor about Hiccups?

In most cases, there’s no need to call the doctor.1,2,3 Hiccups usually go away on their own after a few minutes.1,2,3 If they persist for longer than 48 hours, they may be a sign of another issue.1 In that case, please contact your infant’s health care provider.1