Why do babies get hiccups?


Quick Answer

Newborns frequently get hiccups due to having a full stomach or swallowing too much air. Since babies have smaller stomachs than adults, their stomachs fill up quickly, and they get hiccups more often than adults. An underdeveloped lower esophageal sphincter can also be a reason for babies getting hiccups.

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Full Answer

The LES is a muscle that opens and closes in order to allow food in the stomach and keep it in. In babies, sometimes the LES doesn't close all the way, which can allow food back into the esophagus and give the babies hiccups. Babies who drink from bottles as opposed to breastfeeding are more likely to have too much air in their stomachs, causing hiccups. This can be reduced in bottle-feeding babies by checking the size of the nipple hole and switching to one with a smaller opening if milk flows too quickly.

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