Too many hiccups?

Q: What’s up with my baby’s frequent hiccups? She seems to get them every few hours!

A: Hiccups don’t typically bother infants as much as they bother their parents!

Noisy and sometimes persistent, hiccups are irregular contractions of the diaphragm muscle that become audible when air is pulled through the vocal chords.

For babies, regular hiccups can start in utero and continue through the first year of life as the diaphragm muscle matures.

Hiccups also may be associated with reflux or spit-ups or swallowing too much air during feeding sessions or bouts of crying. Though parents may try to prevent all of those contributing factors, they’re all also normal parts of infancy.

So try not to worry about hiccups and know that over time, your baby will outgrow them.

Dr. Gigi Chawla is a board-certified pediatrician and the senior medical director of primary care at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. Send your questions to