11 Tricks to Get Rid of Hiccups in Children

If your little one has hiccups that won't go away, don't miss the best tricks to get rid of hiccups in children. Keep reading!
11 Tricks to Get Rid of Hiccups in Children
Marcela Alejandra Caffulli

Reviewed and approved by the pediatrician Marcela Alejandra Caffulli.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Hiccups in newborns and children under one year of age are quite common. If they’re occasional and last a short time (up to half an hour), they don’t require medical attention, according to specialists. Here, we’ll give you some tricks to help get rid of hiccups in children. You can apply them at home and there’s some research to support them. See which of them helps you to solve these involuntary spasms!

Learn the best tricks to get rid of hiccups in children

As corroborated by research published in the Spanish Annals of Pediatrics, there are numerous treatments and natural methods that have been used for centuries to get rid of hiccups. For this reason, we invite you to take note of the best options.

1. Drinking from the opposite side of the glass

Have you ever heard of this technique? Drinking from the opposite side of the glass, according to popular belief, is an ancient method to get rid of hiccups.

Although this lacks scientific support, the truth is that the theoretical explanation is that by ingesting a liquid upside down, breathing pauses for a few seconds and this alters the respiratory cycle. However, this has nothing to do with drinking from the opposite side of the glass, but rather with holding your breath.

2. Breathing into a paper bag

Along the same lines as the previous option, this old method must be carried out repeatedly for a while, so that the breathing exercise itself has an impact on the diaphragm.

However, it’s worth mentioning that it should be an adult who handles the element and that they should never leave their child alone, not even for a second.

A frightened child screaming and holding onto his head.
A good scare favors the momentary retention of the breath and this causes the rhythm of the diaphragm to return to normal.

3. “Give them a good scare”, one of the best tricks to get rid of hiccups in children

Surely you’ve heard that a good scare is all you need to get rid of the hiccups. Well, this also has a scientific explanation.

As long as the scare comes without warning, it can return the diaphragm to its correct position so that it stops rising and falling impulsively. As there’s something keeping you alert, the diaphragm relaxes.

4. Drink cold water without breathing for a while

While drinking water, you have to hold your breath to get the hiccups to go away. This is an old method that, according to popular beliefs, works to calm this annoying symptom.

5. Putting sugar under the tongue, one of the most traditional tricks to get rid of hiccups in children

Maybe you’ve heard the recipe that also recommends adding a lemon and sucking on it. Some people may even add a little salt to their slice and rinse their mouth afterward.

This method has been endorsed for years and has been passed down from generation to generation. To carry it out, just do the following:

  • Place a pinch of granulated sugar under your tongue.
  • Leave it for 5 to 10 seconds.

6. Hold your breath

As you may have already noticed, the previous methods were based on restoring the normal movement of the diaphragm, in order to return to the usual rhythm of breathing. Therefore, one thing that many people do naturally is to hold their breath for a few seconds.

To do this, try to breathe in normally and hold your breath for a while and then slowly breathe out. This should be repeated a few times until it works.

7. Ingest a spoonful of lemon

As reflected in the following study published by the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, taking a spoonful of lemon with sugar is one of the home remedies that help to get rid of sporadic hiccups.

It seems that the lemon or vinegar could act directly on the irritation of the diaphragm.

8. Lying on the floor with your knees to your chest

As the previous research also reflects, the exercise of directly affecting the diaphragm is also a good method to relieve hiccups. Therefore, to do so, perform the following steps:

  • Lie down on the floor.
  • Then, bring your knees to your chest.
  • Hold this posture for a few minutes and repeat several times.

9. Distract yourself

Try to divert your child’s attention to something else. This can also help the muscle to calm down and feel relaxed, despite the hiccups.

To do this, try to ask questions to the person with hiccups so that they avoid thinking about them. A good idea is also to repeat phrases and laugh at the situation.

10. Drinking with plugged ears

According to popular beliefs, drinking water from a glass continuously with plugged ears could also work against hiccups. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most original and fun home remedies to overcome this problem.

Try to carry out this exercise with the help of another person. Also, be sure not to drink quickly, but little by little. This way, the pressure inside the thorax will increase.

A child sitting in the grass drinking a bottle of water.
Drinking water in sips helps to reorder breathing and re-synchronize the diaphragm.

11. Gargle with ice-cold water

According to Mayo Clinic specialists, gargling with ice-cold water is also one of the most commonly used home remedies to relieve hiccup symptoms. This technique seeks nasal and pharyngeal stimulation to restore normality.

Restore peace of mind thanks to these tricks to get rid of hiccups in children

It’s important to emphasize that in everyday episodes, these home remedies may be effective. However, according to a study published by the Journal of the National Medical Association, these won’t be useful in cases of acute or chronic hiccups.

If you suspect this situation, consult a specialist beforehand.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Bobélé, M. (1989). Tratamiento interaccional del hipo intratable. Proceso de Familia , 28 (2), 191-206. doi:10.1111/j.1545-5300.1989.00191.x
  • Cymet, TC (2002). Análisis retrospectivo del hipo en pacientes de un hospital comunitario entre 1995 y 2000. Revista de la Asociación Médica Nacional , 94 (6), 480-483.
  • Hipo. (s.f.). Recuperado 18 de abril de 2022, sitio web de Mayoclinic.org: https://www.mayoclinic.org/es-es/diseases-conditions/hiccups/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20352618
  • Walker, P., Watanabe, S. y Bruera, E. (1998). Baclofen, un tratamiento para el hipo crónico. Revista de manejo del dolor y los síntomas , 16 (2), 125-132. doi:10.1016/s0885-3924(98)00039-6

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.