Hiccups are a funny thing, and not just because of the cute little sound your kids make when they have them. We know babies and kids get them because they drank or ate too quickly, or because they gulped too much air in excitement, but one of my favorite piece of Scandinavian lore to share with people in the US is that when babies and kids are cold they get the hiccups.
Very few people know about this secret, but this folk knowledge has been verified by scientific researchers at the Mayo Clinic and other medical institutions.
We have nerves that run from our neck to our chests and when those nerves are irritated for whatever reason they make the diaphragm contract. That action makes you suddenly suck air in, and when that air hits the voice box, the vocal cord snap closed and – hiccup! The actual purpose for our bodies having this reflex remains a scientific mystery, but I like to think, for babies and little kids that either can’t communicate or are still learning to express how they feel, a bout of hiccups can be a very useful signal to parents.
For the Scandinavian parent, that sound – hiccup – frequently translates to: I’m cold! Either put another layer on me or take me inside! So, consider the hiccup mechanism a built- in temperature gauge for babies and kids and when their temperature hits a certain point – too cold – the hiccup alarm goes off.
Try to add an extra layer the next time you child got the hiccups, it works!
What type of layer? A merino wool base layer of course!
Another thing I learned from my parents is that prevention is better than cure, and the best protection for your kids and babies against the cold is to get their layering right before you leave the house. The base layer, that is the layer closest on the body, is the most important of all. Natural and super-soft Fine Merino Wool base layers, the most commonly used in Scandinavia, are the perfect thing to put on your babies and kids before they leave the house to prevent their exposure to the rapid change of temperature when they transition from inside to outside. And because wool is a temperature stabilizer they’ll maintain that warm toastiness for all the hours they spend outdoors. And guess what? I’ve just released a range of Ella’s Wool super-soft, super cute and super warm Fine Merino Wool base layers for babies and kids just in time for winter and all ready to be shipped!
So go on, test the old Scandinavian lore! Next time you are out in the cold and your little ones get the hiccups, before teaching them old remedies of questionable efficacy, your demonstration of which will look something like this:
Instead, troubleshoot! Start by asking what might be causing your kids and babies to hiccup, and specifically, ask yourself, might they be cold? My guess is your frequent answer will be yes (unless, of course, they are wearing Ella’s Wool : ) )
PS. if you think you still think Scandinavians are crazy for taking their kids outdoors in subzero temperatures, wait until next week when you see where we put our babies to nap all year round!