Newborn Baby Grunting – Is It Normal?

A mother with her newborn baby

Little babies often show unusual signs and noises that can worry the parents. Sometimes these little things are just normal, but there are other times when you have to get help from a doctor. Baby grunting is one such issue that could be absolutely normal, but at the same time, there are chances of it being a result of another health hazard. Understanding how intense it is and whether it is the usual routine or not, will help you figure out the intensity of the situation. At times if you aren’t sure if these signs are ok, then just pay a visit to a paediatrician who can guide you through the process.

What is Baby Grunting?

Baby grunting is a sign that babies display when they have difficulty in digestion, body development or other health issues. The grunting can also happen because the system is working towards having a smooth bowel movement.

Are Grunts Coming from your Newborn Normal?

A newborn baby

Most of the times, babies grunt because their body is still developing its organs. What really happens is the body is closing the larynx, and the diaphragm is going down. The grunting that happens because of this process is absolutely normal. At times, the grunting is also caused because the little one is struggling with constipation. If this is the case, you will notice your toddler’s face turning red. You can also notice the uncomfortable body movements in the child, and this will give you the sign that you need to take him to the doctor.

Sometimes babies are making noises only because they want to communicate with you, or they are just doing it for fun as they play around. If this is the case, you don’t need to worry at all. Your little one is just having a good time fooling around.

Grunting baby syndrome is a term that points out to babies making grunting noises, mostly because of problems such as indigestion or other health problems. Sometimes parents notice baby grunting while sleeping; this is absolutely normal because the baby’s respiratory system is still in the process of maturing. The rate at which the baby breaths while sleeping is a lot slower than when he/ she is awake, and this is what causes grunting noises and even shallow breaths.

What Causes Infant Grunting?

Babies make different noise for different things. Although grunting is a result of the work in the digestive system, at times, it can have other reasons as well.

  • Development Delay in Organs: Sometimes premature babies have organs that are still not mature. Grunting can be a sign of the baby’s body getting accustomed to the system.
  • Respiratory Issue: Neonatal Respiratory Distress is a condition that occurs when the baby’s respiratory organs have not matured completely. This is more likely to happen in premature babies, but it can happen to babies who have had normal birth as well. One major sign of this condition is grunting which is accompanied by other signs like the bluish colour of the skin, unusual breathing movements, and nasal flaring.
  • Heart Problem: Sometimes grunting can be an effect of some serious issue like heart failure. This is because fluid is built in the lungs and there is also breathing difficulties that are accompanied.
  • Sepsis: Sepsis is a serious condition where a baby is affected by an infection that runs in the blood. This condition is accompanied by other signs, and some are loud grunting which happens because of breathing difficulty.

Warning Signs of Baby Grunting

Although you can avoid normal grunting which is the body’s response to indigestion, there are times you need to pay attention For instance, when you find your baby grunting all the time.

Grunting can be an effect of some serious health issues like respiratory problems or even heart failure. Here are a few signs that you need to look out for.

  • There is Breathing Difficulty: Although grunting sometimes is all right, it can be a medical condition if you notice it happening too often. If you see your baby finding it difficult to breathe, then you should be consulting a doctor as there are chances of respiratory conditions.
  • Skin Turning Blue: Sometimes when breathing gets disrupted unusually, you will start noticing his/ her sin turning bluish. This is a sign that needs to be checked.
  • Signs of Illness: When babies are struggling with some problem in their body, they might make different noises and will also grunt. When grunting is accompanied by other issues like fever, shortness of breath, continuous indigestion, then you need to be a little careful and meet a doctor.

What are the Remedies for Baby Grunting?

Sometimes baby grunting can be a scary sign for the parents. However, remember that grunting is normal as long as it is not an effect of a serious problem. For some quick fix here are a few remedies that you can follow:

  • After you nurse the baby, keep him/ her up-right and allow him to relax for sometime.
  • Feed your baby in smaller portions through the day rather than feeding him/ her too much in one go.
  • Note down the signs that are accompanied by grunting and also track whether his grunting is increasing or decreasing. Meet your paediatrician regarding these issues

Some mothers panic when they hear their baby grunting. However, grunting is a normal procedure and has no serious effects. However, if you feel that the child is grunting for too long, and if you see other red flags such as breathing difficulty, then you need to consult a specialist.

Also Read: Gas Problem in Babies