3 reasons why your baby grunts while eating (explains an expert) 2023 (2023)

As a new parent, you notice every sound and every movement of your baby. When a newborn gurgles and squirms, it seems so cute and helpless. But you can also worry that every time your baby grunts, it means he's in pain or needs help.

Does your baby make swallowing noises?

Does your baby make choking noises when bottle-fed?

It's normal for babies to grunt while eating, and there are many possible explanations for a baby grunting while eating, including:

  • The baby works hard to swallow and digest his food.
  • IsThe baby tries to hold the food down and not spit it outabove.
  • The baby enjoys the taste and texture of their food.

Table of contents

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Does the baby grunt when eating normally?

Growling is normal forBabies of all ages eating.As babies adjust to changes in food intake, they often grunt.

It generally occurs in two situations: the first when the mouth is full of milk and the second when the posture ofbreastfeedingIt is wrong.

3 reasons why your baby grunts while eating (explains an expert) 2023 (1)

An oversupply of milk is one thing that could cause this. It can occur at any age during lactation.

if thatThe baby consumes large amounts of milk, passes through the digestive system quickly and causes indigestion. Due to the extra milk and air in his stomach, he may grunt to deal with it.

3 reasons why your baby grunts while eating (explains an expert) 2023 (2)

Does your baby grunt while sleeping?

it's normal for youbaby growls while sleeping. It sounds like a baby is in pain or distress when they grunt in their sleep. In fact, this is not the case, as babies often grunt in their sleep when they poop.

A baby who grunts in his sleep can also becaused by a health problemsuch as reflux, shortness of breath or trapped mucus. All of these problems can cause the baby extreme discomfort and they may start grunting in their sleep.

Main Causes Of A Baby Grunting During Sleep:

Occasionally a growl may occurwhen babies start pooping. In some cases, it can also be due to many other reasons, such as:


A baby grunting in his sleep could indicate that he is dreaming. Babies tend to make different noises, smile and cry when they are dreaming.

2. Saurer Reflux:

Also known as gastroesophageal reflux (GER), this occurs when stomach contents back up into the feeding tube. It can make the baby uncomfortable and may grunt.

Trapped Mucus: Babies have a small nasal passage through which they can collect mucus. When a baby sleeps, trapped mucus can cause grunting.

3.Bowel movement:

Underdeveloped abdominal muscles are to blame for newborn grunting during bowel movements. When your baby's intestines push stool into the rectum, these abdominal muscles contract and press against the abdominal wall. The result is a growl.

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This usually won't harm your baby, but you can help him or her defecate by gently pedaling your legs to relieve the pressure.


Othersreason for your babyHe might growl in his sleep to let you know he's comfortable and content. Newborns have very few means of communication, so they often grunt to get their needs met.

For example, your baby may grunt when they want to burp or be held. He may also growl when hungry or sleepy.

5.Growling Belly:

A growling tummy can also cause grunting in newborns. This is because your intestines are contracting, pushing food into your stomach.

You can hear that gurgling sound when youbaby hat hungeror after eating. This is perfectly normal and doesn't mean your baby has a problem.


Grunts can have a similar function to yawns and sighs, helping to regulate the newborn's breathing. It also prevents your baby from swallowing too much air.

Grunting can also be a way for your baby to relieve chest and throat congestion. If you hear your baby growling, it's important to pay attention to their body language and cues to find out why they're making the noise.

If he seems distressed, is crying, or has a fever, you should see your pediatrician. However, if he seems happy and breathing normally, there's probably nothing to worry about.

7. Breastfeeding:

One of the main reasons your baby grunts is breastfeeding. Sometimes too much milk or a quick drain can cause your baby to choke on saliva and choke, resulting in grunts.

Try different breastfeeding positions to lessen the flow. If you think your baby is swallowing too much air while breastfeeding, try burping more often.

Remedies To Soothe Baby's Grunts While Sleeping:

The following are some of the methods you can use to treat your baby's grunting during sleep:

1. Feeding the Baby:

The way you feed your baby plays an important role in preventing gastroesophageal reflux. You should feed the baby small amounts at regular intervals. If you are feeding a baby, make sure that he/she drinks slowly and belches several times after each feeding.

3 reasons why your baby grunts while eating (explains an expert) 2023 (3)
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2.Rub with Vaseline:

If your baby has trouble passing stool, you can rub Vaseline on his tummy. It will help relieve the baby who has trouble with bowel movements.

3.Check swallowed air:

Babies often swallow air while eating, which can cause stomach problems, and they may grunt during sleep. To avoid this, make sure the bottle has small holes in the teat appropriate for the child's age.

If you see thembaby growls while sleepingKeep a close eye on the baby. If your baby is grunting with every breath, has a fever, seems distressed, or his lips are turning blue, call your doctor right away.

When to worry about baby growling?

If your baby appears happy and active, there is no need to worry. If the growling is accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or shortness of breath, you should see your pediatrician.

If you ever take care of yoursbaby's healthor development, you are welcome to contact your pediatrician for advice.

Here are some more situations when a baby's grunting may not be normal.

respiratory problems:

Your baby may grunt when they have trouble breathing. This could be a sign of a respiratory infection such as bronchiolitis or pneumonia.

If your baby is grunting and also has other symptoms like fever, rapid breathing, or chest pains, you should see a doctor right away.

digestive problems:

Your baby may grunt when they are having trouble digesting food. This could be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or another digestive problem.

If your baby is grunting and also has other symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, or weight loss, you should see a doctor.

developmental delays:

Your baby may grunt if he is developmentally retarded. This could be a sign of a neurological disorder or another developmental problem.

If your baby is grunting and also has other symptoms, such as B. Delayed milestones, you should consult a doctor.

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Heart problems:

Your baby may grunt when they have a heart problem. This could be a sign of a congenital heart defect or other heart condition.

If your baby is grunting and also has other symptoms, such as B. fatigue, a bluish discoloration of the skin or shortness of breath, you should consult a doctor.

If the growling is accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or shortness of breath, you should see your pediatrician.

However, if grunting is the only symptom and your baby seems comfortable and active, don't worry.

What is Grumpy Baby Syndrome (GBS)?

gruntsBaby Syndrome is an informal term that refers to a condition that some newborns experiencehave problems passing stools (bowel movements). It could also be an indication that your baby is learning to have a bowel movement.

Newborns often show developmental growling behavior in the first few months of life. Generally,The grunt lasts 5-10 minutes before pooping, but can also occur during sleep. Somedays after the babyfirst bowel movement, this behavior appears normally andit takes about 3 months.

In some cases, ringing can be a symptom of an underlying health issue that requires medical attention.

Research involving 453 babies found that all term and near-term infants with persistent grunts should be carefully monitored after birth and treated as necessary.

What to do if the baby grunts and strains while doing thisbreastfeeding

Grunting and straining while breastfeeding your baby is a sign of thisconstipation. Straining is a sign that your baby is having trouble passing stools.

To ease your baby's discomfort, you can rub his tummy or ride a bicycle on his legs.constipationIt can pose a problem for all babies, but it's common in newborns whose digestive systems are immature. You can also give your baby a warm bath to stimulate and relax their body enough for defecation.

Is it normal for a newborn to grunt and moan?

The truth is that babies make a lot of strange noises while they sleep, including grunts, moans, snorts, and even grunts. All of those weird sleeping noises are caused by different things, like your baby's sleeping position, hunger, gas, or even pain while teething.

Growling and moaning during sleep is perfectly normalBabies and there is no needto take care of it.

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How long do newborns grunt?

In general, most of these sounds will disappear as your baby gets older. However, some babies may continue to grunt and whimper until they are 6 to 12 weeks old.

If you're ever concerned about your baby's health or development, don't hesitate to contact your pediatrician.

3 reasons why your baby grunts while eating (explains an expert) 2023 (4)


Why does my baby grunt so much while eating? ›

Some babies get acid reflux. This can cause gurgling and grunting sounds during digestion. The muscles of your baby's digestive system are still developing, so the muscle between the stomach and esophagus doesn't always remain closed properly.

What is grunting baby syndrome? ›

Infant dyschezia is a specific condition. Another name for infant dyschezia is grunting baby syndrome. Infants with dyschezia appear to have difficulty pooping, but they have no signs of constipation. They might strain, grunt or cry for 10 to 30 minutes before they poop, but when the poop comes out, it's normal.

What does grunting in a pediatric patient mean? ›

grunting — You may hear a grunting sound each time your child exhales. The grunting is her body's way of trying to keep air in the lungs so they will stay open. nose — If your child's nostrils spread open while she breathes, she may be having to work harder to breathe.

Why is my baby grunting and groaning so much? ›

Newborn grunting sounds are generally related to their digestion. Your child is getting familiar with formula or breast milk. They may have gas in their belly, causing discomfort. A newborn grunting usually means they are moving gas and stool through their digestive system.

Is it normal for babies to make noises while feeding? ›

Sometimes babies make grunting noises or have raspy or squeaky breathing. These sounds may be fine but you should discuss with your healthcare provider or International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). The most important thing to remember is that breastfeeding should not be painful.

Why does my baby make loud noises while bottle feeding? ›

If your baby makes gulping and sputtering sounds during feedings and milk tends to dribble out of the corners of her mouth, the flow of the bottle nipple is probably too fast. If she seems to work very hard at sucking and acts frustrated, the flow might be too slow.

What does grunting sounds indicate? ›

If you notice your child is grunting, it may be a sign that he or she is having trouble breathing. By grunting, your child can raise the pressure in their lungs more than they can from a normal breath thereby getting more air into their lungs.

When should I worry about baby grunting? ›

Grunting can be a sign of a more serious heart or lung issue if your baby is rhythmically grunting with each breath; if there is discolouration in the face or lips; or if it's an effort for your baby to take each breath.

Is it OK if my baby grunts alot? ›

Newborns tend to grunt when they are developing the muscle strength needed to pass stool. The grunting is usually not a cause for concern.

What does grunting mean medical? ›

Grunting is an expiratory noise made by neonates with respiratory problems. It generally occurs throughout the expiratory phase of breathing, and represents breath against a partially closed glottis.

How do you handle newborn grunting? ›

Hence any baby who is grunting should either be given continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or intubated and put on ventilator support, but never left to breathe spontaneously with a tube in situ.

What are 4 common signs of respiratory distress in a newborn? ›

What are the symptoms?
  • Fast and shallow breathing.
  • Grunting.
  • Flaring of the nostrils with each breath.
  • Bluish tone to a baby's skin and lips.
  • Pulling inward of the muscles between the ribs when breathing.
Mar 24, 2022

Does baby grunting mean reflux? ›

Other babies cough when reflux happens. Babies with silent reflux might fuss, cry, and arch their backs. They do not calm down after feedings. Instead, they make grunting noises while trying to rest.

Does baby grunting mean constipation? ›

This common condition is usually of no concern. When your baby squirms and grunts, it doesn't mean that they are in pain, especially when they do pass their stools and they are nice and soft. If stools are hard or frequently inconsistent then this is more likely to be constipation.

Why is my baby grunting and arching his back? ›

Arching the back relates to gas and reflux, as your baby might eat too much too fast. If your little one gets gassy a lot, try using a slow-flow baby bottle designed to limit the amount of air swallowed, which can help prevent gas and reflux.

Do autistic babies make noise? ›

Repetitive behaviour

For example, children might: make repetitive noises like grunts, throat-clearing or squealing. do repetitive movements like body-rocking or hand-flapping.

What does autism in babies look like? ›

repetitive movements, such as hand flapping or spinning. intense interest in a few special subjects. excessive lining up of toys. trouble sensing or understanding the feelings of others.

Why does my baby make a high pitched gasping noise when feeding? ›

High-pitched, squeaky sound: Called stridor or laryngomalacia, this is a sound very young babies make when breathing in. It is worse when a child is lying on their back. It is caused by excess tissue around the larynx and is typically harmless. It typically passes by the time a child reaches age 2.

Why does my baby cry and squirm while bottle feeding? ›

If you're bottle feeding, your baby may be crying during a feed because the flow of the nipple you're using is too fast or too slow and they're not getting enough milk. Double check that the teat you're using is correct for your baby's age and sucking ability.

What does silent reflux sound like in babies? ›

As well as the above, a baby with silent reflux may also suffer from one or more of the following: Coughing, but without other sickness symptoms (this is their natural reaction to acid hitting the back of their throat) Being really noisy and making strange sounds like gagging, grunting and having a hoarse voice.

Is grunting a form of communication? ›

Laryngeally produced vocalizations termed grunts function communicatively in many species.

What is grunting good for? ›

“Grunting allows exhaling, which allows you to reduce the blood pressure in your body,” Pedemonte said. “So when you're lifting [weight], if you hold on to the air inside and really don't exhale, your blood pressure will tend to go up.”

What do babies dream about? ›

Are you wondering, what do babies dream about? Good question, but the answer is… nothing! The “character of the self” hasn't even made an appearance yet!

Why is my newborn uncomfortable after feeding? ›

Gas. If your baby is crying a lot after every feeding, it may simply be a buildup of air swallowed while eating. It's thought that bottle-fed babes in particular may be more prone to swallowing a lot of air during a feeding. This can trap gas in their stomachs and be uncomfortable.

Why does my 6 month old grunt while eating? ›

Baby Grunts

As your baby grows, their grunts may become demands. "Toward the end of the first year, your baby will grunt, with or without pointing, to indicate that she wants something she doesn't have the words for yet," says Roberta Golinkoff, Ph.

How do I stop grunting habits? ›

There are also pharmacological approaches to alleviating involuntary grunting noises, which might include things like antidepressants, antipsychotics, cannabinoids, and other psychoactive drugs. Outside of formal behavioral therapy, communicating with your loved one about the noise they're making is often a good start.

Why does grunting occur? ›

Grunting is an expiratory sound caused by sudden closure of the glottis during expiration in an attempt to maintain FRC and prevent alveolar atelectasis.

What causes people to grunt? ›

If the muscles that move the vocal cords together are activated, we make a sound. This results in a grunt or groan of the kind you might often hear at the gym.

Why do I grunt a lot? ›

Many people grunt when they move simply out of habit

“Most people who make noises when they move are doing so out of habit,” Folden said. “Even when there's no significant pain or stiffness present, grunting happens because they've subconsciously learned it to be a normal response.”

What happens if a baby doesn t breathe at birth for 2 minutes? ›

Generally, brain damage becomes possible after only 3 to 5 minutes without breathing. After 10 minutes, an infant may suffer serious brain damage. Any longer and there is a significant risk of death due to the lack of oxygen.

Why do babies lift their legs up while sleeping? ›

Benign neonatal sleep myoclonus: sudden movements of their arms, legs, and face during sleep. It disappears on its own by 6 months. This is completely normal, and it just means that the infant's brain is active.

What are 3 major signs of respiratory distress? ›

Signs of Respiratory Distress
  • Breathing rate. An increase in the number of breaths per minute may mean that a person is having trouble breathing or not getting enough oxygen.
  • Color changes. ...
  • Grunting. ...
  • Nose flaring. ...
  • Retractions. ...
  • Sweating. ...
  • Wheezing. ...
  • Body position.

Which baby is at highest risk for developing respiratory distress? ›

Most cases of RDS occur in babies born before 37 to 39 weeks. The more premature the baby is, the higher the chance of RDS after birth. The problem is uncommon in babies born full-term (after 39 weeks).

Is grunting an upper airway obstruction? ›

Consider the signs and symptoms presented below.
Abnormal breath sounds.
STRIDOR• Upper airway obstruction (foreign body)
GRUNTING• Upper airway obstruction (Swollen airway) • Pneumonia (grunting to recruit alveoli)
WHEEZING• Lower airway obstruction (Asthma)
CRACKLES• Fluid in lungs (Wet), Atelectasis (Dry)
1 more row

How long should I keep my baby upright after feeding? ›

To help prevent the milk from coming back up, keep your baby upright after feeding for 10 to 15 minutes, or longer if your baby spits up or has GERD. But don't worry if your baby spits sometimes. It's probably more unpleasant for you than it is for your baby. Sometimes your baby may awaken because of gas.

What are signs of reflux in babies? ›

Symptoms of reflux in babies include:
  • bringing up milk or being sick during or shortly after feeding.
  • coughing or hiccupping when feeding.
  • being unsettled during feeding.
  • swallowing or gulping after burping or feeding.
  • crying and not settling.
  • not gaining weight as they're not keeping enough food down.

Why does my baby grunt while eating? ›

Newborn grunting is usually related to digestion. Your baby is simply getting used to mother's milk or formula. They may have gas or pressure in their stomach that makes them feel uncomfortable, and they haven't learned yet how to move things through.

How do I know if my baby has digestive problems? ›

The following symptoms may indicate the baby is having gastrointestinal problems: Vomiting: Spitting up and dribbling milk with burps or after feedings is fairly common in newborns. This is because the sphincter muscle between the stomach and the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to stomach) is weak and immature.

Why do babies make weird grunting noises? ›

Baby grunting: When your baby grunts while sleeping, it often means that they're adjusting to having bowel movements. Newbies are still getting used to using their abdominal muscles to move poop and gas through their system. (There are times, however, when newborn grunting during sleep could be worrisome.

Why does my baby cry when lying flat on his back? ›

When your little one cries and/or sometimes arches his back when he lies flat to sleep, it may be a sign that he has reflux. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), or reflux, is when stomach acid comes up into the baby's throat. This condition can cause pain and burning and should be discussed with your pediatrician.

How do I know if my baby has reflux? ›

Check if your baby has reflux

bringing up milk or being sick during or shortly after feeding. coughing or hiccupping when feeding. being unsettled during feeding. swallowing or gulping after burping or feeding.

What are signs of silent reflux in babies? ›

Does my baby have silent reflux?
  • breathing problems, such as wheezing, “noisy” breathing, or pauses in breathing (apnea)
  • gagging.
  • nasal congestion.
  • chronic coughing.
  • chronic respiratory conditions (such as bronchitis) and ear infections.
  • difficulty breathing (your child may develop asthma)
  • difficulty feeding.
  • spitting up.
Aug 14, 2018

Why does my baby squirm and grunt while breastfeeding? ›

A: If nursing is not the blissful bonding you were expecting, don't worry. Some squirming is normal, but if your baby is especially thrashy, she could be frustrated. One possibility is that your milk is coming out like gangbusters, making it hard for her to keep up.

Why does my son keep making grunting noises? ›

Involuntary repetitive sounds, such as grunting, sniffing, or throat clearing, are called vocal tics. Tic disorders usually start in childhood, first presenting at approximately 5 years of age.

Why does my baby seem uncomfortable while eating? ›

They have reflux

Crying and becoming fussy when feeding may be a sign of a common condition where babies bring their milk back up after feeds. This is known as reflux and usually starts before your baby is eight weeks old. It should clear up by the age of one year.

Do pacifiers help with reflux? ›

Pacifiers stimulate the flow of saliva and downward contractions of the esophagus, reducing the time it takes to move the irritating stomach fluid back where it belongs.

Does gripe water help with reflux? ›

Gripe water can also be a great way to ease the symptoms of acid reflux in infants. It is a natural approach to help reduce the stomach acid that causes pain. The mixture of herbs is designed to soothe and relax the infant's developing digestive system.

Can silent reflux cause SIDS? ›

Gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) has been identified as a possible cause of SIDS. Several features of GOR unique to infants presenting with apparent life-threatening events (ALTEs) have led to its 'pathogenic' definition.

What triggers silent reflux in babies? ›

Causes of Silent Reflux

Babies with neurological disorders, such as cerebral palsy, as well as those who are premature or have a family history of reflux may be at an increased risk for reflux. Having a hiatal hernia or a weak upper stomach valve also may increase the risk for reflux.

What position is best for baby hiccups? ›

Babies may start hiccuping during feeding because they have excess gas that's irritating their stomach. Propping them upright and gently tapping their backs can help. Slow down feeding.


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