11 answers

Grunting Baby

Does anyone have any experience w/ a constantly grunting newborn? My daughter is 3 weeks (she was 36.6 wks and considered preemie)and she seems to have great difficulty w/ gas and grunting, especially while sleeping. She will wake herself up and whimper and cry a little, it's killing me to watch her. The Ped thinks it will pass with time, to try simethicone and wait. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well, thanks to all for the advice and insight. She worked out her gastrointestinal bits by 3 months, like the Ped said she would.

Featured Answers

this is quite a common thing actually...I have a friend with a child around 4 1/2 months old and her baby is finally seeming to grunt less and less. The Ped said to her that it was a narrow windpipe and it was really nothing to worry about, but I would wonder on how narrow it is and seek some proffesional opinion. Also try to google grunting baby and that should give you some mroe information as well. Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Hi, this information comes from an "old" :)(27 years expereince nursery/Nicu nurse) and lactation consultation, so my approach is from a medical standpoint. I hope this helps.
My first question would be how is your baby being fed? Many times a "young" infant will take a feeding rapidly--breast or bottle and this in turn creates a rapid filling of the stomach. If her digestion is so overstimulated she will have to "grunt" to bear down and keep the valve on the top of her stomach closed to avoid the milk returning to her mouth or regurgitating. Usually after the baby' stomach pressure is released--burping and then hiccuping there seems to be a little less grunting. The mylicon/simethicone simply helps with the gas expelling but doesn't treat the gas.
If you have a very rapid milk flow when breastfeeding, sometimes releasing a little milk before offering a feeding will help baby manage the flow. The same is true for bottles, every bottle has a different flow, sometimes faster than a baby can handle (sort of like having lunch while going through the fastfood drive-up window I teach parents to position baby to burp but refrain from the vigorous pat-pat burping technique. If your little one is more comfortable in your arms in a reclining position like the carseat position it will allow her to reduce the pressure under her diaphragm and reduce the need to grunt. The other tool you can use is pacifier.....this is like an after dinner mint...something to suck on and create a little pressure on that valve so she doesn't have to do the work.
The good news, maturity seems to correct this phase. However, it your little one keeps grunting &/or starts spitting up more, follow-up with your pediatrician and rule out acid-reflux.
Take Care

2 moms found this helpful

How sad. Until I read this, I didn't realize that my now almost 5 month-old son had stopped doing this. I forgot that he used to grunt at night and it would wake me up a lot, so I really hoped for the day that he would stop. Now, I miss it! I've heard that it's common for babies to do this; mine must have stopped somewhere between 3 & 4 months. As long as your baby isn't in distress (can't breathe, etc.), I wouldn't worry about it. We survived it. :o)

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.,

How is her latch? My nephew (3 mos) was having a hard time getting a good latch (breast then bottle) and having extreme gas issues causing major sleep problems too. My sister just had his tongue clipped because it was attached right at the tip and it didn't allow him to get a good latch and he sucked up a lot of air. Not all that unusual I guess. He went from no more than 3 hours to 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Just something to rule out.


1 mom found this helpful

Hi K..

My nine week old baby had the same problem. We took her to the pediatrician and came to the conclusion she has acid reflux. We gave her medicine for it and that seemed to help some of the problem. Since I am nursing, she seems to have more of a problem when I eat dairy products (milk, yogurt, etc) We gave her the gas drops and that didn't seem to work so well... A friend recommended GRIPE WATER, a natural gas medicine for babies. (You can check out the site coliccalm.com, I think -- or just type in gripe water and see what comes up) I hated seeing my baby hurt and grunt. We decided to try it and I only wish I'd started using it earlier!!! She no longer grunts or seems uncomfortable. She sleeps WAY better now, taking super long naps and almost sleeping through the night... Take a look at the site and see what you think... Good luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.!

My daughter had colic starting at 6 weeks. She was the same way with the grunting and the whimpers. The gas drops seemed to only make it worse for her. Here is a suggestion that worked WONDERS for us:

first of all lay her on her back and bring her knees into her chest - repeating this over and over...you may need to raise her legs up a bit when doing this. It helps to release some of the gas pressure...

Secondly I do what is called a super swaddle...

you lay a blanket flat out....fold the TOP corner down and lay baby so head is above the folded corner. Next you are going to take the right side of the blanket and tightly wrap over top of right arm and UNDER baby, do the same with the left side. Make it snug though. Next take the bottom portion and twist up and tuck sides in to both right and left. Next you will do a backwards regular swaddle that I am sure you learned in the hospital.

After you have the babe in a superswaddle give her a nonny (pacifier- I wasn't going to use one at all and the pedi recommended it for the colic) and sway and bounce with baby in a football hold in your arm.

This worked wonders with us and we did this for months. It is really tough seeing them like this and your pedi is right it WILL pass. Some babies it just takes longer.

Good luck!

A. & Emily Grace (5 months)

1 mom found this helpful

this is quite a common thing actually...I have a friend with a child around 4 1/2 months old and her baby is finally seeming to grunt less and less. The Ped said to her that it was a narrow windpipe and it was really nothing to worry about, but I would wonder on how narrow it is and seek some proffesional opinion. Also try to google grunting baby and that should give you some mroe information as well. Good luck

1 mom found this helpful

My twins were born at 36 weeks to the day and were 6 lbs. (They weren't considered premature, though. Just pre-term, though they did have to spend the first night in NICU because of hospital policy.) One of them was a grunter, too. He would literally pull his legs up and down towards his chest while squeaking and grunting. (My hubby called this a "full body gas experience!") My pediatrician told us this was normal and not to worry about it. He told us that some babies are just more vocal and sensitive to the gas sensations . . . particularly when the gas disturbs their sleep. Grunty twin's brother wasn't bothered a bit by his gas and HE was REALLY gassy! (Think ripping denim!) Anyway, the ped said we could give him a gas reducer but told us this was more for the benefit of the parent than the child. (So we could feel as though we were DOING something.) I decided against giving my baby any medication that wasn't necessary.

I was nursing my twins and because the gas was disturbing my grunter, I just made a real effort to avoid eating foods that would contribute to their gassiness. It seemed to help but it didn't take more than six weeks or so before my grunter was happily (and loudly) passing gas like a pro. (With three boys, I've just resigned myself to the fact that flatulence is going to be the punchline of many jokes for the next couple of decades.)

I just figure when they're newborns they are brand new to the world and all of these new sensations take a bit of getting used to! But if you think she's genuinely in distress, you should ask your pediatrican for a second opinion. Even if it's nothing, it'll be worth it for your piece of mind! Hang in there. Your daughter will get you trained soon enough!

As an FYI: My grunter is eleven months old and he still grunts. He sounds just like a baby pig! My other twin growls. It's the darndest thing!

1 mom found this helpful

I have a four week old, and he was a week and a half late....but is a grunter as well. In fact, he doesn't really cry very often, but is a fan of the "grunt". :)

I wouldn't worry about it. It just means they're uncomfortable, it will pass. At least she's not wailing in pain!

But on a side note, trust your instinct. If something just really doesn't seem right, have it looked into.

1 mom found this helpful

Babies grunt when they are having trouble breathing. Have they checked her lungs? Given her a chest xray? Was she in the nicu at all? My baby had trouble breathing when he was born too, he was full term, and spent 19 days in the nicu. He is 3 months old now and still has some breathing problems. Other problems signs are: noisy breathing, more than 50 respirations per minute, see-sawing of ribcage and abdomen, bluish tint on upper torso and around the gums, flaring nostrils, head bobbing, doesn't have a loud/strong cry. If you haven't had a chest xray I would make the doctor order one or find another doctor. Sometimes breathing problems are caused by heart problems, have they given her an echocardiogram? That's another thing I would insist on. Make them run some of the standard tests that rule out structural causes of breathing problems before you accept their explanation of "she will outgrow it". They think my son will outgrow his problems too, but he has had an echocardiogram, a CT scan and innumerable xrays, all of which turned up nothing. I can give you more information, if you would like. Feel free to send me a personal message; I have been going through this for the past 3 months and I know it can be terrifying. When my son was born he was grunting and couldn't stay asleep, he kept waking up crying, all through the first night in the hospital. I kept telling them something was wrong and they kept insisting he was fine, the next morning they finally gave him a chest xray and admitted him into the NICU. Trust your instincts!

1 mom found this helpful

my son was born at 36 weeks which isnt much premature ( my first was 32 weeks)he is a very grunty baby also. if you formula feed try switching to gentlease. it helped alot with my son, he still grunts alot but not nearly as much and has alot less gas.

1 mom found this helpful


Our son is now 4 weeks old, and also grunts a lot. Not sure if it is an issue with gas or not, but he does seem to be fussy fairly often and we are trying to figure it all out, being new parents. We were wondering if that much grunting were normal, and a girlfriend of mine said her son was also a 'grunter' when he was younger. Must not be too uncommon...?

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.