4 Month Old Grunting and Tossing and Turning

Updated on April 22, 2010
T.G. asks from Lansdale, PA
11 answers

Help!! My 4 month old son sleeps from 7:30pm to 1:30 am every night. I feed him and then he tosses and turns, grunts, puts his arms allover his face from that point on. He wakes himself up every hour (or less). I swaddle him, but he breaks out. I need advice!!!! By the way I am a first time mom. Thanks so much in advance:)

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answers from Pittsburgh on

it is time to think about trying to get him on a schedule so maybe he'll start sleeping thru the night for you. babycenter.com was very helpful to me as a 1st time mom it kinda tells you what to expect at every month. He might have alittle gas if he is fussy honey if you think about it 7:30 till 1:am is 6 hrs so if you try to keep him awake till maybe 11 he might sleep till 5. good luck and don't be nervous you'll be fine it will all work out with newborns mothers are sleep deprived and if that is the case then you sleep when he sleeps so you aren't so exhausted. MichelleC

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answers from New York on

It sounds like he may have a belly ache.. If he is grunting sometimes that means they are constipated. If you feed him in the middle of the night and lay him back down perhaps he has some kind of acid reflux too.. You can try to elevate his mattress a little. you can put a pillow under one end of the mattress to raise the one side up. and lay him on his right side if he will stay there. try to burp him real good before you lay him down again. Has he been doing it for long? Maybe something else may be happening.. since he puts his arms all over his face, perhaps his ears are hurting him and feels pressure or something. It is SOO hard when they are that little cause the poor things cant tell you :0(... I hope the suggestions I gave are helpful. good luck and hope it gets better!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I agree with Acecia. Sounds like reflux. Not uncommon. You need to elevate the mattress so head and chest are elevated. You can also buy a pillow specific for this, but cheaper and easier to do the pillow under the mattress (make sure it is even and does not have to be much). I would also check with your pediatrician just to be sure,but the tossing and turning is more than likely his natural mechanism to try and prevent the reflux. The acid from the stomach is very irritating to the esophagus and can cause real issues if the acid and formula get into the lungs. (aspiration pneumonia). He will grow out of it, not sure when- your pedi will know.



answers from Cincinnati on

hi -
I agree with acecia that it maybe reflux - when infant wake up frequently in the night reflux maybe a cause. As acecia said elevating the mattress may help - here is some additional info on reflux (from http://www.askdrsears.com/html/10/t106004.asp):
Clues that your baby suffers from GER enough to need treatment are:

Frequent spitting up or vomiting (not all babies with GER spit up)
Baby isn't outgrowing the "colic" and/or spitting up
Frequent blasts of crying that are painful cries, not just baby cries
Your gut feeling tells you that your baby "hurts somewhere"
Bursts of night waking "as if in pain"
Colicky, abdominal pain after eating, even as long as one hour afterwards
Poor sleep habits, restless
Writhing as if in pain: drawing up legs, arching back
Erratic feeding patterns. Refuses to feed or wants to breast or bottle feed all the time.
Frequent "wet burps" or "wet hiccups"
Throaty noises: swallowing noises, choking, gagging
Frequent, unexplained colds, wheezing, and chest infections
Stop-breathing episodes
Excessive drooling
Spits up like a "volcano"

See http://www.askdrsears.com/html/10/t106004.asp for more info.

For the swaddling here is a link to by Dr Karp http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6KnVPUdEgQ He shows a trick to help the baby remain swaddled (and not wiggle out).

good luck!



answers from Dallas on

Hi T.,

I'm a new mom too. My little man (now 3 months old) did that as well but, not to the extent that your describing. Come to find out, it was gas!! I wasn't burping him enough. I thought the burps would just come up after a minute or 2 of back patting -- not so! I found that anti-gas drops helped a great deal. I also used "gripe water" - wonderful stuff (I bought it at Walgreens). I tried swaddling as well and my guy wasn't having any part of it. I think it made it worse b/c he wouldn't be still until he got his arms free. If you want to raise the head of the crib, put a thick, folded bath towel under the mattress; it works wonders, it's free and it will help with aspiration if he does spit up. Good luck.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Maybe that you aren't swaddling him as tightly as you should. I used the Kidapotamus (sp?) wraps with the velcro and mine was 7 or 8 months before he could break out of them. Don't be afraid to swaddle them pretty tightly, and make sure that the blanket is up over the shoulders (but not near his face, obviously!)

It may also be somekind of reflux or gas issue. The other moms had good advice for that. I'd check in with the pediatrician and see what she says.



answers from Scranton on

For your child being four months old, that isn't all that bad. My little guy was similar but he didn't rub his face..... Maybe there is some kind of allergy..? The grunting just sounds like he/she might be experimenting with their voice. I have a 4 yr old. I was always lucky to get even two hours a sleep at a time until he was at least 6 mo old. haha



answers from York on

My little guy did this too, because of gas. I used the Little Tummies drops wih every feeding. I'd massage his belly, move his legs, and turn him from belly to back to side on the changing table to get the air out too. Putting a pillow under the matress also helped. And I swaddled with the Kiddopatamus premade blanket. The velcro really worked, though he's start breaking out when he was ready to move up a size. The biggest thing that helped was letting him sleep on his tummy. As soo as he could roll, which happened at about 4 months, I started putting him down on his belly. I started with naps to see what he would do and watched him the whole time because I was so worried. But eventually I got over it. His naps got longer and he slept better at night. Good luck!



answers from Columbus on

If you think a more effective swaddle would help, try a square blanket. Buy 1 and 1/4 yards of baby flannel in the fabric store and get a binding matieral and sew it on. Sqauare will give you a better swaddle than the rectanguar blankets you can buy. He may be getting a little old for that swaddle though.



answers from Hartford on

my lo is a huge tosser and it wakes her up too. I loved the miracle blanket bc it kept them in and it was really easy to swaddle them. If he is sleeping fine and then only waking up after you feed them then it might be an issue w/ the feeding: maybe gass? burp him good first and see if that helps as he might just be really uncomfortable. then i would ask the dr. before thinking it might be something else. honestly baby massage helps too bc it helps get all the 'bubbles and gass' out. the i love you stroke is great for that and I know you can read about that in books and see it in a dvd or even online if you cant find a class near you. what a nice way to fall back to sleep, massage, and it will help ease the tummy too!



answers from Philadelphia on

Hi T.,

I am a four time mom and pediatric physical therapist. I created a prodct called the Magc Sleepsuit that has been reviewed on this site. It may be just the thing you need to make the transition from the swaddle. Check out www.magicsleepsuit.com

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