Grunting Baby Syndrome

By Beta Dad | Last Updated: August 18th, 2017

Does your little one have grunting baby syndrome?


Let me explain.  Since babies can’t talk and are only able to communicate with sounds, grunting and crying.

This makes it hard for a new parent to understand what is going on.

Why is my child making these horrendous (and often hilarious) sounds!

Whats wrong with my child??

We all know parents of newborns, especially if it’s their first child are worried about every little sound their baby makes.

But to add these murmurs and gurgles, they are now starting to make noises like wild injured animals or grumpy old men!

You do need to be aware that many of the baby’s sounds are indeed nonsensical and aren’t targeted to anyone for any particular reason or need, they just are.

It can often be comical listening to the sounds of your baby sleeping.


However, there are times when due care and attention are required, and you need to care and understand accordingly.

While most of the baby’s gurgling and squirming noises are typical and nonsensical, and often when they just seem sweet and hapless, it must be noted that heavy grunting can be an indication of digestive irritability.

Simply, In certain cases, grunting is a sign for help.

Grunting sounds, in most cases, are related to digestion.   Phew ..

It may be as simple as a baby still getting used to their mother’s milk, or the baby food he or she is receiving may be causing some digestive troubles.

infant straining Their little bodies and constitution are still developing.  We need to remember that.

Sometimes the food simply causes gas (we’ve all been there), and that gas can cause pressure in their tummy which can make them uncomfortable.

Leading to these wondrous noises emitting from the monitor in the nursery at 3 am.

Being so young they really haven’t learned how to deal with digesting food yet.

Most of the time this food moving through the digestive system to the point of excretion is usually involuntary or to simply put it, “it just happens.” 

Sometimes the by product of all that squirming and grunts.

To be more precise, they haven’t yet figured out how to relax the pelvic floor while also using abdominal pressure to move gas and stool through their system without having to stress about it.

Grunting shouldn’t be confused with constipation, which is the most common misconception.

The digestive system related grunting will continue for a few months up until the newborn learns how to produce bowel movement and/or pass gas without having to grunt.

So don’t worry, this is all very typical

This marvel is even called “Grunting Baby Syndrome (GBS).”

It’s fairly common and rarely a sign of something serious or a need for intervention.

If the problem isn’t serious, it will resolve by itself.

peaceful sleeping baby

As time passes, the newborn will learn how to relax their anus while pushing with their abdomen.

Through trial and error, they will learn how to do that which will lead to less digestive issues and less stress when the baby needs to excrete its stool.

It’s all natural.



The grunts and strains of a healthy newborn learning how to excrete stool and to manage its digestive system is different from a sick baby.

Grunting chronically with every breath is not normal.

Grunting at the end of every breath, at the end of every exhale is a sign of a respiratory problem.

If your baby is chronically grunting and/or has other issues, then they need to be checked by a doctor.

chronic groaningEven more so if they have a fever or appears under intense distress, seeking medical attention is advised immediately.

Even if there is a serious problem, catching it early is key.

This increases the chance that your newborn’s condition will be sorted not only sooner and successfully.

You need to rule out any sort of nasal flaring, and intercostal or subcostal retractions.

Chronic grunting with every breath for a prolonged period of time can also be a sign of reflux too.   And boy is this often is diagnosed.

Have you noticed if your baby becomes distressed and uncomfortable when eating/breast feeding?


Do they have an acidic smell, hoarse voice, or gets frustrated during/after meals?


You may well be experiencing infant reflux issues, which are common with premature babies.  If you feel these symptoms are consistent, then seek advice from a doctor.

crying newbornIn some cases, the use of infant reflux medication might be required.

Be persistent with this too as acid reflux in babies is often overlooked. just have to read Netmums forums to find that one out!

You just have to read the Netmums forums to figure that one out!

We are a testament to that.   

We went from the normal gas related grunting to our little one developing reflux. she was premature, however, but it was diagnosed at first

she was premature, however, but it wasn’t diagnosed at first

Through hearing similar stories from other parents, we persevered and got the right diagnosis. the right treatment and months later she is doing great!

Then cam the correct right treatment and months later she is doing great!

A great little video worth watching for all parents on baby reflux symptoms, check it out.