Newborn Grunting: Causes and Home Remedies

A newborn in the family is always a happy and momentous occasion that all family members celebrate. It is a moment to remember and a cause for much excitement as it not only ushers in a new baby into the family but could also possibly make a married couple parents for the first time. At the same time, it also introduces parents to a world of difficulties surrounding babies and their health. It is often believed that when one does not have much to lose, one need not worry as much. However, when one has a lot to lose, their troubles and worries increase tenfold. New parents will naturally be considered and will oftentimes overthink about what their babies do. If you’re a new parent and you suddenly discover your child grunting while passing stool, don’t freak out. What seems to be a panic-driven situation can be avoided, if taken care of calmly and collectively. The most probable cause of baby grunting is known as Grunting Baby Syndrome (GBS). Before we come to the home remedies to resolve newborn grunting, let’s have a look at what newborn grunting syndrome is.

What Is Newborn Grunting Syndrome?

It isn’t unusual for newborns to make different, peculiar and weird sounds. However, one which you should be on the watch for is grunting. Grunting usually occurs when a baby is trying to pass gas, having a bowel movement or adjusting to a new environment. These grunting sounds are usually characterized by being low-pitched, soft, rhythmic and repetitive. Simply put, it could sound like a continuous ‘uh’ or ‘mmm’ sound. The most common cause of GBS or newborn grunting is the lack of coordination between the stomach and pelvic muscles. To pass stool effectively, our stomach muscles flex, while our pelvic muscles relax. While this may seem like an unconscious movement and coordination for adults, it isn’t the same for babies. Babies are developing muscle memory and have to learn this type of coordination. Owing to the lack of coordination between the muscles, babies try to grunt to flex the stomach muscles. While this does work, it doesn’t allow the pelvic muscles to relax which is needed for effective bowel movement and passing stool. Now that you have a better idea about newborn grunting syndrome, let’s have a look at the newborn grunting causes.

Newborn Grunting Causes

  • Immature digestive system- Because newborns do not have a mature digestive system, it becomes difficult for them to pass gas or have bowel movements effectively. Oftentimes, the grunting sound is just because of their inability to pass gas or stool easily.
  • Breathing- Believe it or not another major cause of newborn grunting is when they try to coordinate and regulate breathing. However, it appears mostly in those babies who have breathing difficulties or are premature.
  • Moving to independent breathing- Did you know that when a baby is in the womb, the child breathes through the umbilical cord? So as the child enters the real world, he or she starts breathing without any support system. This can cause grunting in babies.
  • Lack of muscle development- Every child grows at a different pace and cannot be compared to others. Weak muscles lead to the inability to control the stomach and pelvic muscles leading to problems with passing stool and causing grunting.
  • Gastrointestinal Discomfort- Gastrointestinal Discomfort (GERD) includes conditions like constipation, colic and trapped gas. This can cause discomfort in newborns and lead to grunting.

Home Remedies  And Precautions For Newborn Grunting

If you’re wondering how to reduce grunting in newborns. You’ve come to the right place. Luckily for you, this condition isn’t serious and usually resolves itself in the span of a few months. However, there are a few tricks which you can do at home to alleviate some of the discomfort that your child might be facing.

  • Tummy massage- To release trapped gas and stimulate bowel movement, try rubbing the abdomen in a clockwise motion. Remember to be gentle and use circular motions while doing so. You can do this with your fingertips.
  • Simple exercise- One of the best ways to reduce grunting in newborns is by doing a simple exercise known as the bicycle. Put your newborn on his or her back and gently move his or her legs in a cycling motion, which resembles riding a bicycle. This movement not only relieves gas but also promotes digestion.
  • Burping- Since you, as a parent are aware that your newborn will have a weak digestive system, it’s important for you to regularly burp your child after every meal. Hold your baby against your chest and gently pat its back until it burps.
  • Warm bath- A warm bath is commonly known for its soothing and relaxing effect. This is because it relaxes the muscles and helps you unwind. It will have a similar effect on your newborn and help relax his or her muscles.
  • Swadling- Simply put, this means snuggling your baby in a warm blanket and embrace to mimic the womb. It not only helps with reducing grunting in newborns but also makes them, feel safe and comforted.
  • Feeding- When breastfeeding your child, ensure that your baby is positioned correctly. Incorrect positioning will lead to the intake of excessive air, causing bloating and gas.
  • Sleeping position- It’s important to always place your baby on his or her back to avoid dangers like sudden infant death syndrome. Elevating the head when sleeping can be a great way of reducing gas and thus, reducing grunting.

When To Seek Professional Help?

Most of the time, newborn grunting is a non-serious issue and can be treated at home. However, in exceptional cases, professional medical assistance might be required. Parents should consult a pediatrician in the following cases:

  • When grunting is accompanied by other symptoms including fever, crying and vomiting this could signal some more serious underlying condition.
  • When your baby is having labored breathing or some distress as a result of taking in oxygen.
  • When the grunting is persistent and continuous it exists past the newborn phase for a prolonged period.
  • When there are other red flags like immediate weight loss, weight gain or other very noticeable changes.

Here at EuroKids, we try to create an atmosphere that is healthy and safe for your darling children to be in. Our methods involve engaging mind, body and soul to transform your little toddlers into young leaders of tomorrow. Our focus lies on academics intertwined with the development of talents that are fostered through indoor and outdoor activities. We do our best to help parents take on the responsibility of a newborn by keeping them informed and aware of child healthcare through our blog. If you want to learn more about us and what we do, visit our blog for more details.

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