Are You Worried That Your Baby Grunts All Night?

Babies make sounds almost all the time. These sounds may range from high-pitched wails that will pierce your eardrums, gurgling noises, squirms to contented sighs that will melt your heart. Since babies cannot communicate their feelings like adults do, they totally depend on the sounds they make for attention from their caregivers or parents.

Parents and caregivers naturally have the ability to pay close attention to every need of the child or baby. The baby depends on the oral orifice for survival and response to various stimuli such as pain, hunger, and discomfort. One of the many sounds that a baby will produce is grunting. Baby grunting should however not be taken to be very serious and neither should it be ignored. Baby grunting could mean a number of things.

Sometimes, baby grunting means that the baby has a desire to communicate with his/her, caregiver or parent. This is one of what baby grunting means.

What Does It Mean When The Baby Is Grunting?

Baby grunting is perfectly normal and is related to digestion. It means the baby is getting used to the mother’s milk or formula. While getting used to their mother’s milk, babies may have gas or pressure in their bowel. Since they are very young and have weak abdominal muscles, they depend on grunting to assist them to move the gas and pressure out of their bowels through their anal orifice. The baby also grunts while pooping.

When grunting, the larynx is closed and moved down along the diaphragm of the bowel. However, when the baby grunts for long and his/her face turns red, he/she is experiencing constipation, and you should consult with a doctor who will give you a professional directive concerning your baby’s condition.

Baby grunting could also mean that the baby has a desire to communicate with his/her, caregiver or parent. When a baby realises that his/her caregiver or parent cares so much about him/her, he/she will produce sounds such as bubbling, laughs, squeals and grunting as a way of showing happiness to everything the parents is doing for him/her.

Sometimes, babies grunt when they are exposed to an external stimulus such as tickling as a way of showing their happiness. When babies grunt under such circumstances, their sounds should not be taken seriously since it means nothing more than the happiness the child displays.

A baby might also grunt when he/she is shallow breathing. When shallow breathing, the alveoli of the baby’s lung will collapse, and the baby will have to grunt so that the lungs can be refilled with oxygen and the alveoli can reopen. After the grunt, the baby will breathe deeply. This is very normal and should not worry you at all.

The collapse of the lungs’ alveoli also occurs in adults, and this causes them to yawn or sigh so that the lungs can be refilled with oxygen. After the lungs have been refilled with oxygen, the alveoli will then reopen. In this situation, the baby’s grunting should not be taken very serious since it is a very normal thing babies will experience.

Even though a baby’s grunt may seem to be normal, sometimes it may show a sign of illness in your baby. When the baby’s grunting is accompanied with bubbling or wheezing sounds when he/she is breathing, then your baby has some illness problem.

Grunting could mean that your baby has meningitis, sepsis, lung problem, pneumonia or even heart failure. This type of grunting usually occurs at a regular interval. It happens with every breathing the child takes. It also seems to be laboured. When your baby has a wheezing breathing, you must seek immediate medical attention.

How to Tell if Your Baby’s Grunting is a Sign of Illness

For you to know whether your baby’s grunting is a sign of sickness or not, you will check for other respiratory problems. If your baby is suffering from blue tongue, weight loss or lethargy, then his/her grunting is a sign of a serious respiratory problem. Grunting that signifies health problem occurs when the baby is awake.

The Remedy to Baby Grunting

The only real cure for baby grunting is letting your new-born learn how to relax the anus while pushing stool out of his/her body system with the bowel. Your baby will learn how to relax the anus and use the bowel to eliminate the stool from their body system through trial and error. You must, however, consult a doctor just to be sure that the baby’s grunting is completely normal.

Some doctors, however, recommend the use of anal stimulation as a way of curing baby grunting so that the baby can be able to use the bowel to eliminate the stool from the body system. Anal stimulation is achieved by using the anal thermometer or a piece of cotton to help stimulate the bowel.

The use of anal stimulators usually helps the baby have bowel movements. It however has negative side effects in the long run. The baby may depend on the use of anal stimulators to have a bowel movement.

Repeated use of the anal stimulators will delay the baby’s ability to learn the bowel movement as a very important way of eliminating the stool from the digestive system. Baby grunting may begin in the first month and stop or resolve on its own after a few weeks. If your baby is showing worrisome symptoms, you will have to take him/her to a doctor for expert evaluation.


In one word, grunting in babies is a pretty normal thing. However, as a mother, you should be keen to notice if your baby’s grunting is persistent. For example, if your baby grunts all night, then there might be something wrong with your baby. In this case, you should see your doctor so that you can get to the bottom of why your baby is grunting persistently.

Kristi Cathey

Hi everyone! My name is Kristi Cathey and I’m glad you found your way to my blog. I am a mother of 3 beautiful angels. This blog was created in order to share my personal experiences in baby care and general health care for pregnant women. If you'd like to get in touch with me, please contact me by sending me an email via Welcome to

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