Grunting Baby Syndrome

What is grunting Baby Syndrome?

The grunting baby syndrome is not a disease, but it can be better to explain as signalling of bowel movement.


Usually after birth, infants take time to match up the physiological systems, as everything is a first time experience for them. It is quite normal, after birth during poop infants make grunting sounds due to unable to coordinate the muscle movement.

It is usual in the first 10 weeks, during this period baby try to learn how to coordinate muscle contraction and relaxation during stool pass. Frequent occurrence may signal of constipation or breathing distress and require medical assistance.

Grunting baby syndrome


Image 1: Grunting baby syndrome

Grunting Baby Syndrome Symptoms

Grunting sound is not a usual sound which is normally made by infants and may newly parents becomes anxious by hearing this sound. Usually it gives signals that baby tries to excrete stool, but sometimes it is associated with breathing difficulty. The usual symptoms are:

  • Griping abdominal muscle
  • Grunt makes
  • Compressing
  • Crying
  • Distorted facial expression
  • Face become red or purple and after relaxing turn to normal
  • Providing pressure
  • Usually after 5 minutes stool is passed.
  • Whistling sound arises due to nasal blockage

Grunting Baby Syndrome Causes

The grunting baby syndrome may arise due to digestive disorder or respiratory distress. The very common reason is an obstruction in bowel movement. Parents should not be anxious every time when baby grunting, but should be careful and take a note how frequent baby grunting. With time, newborn babies become normalized, as they learn to poop. Grunting arises due to following reasons:

  • During bowel movement the abdominal cramp and discomfort cause grunting of the baby.
  • Newborn is inexperience how to release poop from the anal canal. They unable to relax the anal muscle by providing the pressure in the abdomen. This poor coordination causes grunting.
  • Baby gives pressure to abdominal muscle to release faces by grunting
  • Digestion problem
  • Bad diet
  • Grunting sound also occurs during respiratory difficulty. Baby cannot pass air through the mouth.  Any reason which causes nasal congestion may create a grunting sound which is quite similar like whistling sound. Nasal congestion may arise due to mucous stuck in the nasal passage or during feeding small amount of milk stick to nasal cavity and block air passage due to drying of milk. Even cough and cold also produce grunting due to breathing difficulty.

Grunting Baby Syndrome Treatment

Usually this is not a serious health issue, but it is always advisable to consult with paediatricians regularly and discuss the issue. No treatment is recommended in usual cases.


  • Initially usage of artificial anal stimulator like using of cotton and thermometer or Q-Tip may solve the problem, but in the long run they have not been an effective method. Because infants cannot learn the muscle coordination and bowel movement is always become a big issue for them.
  • Psychological motivation of baby helpful to cope with the muscle coordination.
  • In case of hard stool pass or swelled abdomen, laxative drugs are given to release the stool.
  • During breast feeding mother has to very cautious about their diet, as it affects the child’s bowel movement. It is advisable not to take alcohol, canned fish, spicy food and some vegetables, including cabbages, onion, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, garlic and cucumbers.

References

  1. Grunting Baby Syndrome at http://www.newkidscenter.com/Grunting-Baby-Syndrome.html
  2. Grunting Baby Syndrome – JustMommies at http://www.justmommies.com/babies/grunting-baby-syndrome
  3. http://medsymptoms.org/grunting-baby-syndrome-and-treatment.html
  4. The Cure for Grunting Baby Syndrome at http://www.babymed.com/blogs/jaclyn-stewart/cure-grunting-baby-syndrome

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