Grunting baby syndrome
When your newborn arrives safely into the world you will notice quite quickly that they seem to make lots of very strange noises and grunting baby syndrome is one of them. Its very normal for babies to often burp, sneeze, hiccup, pass wind, vomit, and grunt.
It can be quite an alarming noise to hear your baby grunting and it may also be very loud.
Some babies make a grunting noise to help calm them to sleep. It’s also their way of trying to speak with us.
What causes grunting baby syndrome?
Grunting baby syndrome is often caused when they are unable to relax their pelvic floor and anus muscles while their abdominal muscles are working at producing poop.
This condition happens due to your baby’s lack of co ordination in his tummy and is often referred to as Grunting Baby Syndrome (GBS)
It does not mean that your baby is constipated especially if, when they poop their stools are soft and a mustard yellow colour. It simply means that they still need to learn how to push poop through their intestines but at the same time relax their lower pelvic muscles to allow the poop to come out.
Babies with Grunting Baby Syndrome usually have very healthy bowels and just need time to work out how to push and poop at the same time.
Grunting baby syndrome can also be a sign that your baby may have reflux. When your baby has reflux their stomach often produces too much acid. These acids move up and down your baby’s oesophagus. This can make sleeping uncomfortable for them when they are lying down.
If you are worried that your baby is suffering from reflux then please take a look here for help and advice.
Symptoms of baby grunting syndrome
There are a few tell tale signs that your baby may have baby grunting syndrome:
1) Grunting very loudly while seeming to push
2) They may look as if they are straining while pushing and go bright red in the face
3) They may be very wriggly and find it difficult to settle to sleep
4) They may also cry and get upset
Premature infants and Grunting baby syndrome.
Pre term babies may suffer more with Grunting Baby Syndrome as their digestive systems are very immature and it can often take them a while longer to work out how to co ordinate their bowel movements.
Many premature infants also grunt because they still have irregular breathing patterns. It may take your premature baby a few more weeks until they can control their breathing patterns and this will happen as the lungs mature with age.
Until the lungs develop fully you will notice your baby will have periods of rapid breathing and louder grunting. This may be while they are sleeping and is perfectly normal.
You will notice that over the coming weeks and as your baby’s brain and lungs develop and mature they will sleep more soundly and grunt less.
If you are worried about your premature baby’s breathing and grunting then there are warning signs that you can look out for.
Warning signs to look out for are:
1) A blue tinge to the skin and area around the mouth
2) Nasal flaring
3) Pauses in breathing that last longer than 8 to 10 seconds
4) Breathing movements that draw in the chest muscles
5) Low urine output
6) Very floppy and not interested in feeding
If your infant stops breathing for longer than 10 seconds or shows signs of respiratory distress then phone the emergency services.
If you are at all concerned by anything your baby does then speak to a health visitor or doctor.
Treatment for grunting baby syndrome.
Grunting baby syndrome is often a condition that is all about your baby having to learn how to poop effectively and the main treatment for the condition is time.
TIME and allowing your baby’s digestive system to mature enough to be able to push while relaxing the lower pelvic floor muscles.
If you think your baby is desperate too poop then you can use stimulation.
STIMULATION can be used to get things moving. Gently wipe the anus with a baby wipe that has some Vaseline on it as this will often stimulate the bowels to open. But don’t rely on this method every time that your baby wants to poop as your baby needs to work out for themselves what to do and how to poop.
If you think your baby’s GBS is due to reflux then the following things can be done to help:
1) Angle your baby’s cot so that it is at a 40 degree angle and baby’s head is higher than their body when laid down.
2) Keep baby upright for 30 minutes after feeding.
3) Wind your baby regularly throughout their feed.
4) Ask your doctor for a baby antacid that helps to reduce stomach acids after feeding.
You can also take a look at my baby reflux and baby reflux remedies pages for more help on how to cope with a reflux baby.
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