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    Newborn Grunting: Why Is This Happening?

    Newborn grunting isn’t uncommon and usually relates to bowel movements, but there are certain times when you should be concerned.

    Why Does My Newborn Grunt?

    Medically reviewed by Karen Gill, M.D. — Written by Jacquelyn Cafasso on December 21, 2017

    Is it normal?

    It may sound strange to you, but the occasional grunts coming from your newborn are perfectly normal.

    As a new parent, you listen to every little sound and movement your baby makes. Most of the time, your newborn’s gurgling noises and squirms seem so sweet and helpless. But when they grunt, you may begin to worry that they’re in pain or need help.

    Newborn grunting is usually related to digestion. Your baby is simply getting used to mother’s milk or formula. They may have gas or pressure in their stomach that makes them feel uncomfortable, and they haven’t learned yet how to move things through.

    While most grunting is normal, if your baby is grunting with every breath, has a fever, or appears to be in distress, see your doctor.

    This grunting may be a sign of a more serious respiratory problem and needs immediate attention.

    The cause of newborn grunting

    When your baby grunts, it usually means they’re learning how to have a bowel movement. They haven’t yet figured out how to relax the pelvic floor while also using abdominal pressure to move stool and gas through their system. Their abdominal muscles are weak, and they must bear down with their diaphragm against their closed voice box (glottis). This leads to a grunting noise.

    They will grunt until they can figure it out, so it may take a few months for your newborn to produce a bowel movement or pass gas without grunting. Some people call this grunting baby syndrome (GBS). Rest assured, it’s fairly common and rarely a sign of something serious.

    Babies may also look like they’re straining, and a newborn’s head may turn purple or red in color. This may last for several minutes, according to an article in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (JPGN).

    This shouldn’t be confused with constipation. Your newborn’s system is working correctly to produce excrement. Your baby just hasn’t figured out how to move it through. While the grunting is unpleasant, your newborn simply needs to get used to its new world.

    The remedies

    You should confirm with your doctor that your baby’s grunting is normal.

    If your grunting baby is simply learning how to have a bowel movement, the only true cure is for your newborn to learn how to relax their anus while pushing with their abdomen. This is something your baby will learn with time through trial and error.

    Some doctors recommend that parents help their newborn by providing anal stimulation. This involves use of an anal thermometer or a piece of cotton to help stimulate the bowel. While this method usually works to help your baby have a bowel movement, it may have negative side effects in the long run. Your baby may eventually become dependent on this method to have a bowel movement. According to JPGN, repeated use of this method will delay your infant’s ability to learn the correct process for passing stool.

    In most cases, the grunting starts in the first months of life and resolves on its own after a few weeks. Every baby is different. It all depends on how long it takes for your newborn to master the coordination of its bowel movements.

    When to be concerned

    The grunting of a healthy child learning how to deal with digestion is different from the grunting of a sick baby.

    Grunting with every breath is never normal. Grunting at the end of every breath could be a sign of respiratory distress.

    If your baby is grunting often and also has other signs of illness, such as a fever, or appears to be in distress, see your doctor. This could be a sign of a serious medical condition and requires immediate attention.

    Grunting with breathing could be a sign of:

    asthma pneumonia sepsis meningitis

    heart failure (which causes fluid to build up in the lungs and a shortness of breath)

    Check for other signs of respiratory distress or illness to determine if your baby’s grunts are normal or a sign of another problem. Other signs of respiratory problems include:

    blue tongue or skin weight loss fever lethargy nasal flaring pauses in breathing The takeaway

    Watching and hearing your baby struggle may be difficult, but in the end, it’s important to let them figure it out on their own.

    Grunting may seem a little scary, but it usually serves a very useful and healthy purpose for your baby. If your baby is healthy, active, appears happy, and is eating well, grunting is rarely a sign of illness.

    See your doctor for a checkup if you have questions or concerns about your grunting baby.

    And treat grunting with every breath as a medical emergency.

    HEALTHLINE RESOURCE

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    Last medically reviewed on December 21, 2017

    ParenthoodBaby06 Months

    5 sources expanded

    Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

    Di Lorenzo C. (2013). Other functional gastrointestinal disorders in infants and young children.

    Source : www.healthline.com

    Newborn Sleep Guide: How Many Hours, Baby Noises & More

    Whoever coined the term "sleep like a baby" didn't seem to know much about them, because newborns are notoriously restless sleepers who are hungry every few hours and rarely, if ever, make it through the night without waking up.

    If you're wondering (or worrying) about your baby's sleep habits, remind yourself of these facts — then relax, enjoy that adorable child of yours and try to get some well-earned rest yourself.

    Newborn sleep overview

    It helps to remember a few tenets of newborn baby sleep so you don't tear your hair out when you're up in the middle of the night time and time again:

    1. Newborns sleep for most of the day. A newborn baby doesn’t have much of a pattern to his sleep schedule. Baby will be sleeping anywhere from 14 to 17 out of every 24 hours, give or take. Your little one will probably only be awake for 30 minutes to an hour at a time, and will nap anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours at a stretch.2. Newborns need to eat around the clock. Newborns have very tiny tummies, so while it would be nice to load up your baby with breast milk or formula at bedtime and not hear from him until morning, it doesn't work that way (at least not yet). Newborn babies need to eat at least every two to four hours, including overnight.

    So how do you know when your baby's whimpers are a call for food? The key is to learn to differentiate between "feed me!" sounds and his other cries so you can respond quickly when he's truly hungry (with the hope that, after a little treat, he'll drift back to dreamland quickly) or let him be if he's just making noises in his sleep.

    Safe Sleep Tips

    3. Newborns are restless sleepers. While older children (and new parents) can snooze peacefully for hours, young babies squirm around and actually wake up a lot. That's because around half of their sleep time is spent in REM (rapid eye movement) mode — that light, active sleep during which babies move, dream and maybe wake with a whimper. Don't worry. As he matures, his sleeping patterns will too, with fewer REM cycles and more periods of deeper, quieter sleep.4. Newborns are noisy sleepers. Irregular breathing that may include short pauses and weird noises is rarely cause for alarm, but it can freak new parents out. Here's a quick lesson on your baby's respiratory development to put things into perspective: A newborn's normal breathing rate is about 40 to 60 breaths a minute while he's awake, though that may slow to 30 to 40 breaths per minute once he's asleep. Or he might take shallow, rapid breaths for 15 to 20 seconds followed by a total pause in which he stops breathing entirely for a few seconds. You can blame all this on the immature breathing-control center in his brain, which is still a work-in-progress.5. Newborns typically confuse day and night. Before your little one was born, he lived in total darkness and became accustomed to snoozing the day away (since that’s when you were most active, knocking him out with rocking) and kicking his heels up at night. Happily, his nocturnal ways are only temporary, and as he adjusts to life on the outside, he’ll stop mixing up his days and nights, often by the end of the first month.6. Your sleep habits affect your baby. Studies have proven what you probably already know: Well-rested parents are better able to help their babies regulate themselves. If you're exhausted, it will be that much harder to get your baby to calm down. So please, ask for help if you need it, especially at night. It may seem obvious, but taking care of you is one of the best things you can do to help your little one get the right amount of quality sleep.

    How much sleep do babies need?

    Babies have different sleep requirements depending on age and stage. Here's a baby sleep chart that shows how much sleep they actually need for their health and development.

    Newborn to 3 months

    Recommended total sleep: 14-17 hours

    Acceptable range: Not less than 11 hours or more than 19 hours

    Nighttime sleep: 8-9 hours

    Naps: 7-9 hours (3-5 naps)

    4 to 11 months 

    Recommended total sleep: 12-15 hours

    Acceptable range: Not less than 10 hours or more than 18 hours

    Nighttime sleep: 8-10 hours

    Naps: 4-5 hours (2-3 naps)

    How to get your newborn to sleep

    Sometimes it's hard to fall asleep in strange places — especially when home was a warm, dark and very cozy spot inside Mommy's belly. When it comes to adjusting to life on the outside, your infant might appreciate sleep-enhancers that remind him of “home.” Try any or all of these baby sleep strategies to make sending baby off to dreamland a little bit easier.

    1. Follow safe sleep guidelines. How your baby lies down and gets to sleep is a matter of safety, not just comfort. Put your newborn flat on his back in his crib, bassinet or playard without any loose bedding, pillows, blankets, stuffed animals or crib bumpers. Experts also recommend room-sharing until baby is at least 6 months old. These safe sleep practices prevent overheating and suffocation, and reduce the risk of SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.2. Try putting him to bed drowsy but awake. Your baby isn’t born knowing how to soothe himself to sleep, and if you let him fall asleep in your arms, you’re doing his important work for him. A better idea is to rock, sway or pat him gently on the back until he’s just nodding off, then put him down when he's drowsy but still awake so he can learn to fall asleep on his own. Another idea: Try your hand at massaging your baby before he drifts off. Studies suggest that babies who are massaged before bed may produce more of the sleep-enhancing hormone melatonin. And it’s a nice way for you to bond with your little night owl.

    Source : www.whattoexpect.com

    Infant Dyschezia: Grunting Baby Syndrome

    Does your baby have grunting baby syndrome or to give its medical name infant dyschezia? This is a very common ailment for young babies

    Infant Dyschezia: Grunting Baby Syndrome

    Infant Dyschezia: Grunting Baby Syndrome

    Does your baby grunt and squirm when you think they are trying to poop? Your baby may even cry too. Your baby is not alone in this. There is a condition that affects many babies known as Grunting Baby Syndrome or to use its medical name, Infant Dyschezia.

    This common condition is usually of no concern. When your baby squirms and grunts, it doesn’t mean that they are in pain, especially when they do pass their stools and they are nice and soft. If stools are hard or frequently inconsistent then this is more likely to be constipation. You may find it useful to check out my latest article regarding constipation in babies.

    Why does it happen?

    The reason why babies struggle to poop is because it takes a lot of coordination between our brain, muscles and pelvic floor. The problem is that your baby has an uncontrolled stooling reflex and the muscles by the anus do not relax at the proper time so your baby pushes hard with the diaphragm and the tummy muscles, while holding the anus tightly closed. They will do this over and over again without results, hence the squirming and the grunting. Eventually, usually within 10 minutes or so, the muscles will relax with baby’s effort and the poop comes. Your baby may even use crying to help create pressure in the tummy so when they do cry it is unlikely due to pain. It is more likely to help the poop flow a bit easier and perhaps a little frustration too.

    Babies need to learn to poop efficiently and this can take a little time but eventually it will happen. As the baby’s digestive system matures, it will begin to work more efficiently. Also, the baby’s brain to body communication needs to mature too.

    How to help your baby…

    Baby massage is a wonderful way of helping your baby through Grunting Baby Syndrome as it stimulates the bowel, relaxes muscles but it also helps baby’s brain to body communication through myelination.  It is the development of the myelin of the nerve endings that lets messages go from the body to the brain. When these nerve endings are coated efficiently, the messages get through quicker and the body can react. You can check out my top tummy massage tips here.

    Another way of helping your baby is to offer a comforting and reassuring touch. By just placing your hands on their tummy and smiling at your baby, it lets him know that he is safe and he is much more likely to relax.

    What should I not do?

    Try to refrain from rectal stimulation. I often hear parents recommending using a wet wipe around their baby’s anus or even using a rectal thermometer. Although it may help the baby poop, you will be delaying their learning process. It can in fact impede the learning and your baby may struggle to poop by themselves for much longer.

    Hopefully you will have felt reassured with this article. Grunting baby syndrome or Infant Dyschezia is not constipation but a developmental matter which will resolve in time.

    Are you feeling overwhelmed by your baby’s colic symptoms or would like to feel empowered to help your baby’s digestive system? I can help you feel back in control with my expert advice. You can find more information on the services that I provide here or you can book your free 15 minute call to discuss your baby’s colic with me.

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    5 Ways to Help Constipation in Babies

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    January 20, 2022 No Comments

    Source : colicsos.com

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