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There is nothing more special than watching your little one sleep during the first weeks of their new life. It can also be a surprising experience. Many new parents are shocked by the range of noises that their newborn baby makes while they sleep, as well as how much they move, and the strange positions that they seem to put themselves in when catching some z’s. One noise that can seem strange to hear while your baby sleeps is a grunt. We’re going to have a look at what newborn grunting is and the reasons why it happens.
Why Do Newborns Grunt During Sleep?
Newborns make all sorts of sounds during sleep. But a common one is grunting. There are a few reasons why a newborn makes this sound. Primarily, though, the grunt is a sign that the baby is having a bowel movement and is trying to relieve themselves in their diaper. They may also have gas, and they’re letting it out of their system. As they’re so new to life, their bodies aren’t quite as used to these tasks just yet, and that causes them to strain when they pass wind or poop.
Newborns sleep a lot, but they don’t sleep heavily. Because they sleep lightly, they’re going to be going in and out of consciousness. You may not realize it, but your child may not even be asleep when they’re making that grunting sound. The reason why they’re making it is because they are trying to adjust themselves, or they’re uncomfortable, or maybe they’re slightly too warm. These grunts won’t continue for long, as your child will likely correct what’s bugging them if it’s because they’re in an uncomfortable position.
Another reason why newborns grunt is because they breathe through their nose. One of the consequences of newborns breathing through their noses – which only have tiny air passages during their first few months – is that the sounds they make end up being very loud.
Is It Normal for a Newborn to Grunt While Sleeping?
Yes, it is entirely natural for a child to grunt during sleep. Grunting is usually related to your newborn’s digestive system. They’re simply passing wind or making a number two. In other cases, they’re just adjusting themselves, and the effort causes them to make a noise, which ends up seeming very loud because your child’s nasal breathing amplifies it.
Should You Take Your Newborn to The Doctor If They Grunt While Sleeping?
There are some circumstances where grunting is a symptom of something more serious. If your baby grunts after each breath, then it’s a good idea to speak to a healthcare professional as soon as you can. If your child looks like they are in pain as they grunt or they appear to have turned a different color than usual, then this is also a time when you should phone a medical professional to ask for advice on how to proceed.
What Other Sounds do Newborns Make While Sleeping?
Newborns don’t just grunt during the night. They make a whole host of sounds. And almost all of them are completely normal. It’s not uncommon for your baby to burp, belch, hiccup, gurgle, or even growl while they sleep. You also might find your child squeaking or whimpering during the night. All these sounds are very normal, and you’ll get used to them quickly. You’ll also be able to recognize the cause of them.
When Do Newborns Stop Grunting While Sleeping?
It will entirely depend. But it’s common for all these sounds to become more infrequent when your child starts to sleep heavier. After about six weeks, your child’s sleep rhythm will become more regular, and you may notice that they make fewer sounds during the night. By the time your baby is six months old, then these sounds will be a lot rarer, but you’ll still hear them occasionally.
It can be worrying when you hear your child grunting while they’re asleep, but it’s completely normal for them to make this noise, as well as lots of other noises.