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Doctor insights on: Why Does My Baby Grunt In His Sleep

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Why does my infant grunt while sleeping and now eating?

Why does my infant grunt while sleeping and now eating?

Grunting: Grunting if true, is a sign of respiratory distress in infants. By grunting, infants are applying brakes to their exhalation so that the lungs do not completely empty their air. Grunting helps to maintain a positive pressure in the lungs and hence keep the lungs inflated. It is usually seen with pneumonia, excessive fluids in the lungs and other conditions when the lungs become stiff. Read more

Dr. Heidi Fowler
5,026 Doctors shared insights

Sleep (Definition)

Sleep is a topic that involves concepts such as how long it takes to fall asleep, how many times one wakes up at night, how many hours one sleeps at night, sleep stages, ...Read more


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Hi, my new born baby grunts very often in her sleep. Is there anything I could do?

Hi, my new born baby grunts very often in her sleep. Is there anything I could do?

Why?: Babies make a number of distinct noises that mean nothing. They have no social conscience so they don't know which noises you consider worrisome or offensive. Often such grunting aids them in propelling food along the digestive tract (their breathing muscle is strong). If the kid is otherwise feeding/resting/playing & seems fine, just ignore it unless you think the kid has other signs of illness. Read more

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My baby is 4wks4days n is always grunting and straining to where she is pur red even in her sleep what can I do to give her relief n a good sleep?

My baby is 4wks4days n is always grunting and straining to where she is pur red even in her sleep what can I do to give her relief n a good sleep?

She's sleeping ok: Babies have many more sleep cycles/ night than adults & make those noises & movements in light sleep. Put her on her back to reduce risk of sids, drowsy but awake, to fall asleep in her own crib in her own room & she'll cosolidate sleep between 1-4 mos. Up to 6 hrs. Set a bedtime & routine; read, cuddle, wipe out her mouth after the last feed, even now. Get some sleep! Www. Aap. Org explains why. Read more

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My week old baby has been sleeping so much the last two days, and not eating as much per feeding. He hasn't been fussy but grunting a lot. Pooping n urinating just fine too. Is he ok? What's wrong?

My week old baby has been sleeping so much the last two days, and not eating as much per feeding. He hasn't been fussy but grunting a lot. Pooping n urinating just fine too. Is he ok? What's wrong?

Depends: Not sure what you mean by grunting but that word bothers me a bit. The sleep, eating and pooping sounds ok. Does his breathing sound ok? If concerned I would not hesitate to take your baby to the pediatrician. Grunting is not a normal baby sound but it might be just your description for a normal sound. Read more

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Why do adult people make grunting and moanin noises in their sleep?

Why do adult people make grunting and moanin noises in their sleep?

Depends.: It depends on the type of noise. It could be normal dreams, sinus problem or people with obstructive sleep apnea will make noises, gasping for air as they have a very difficult time breathing or inhaling enough throughout the night. This is a serious medical condition that should be determined and addressed appropriately as this places extreme stress on the body. See a physician for evaluation. Read more

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Is it normal for a new born to grunt and gasp after a feeding or while sleeping? What other noises are normal? And what isnt?

Is it normal for a new born to grunt and gasp after a feeding or while sleeping? What other noises are normal? And what isnt?

MAY NOT BE NORMAL: Causes can be nasal blockage, choanal atresia (means complete non-canalization of nasal passage); congenital heart disease; lung problems; congenital laryngeal web; tracheo-esophageal fistula, etc.
Check with the infant's pediatrician. Read more

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My 33 weeker preemie is 3 weeks plus old now. She grunts a lot while sleeping or eating land turns red like she's in pain or something. Is it normal?

My 33 weeker preemie is 3 weeks plus old now. She grunts a lot while sleeping or eating land turns red like she's in pain or something. Is it normal?

Yes: She would likely do the same if born at term. Babies make a lot of odd noises in various stages of sleep or alertness. As long as she is gradually gaining weight and maintaining a good feeding pattern she is likely fine. Poor feeding is one of the early signs of what may be a problem. Read more

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3yr old disturbed sleep twitches holds breathe throws himself around bed grunting noises what can make him like this?

3yr old disturbed sleep twitches holds breathe throws himself around bed grunting noises what can make him like this?

Possible terrors: There are multiple possibilities. If the child is asleep during these episodes, a night terror or sleep disorder may cause it. Some benign type seizures can also do this. You should see your doctor and the child may require a sleep study Read more

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My LO is 4 weeks old and she is grunting and straining all night and all day. When I put her to sleep she is fine for one hour but after that she starts grunting and straining. I tried giving her gas drops and gripe water but I guess this helped only for

My LO is 4 weeks old and she is grunting and straining all night and all day. When I put her to sleep she is fine for one hour but after that she starts grunting and straining. I tried giving her gas drops and gripe water but I guess this helped only for

May be her normal: Infants often make odd sounds and seem to strain in the usual course of their day. If she is feeding, sleeping, stooling and growing okay I would not assume she is in pain. If the process bothers you enough, have her doc examine her to see if there is any issues to treat, if not, let her be. Read more

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Post psych meds im no longer able to sleep if I try to fall asleep I wake up right before and shake leg. Also feel breathless and grunt in pain &shock?

Post psych meds im no longer able to sleep if I try to fall asleep I wake up right before and shake leg. Also feel breathless and grunt in pain &shock?

Problems: Did you taper off your medications or stop them cold turkey? Don't know which psychiatric medications you were on. But stopping some can lead to a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor discontinuation syndrome. The electric shocks can also occur w coming off of some ssri's. Please discuss this w your treating psychiatrist. A slower taper is often helpful. In the meantime practice good sleep >>>. Read more

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My 8 month old all of a sudden got runny nose & really congested. He finally got to sleep but is grunting every now&then after inhaling. Er?

My 8 month old all of a sudden got runny nose & really congested. He finally got to sleep but is grunting every now&then after inhaling. Er?

Viral Illness: Sounds like viral upper respiratory tract infection. Inspiratory grunting or stridor can be due to vocal cord or laryngeal involvement.
Keep nasal passage clear, use bulb syringe to suck mucous, extra fluid to drink. Can use a humidifier or Vicks vaporizer.
If barking cough, steam inhalation, take to bathroom, open hot shower, keep him there for 15 min.
If respiratory distress take him to er. Read more

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Hello my 3 yr old is always clearing his throat grunting he has been put on allergy med and reflux med still does it never does it when sleeping?

Habit cough?: It's a kind of a tic, like twitching an eye but with voice, and we see it a lot in kids. Reflux tends to be worse during sleep, and allergy is usually the same, but any activity that disappears during sleep is most probably behavioral in origin. Keep in mind that tics get WORSE if you notice them; ask your pediatrician at the next visit if tic is a possibility here. Read more

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Can swaddling help babies sleep?

Can swaddling help babies sleep?

Yes: There perhaps is something about recreating that intrauterine environment which some infants find most comforting--swaddling. Neatly tucking a baby into a pea pod shaped bundle can provide security and warmth unlike anything else. So, once all snuggled in, sleep can not help but to come much more easily. Try it, you will like it...And so will baby! Read more

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Is polyester safe for babies to sleep on?

Is polyester safe for babies to sleep on?

Yes: Some parents prefer natural fibers like cotton, but polyester is fine. Unlike cotton, if it catches fire, it melts rather than burns. That's the main safety difference. Poly tends to be less breathable or moisture absorbent than cotton, but it also depends on the type of fabric. Read more

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Infant sleeping a lot suddenly, normal?

Infant sleeping a lot suddenly, normal?

Possibly: If the baby is otherwise fine it could occur during a rapid growth spurt or related to dropping a nap. If there are other symptoms such as decreased appetite or fever or this situation persists call your pediatrician. Read more

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Do babies go into sleep mode before labor?

Do babies go into sleep mode before labor?

Hard to say: Babies "mode" during labor would be hard to study. Sleep states are generally documented by eeg study, which is impossible in labor. Labor itself can vary in length from a few hours to a day or more and I doubt baby would be aleart or asleep for it all. Moms note fetal movements between contractions at various stages of labor, but movement can occur in sleep. Just list this as an unknown. Read more

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Why do new borns and babies sleep so much?

Why do new borns and babies sleep so much?

Need for growth/dvp: Infants have few needs for function. They need to be awake for feeding and it helps you bond if they acknowledge you, but their main job is to grow bigger and dramatically improve control over their marvelous body. This takes sleep and nutrition.As they enter their teen years again they grow faster and need more sleep, while adults may get by on little. Its all part of the balance in human growth. Read more