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Why Does My Newborn Grunt

by Kristin Beck
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Why Does My Newborn Grunt

Why Does My Newborn Grunt

“It’s not unusual for a new parent to hear his newborn grunt. It can be annoying at first, but there’s no need to worry about it too much. The grunts are just the baby communicating with you. In fact, your little one will probably do this quite often. As he gets older, though, these sounds should start to decrease as he learns to communicate better.
A new parent might think that a newborn grunt means something serious has gone wrong — perhaps his diaper needs changing or maybe he has a rash developing on his skin. After all, when babies make noise, we tend to pay attention. But don’t take it personally if you’re hearing your child grunt more than usual. Babies grunt because they have gas or pressure in their stomachs that makes them feel uncomfortable. Sometimes, they also grunt due to tight diapers or clothing. And sometimes, they grunt because they want to let you know they’re hungry!
The good news is that most of the time, this doesn’t mean anything bad has happened. A baby who starts making loud noises right after feeding could have gas. He may also be constipated, which can cause discomfort. If he was wearing loose-fitting clothes, then the fabric could get pinched between him and the bed. This causes pain and results in the baby wanting to push out whatever is causing him so much trouble. An infant who is fussy and constantly crying may also be trying to tell us something important. These cries are usually an attempt by your baby to communicate what kind of help he needs. So, don’t ignore those cute grunts — learn what they mean instead.
To find out why your baby is grunting, read on.
If you’re worried about your infant’s health, talk to your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medicines or supplements. Don’t rely solely on information from books or the Internet. You should always consult your pediatrician about medications.
Grunt FAQs
Q: I’m nursing my baby and she seems to be grunting a lot. Is she okay?
A: Nursing mothers may grunt during labor, especially when pushing. However, your baby may also grunt while eating, sleeping or in response to other factors. For example, if her diaper is full, her movements become restricted. She may try to relieve some of the pressure by grunting. Or, if she’s hungry, she’ll use her mouth to express herself. Just keep an eye on her to see if she looks like she’s feeling uncomfortable. If so, check her diaper and offer her breast or bottle again.
Q: What does my baby mean when he groans?
A: Babies often grunt to show displeasure or stress. They may also grunt when they’re hurt or sick. For instance, a baby who is experiencing discomfort from constipation may grunt loudly. Other times, your child might grunt in order to draw your attention away from what’s going on around him. He wants you to focus on comforting him rather than worrying about his pain.
Your baby may also grunt to indicate hunger. He might even cry to ask you to feed him. Some infants grunt when they’re tired; others grunt when they’re angry. Learning the meaning behind each type of grunt can help you understand your child better.
Read on to discover the reasons your baby might be grunting less as he ages.
Babies who eat solid foods may develop toothaches and ear infections. That’s because they put bacteria into their ears and mouths when they suck on hard objects such as teething rings or pacifiers. Baby bottles can also damage teeth and gums, which puts undue pressure on the gums and bones. Breastfeeding can prevent both problems, but the decision is up to you.
Baby Developmental Changes
As your baby grows, he’ll begin doing many different things. One of these activities involves communication skills. By talking, singing, reading stories and playing games, you teach your child how to use words to convey thoughts and feelings. Although learning to speak isn’t easy, it becomes easier once your child begins using language regularly.
By age 1, your child should be able to identify basic body parts (like eyes, nose and mouth) and describe simple actions (such as “”I am holding””). Around this same time, children also begin forming ideas and asking questions. Before long, they’ll be telling you stories, naming animals and colors, recognizing letters and numbers, and understanding simple math facts. Children learn faster than adults realize. All it takes is lots of practice.
Once your child reaches school age, he’ll continue improving his speech skills. Along with listening to instructions and following directions, kids must master oral communications. They have to memorize vocabulary lists, recognize words in context, and spell correctly. Students also need to be able to write well enough to complete projects and papers.
So, remember to celebrate every milestone your child achieves. Soon, your son or daughter will be helping you cook dinner or giving you directions without needing your assistance.
You can also encourage your child’s development by encouraging independent play. Children benefit from being encouraged to explore and experiment on their own. Let them sit in front of the television or computer unsupervised occasionally, but otherwise allow them to engage in interactive play. When they grow up, they’ll appreciate having had the opportunity to learn on their own, rather than having been forced to watch educational programs.
Keep reading to find out why your baby may still grunt despite developmental improvements.
Younger babies may grunt because they’re bored. Simply putting toys back where they belong can help distract them. Another possibility is that your child is practicing fine motor skills. By moving small objects, you give him opportunities to control his fingers, hands and wrists.
Some Infants Still Groan
Although they shouldn’t, some babies learn to grunt early in life. Experts believe this occurs because parents respond immediately to the sound. Parents may also perceive their child’s grunts as signs of distress. Finally, some babies actually enjoy the experience and perform it repeatedly.
Other babies may continue to grunt throughout childhood and adolescence. Doctors aren’t sure why this happens, but possible explanations include a lack of coordination between the brain and muscles, poor posture, or psychological issues. Whatever the reason, it’s best to avoid becoming frustrated with your child if he continues to grunt. Instead, encourage him to improve his posture and exercise his muscles. Talk to your doctor or therapist about ways you can work together to help stop the behavior.
For more information on caring for your newborn, including tips on bathing, diapering and nutrition, visit the links on the next page.
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Parents have reported that their toddlers grunt frequently. Toddlers’ grunts are often accompanied by certain behaviors, such as chewing on themselves or looking down expectantly. Theories suggest that since toddlers imitate adult actions, they may copy the way parents clean their dishes or brush their hair. Alternatively, they may mimic the action of cleaning utensils or combing hair in anticipation of performing these tasks later.”

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