Grunting Baby Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Babies cannot speak for themselves, so it is up to us to follow their health and deal with any minor or major problems they might experience.

What is grunting baby syndrome? This seemingly naive name in no way reflects the severity of the pain it can cause. Some parents misinterpret the grunting for a necessary noise their baby makes during regular bowel movements. Unfortunately, this may not be the case if it is followed by additional symptoms happening outside of bowel movement.

In most cases, GBS is signified with the infant’s lack of muscle coordination. Nevertheless, there are situations where it is caused by mucus, irregular breathing, even excessive baby burps.

Most parents are understandably made to feel uneasy at their child’s discomfort, especially at such a young age. However, you need not fret anymore because we have provided you with helpful information on the causes, treatment, and symptoms or GBS. Read our in-depth article concerning GBS and how to effectively deal with it.


Lack of Coordination

The cause of GBS is the infants’ inability to move their muscles and synchronize them with their bowel movement. Babies need to learn how to move bowels using only their abdominal muscles and pushing coordination may come naturally after a few months.

However, babies who are diagnosed with GBS may struggle more than expected. It is observed that they fail to relax their pelvic floor while squeezing the abdomen and therefore do not relieve themselves successfully. This problem will require both your assistance as well as medical attention.

Irregular Breathing

Another cause of grunting baby can stem from an irregular breathing pattern your infant might have developed. This is because they are not yet used to standard mechanisms our body performs every day. This will most likely pass with time but to be on the safe side, you should consult your physician for additional information.


In some cases, baby grunting is caused by the simple accumulation of mucus. This happens because babies have extremely narrow passages and air does not flow as freely as it does in adults. This issue will be eventually outgrown meanwhile you can tend to your baby’s nose and clean it out regularly to prevent discomfort.

Vivid Dreams

Some babies dream vividly and produce sounds quite loudly in their sleep. Though this can alarm parents, there is not much you can do about it. Remember to maintain silence while the baby is asleep in order to avoid disturbing your baby’s good night’s rest.

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux or baby burps are frequent and seem harmless. However, they too can be the cause behind your newborn grunting. They evoke a feeling of discomfort, and the grunts become involuntary.

Be sure to consult your healthcare provider or lactation consultant to help you with this fairly common problem.


Medical Help

The obvious solution is to visit your doctor and ask for medication to help advance the process. They will probably suggest some drugs or other methods of resolving the issue. Any recommendation is made in the hopes of stimulating your baby to find its own way to safe and painless bowel movement therefore it has to be followed religiously.


This good old fashioned home remedy can only help to a certain extent. Though the belly massage is an inevitable part of the process, it cannot work wonders on its own for infant grunting syndrome as it can for constipation.

Thermometer and Cotton Balls

This is a seemingly unconventional solution but is found to be very useful. Opting for the use of an anal thermometer or cotton balls as a means of moving things along will, in turn, help your baby almost immediately. This home remedy has to be combined with massaging the baby’s belly for successful results.


How to spot GBS in your infant is a vital part of the treatment process. You will need to follow your child’s behavior and detect any of the following symptoms on time.

Constipation VS GBS

It goes without saying that learning to make a distinction between constipation and grunting baby syndrome is helpful in treating your infant.


Constipation usually has to do with your newborn’s eating habits, and the stool will typically be small and dry. Newborns which experience constipation have irregular bowel movements, a bloated stomach, and tend to have a smaller appetite.

Homemade Remedies for Constipation

Remedies for constipation include massaging the child’s belly, changing the formula or changing your own diet. Consider increasing the number of feeding sessions as it will help to keep your baby hydrated and make their stool softer.

In some cases, this can alleviate pain and stop the grunting, but if it is not caused by constipation, it will not cease that easily.

Grunting Baby Syndrome

As oppose to constipation, GBS is followed by soft stool, regular eating habits, and frequent bowel movements.

Crying and Excessive Strain

This symptom can be detected of the bat. If your baby is crying and breaking into sweats while trying to pass stool you need to address the problem. This is a good indication of GBS caused by an unsuccessful bowel movement.


This symptom usually accompanies the previous two signs of strain and crying. If your baby is changing color while trying to relieve itself, do not hesitate to seek professional help.

Fever and Distress

If your baby is irritable during the day and is developing a fever, you should check if it is caused by grunting baby syndrome. These symptoms tend to point to serious health issues rather than passing innocuous problems.

All of these symptoms are much more alarming and require immediate medical attention. Therefore, it is crucial for every parent to carefully watch over their newborn and help them in a timely manner.

Extra Tip

To follow your baby’s habits and issues, install a baby monitor and keep track of your infant’s day-to-day problems.


To help your newborn, you need to detect the causes of their health problems. It is essential to learn to make a difference between irritability, pain, and discomfort caused by constipation and the same symptoms which stem from GBS. These inevitable differences will influence the treatment process.

Apart from your newborn grunts a lot excessive crying and infant’s changing colors, GBS can also include fever, obvious distress throughout the day, grunts which are not connected to passing stool, and shortness of breath. Use the help of a baby monitor to discover symptoms early on.

GBS is not the only problem which needs attention. Make sure to consider home remedies to help your baby with constipation and passing stool successfully.


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