Baby Grunts While Nursing – This Is What To Do

For every first time mom, anxiety is apparent. However, baby blues coupled with depression are bound to worsen the situation. This will lessen your joy of motherhood.

Learning to manage your little angel’s moods plus grunting is the only solution to relieve anxiety. For baby grunts while nursing, this is what to do.

Crying remains the best way for babies to communicate. However, your baby might also giggle or grunt. This is a short deep sound similar to that of pigs. Perhaps you grew up with the belief that crying is the only sound made by a baby. So, the first time you hear your baby grunt, you’re might think he’s suffering or uncomfortable. Grunting is another way for your baby to communicate without crying.

Understanding baby grunts

Baby Grunts While Nursing

It’s common for babies to grunt while nursing and might happen regardless of age. This might happen even when your baby is weeks or several months old. The most obvious reason to explain why your baby grunts is fast milk let-down. It can also mean ejection of overactive milk. Fast milk let-down relates to the active and forceful milk flow when breastfeeding your child. This condition might happen one time or other times during a feeding session.

Mothers produce a single type of milk with different contents based on the breastfeeding flow. The first flow contains foremilk rich in lactose and lots of fluid. These are beneficial in boosting your baby’s energy especially when he still feeds. Furthermore, foremilk is vital for proper development of the brain.

As the baby continues to breastfeed, the milk content changes to more fat. This has various essential nutrients and is helpful in promoting slow absorption. Your baby will now feel satisfied and full after this session of feeding.

Fast let-down usually happens when your baby consumes more foremilk. Here, the milk goes very quickly into the digestive system exposing your baby to intestinal distress. This makes him become colic. As the baby tries to handle this sudden flow, he might end up inhaling additional air.

As noticed above, your baby is likely to get discomfort in the tummy which is not easy to handle. In the end, he will try to deal with more gas and distress in the intestines through grunting.

What causes newborn to grunt?

Your baby’s grunts are possibly a result of gas. Before giving birth, your baby has been living in a tiny space for nine months.

So, he has been ultimately feeding off whatever you have been eating.

After birth, he is exposed now to a new environment. Here, the baby can move around a lot more and squirm since they have no muscle control.

Your baby’s digestive system is quite immature and not used to breast milk or formula. It takes some time for it to develop and get used to new things. This makes the baby feel like there’s an air bubble or pressure in the belly.

It’s not that easy to know what’s happening as your baby doesn’t talk. Grunting is just a result of gas and nothing else. And, it’s the only way your baby communicates what’s happening to him.

​What to do when your baby grunts?

It’s not a pleasant experience for any mom when their baby grunts. The experience is uncomfortable to your baby and it might make him show additional behaviors including:

  • check
    ​Biting and pulling your nipple which can get quite painful
  • check
    ​Choking or coughing while feeding
  • check
    Spitting up after a latching session

Furthermore, your baby risks losing out on the much-needed nutrients in fat. The chances are high that the baby will need more feeding since he didn’t get satiated. It means you will have to breastfeed him again. You have no means to control breast milk production, but you can help your baby deal with overactive feeding. This is possible in the following ways.

Try leaning back

Baby Grunts While Nursing

On latching your baby, consider leaning back. It helps to compensate for the flow of overactive milk.

If you feel uneasy, the back of your chair might be bit too far. Try supporting your back using firm pillows. It might help.

Stop feeding the baby

You can minimize baby grunts by ceasing to feed him as the flow gets strong.

You can feel as the milk flows from the duct. When you anticipate significant letdown, let your baby latch for some time. It helps him handle the foremilk better.

A good idea is to remove your baby gently to allow milk flow. On lessening, resume breastfeeding the baby.

Feed the baby on one breast

You don’t have to feed the baby on both breasts every time. Consider feeding him on one breast for about two or three sessions.

This is a good idea even when you have oversupply which is a common cause of overactive letdown. When the second breast is engorged and sore, pumping the milk is a good idea.

Anal stimulation therapy

You can as well consider giving your baby anal stimulation. It involves using an anal thermometer to stimulate the baby’s bowel. Alternatively, a piece of cotton can also help. This method might help your baby with his bowel movement but be careful. Using it for an extended period might bring adverse effects.

Your baby might become dependent on anal stimulation for a bowel movement. Further, repeated use of this method might delay your baby’s ability to learn the proper process of passing stool.

When should you get concerned with the baby’s grunts?

A healthy baby is learning how to manage indigestion grunts differently from that of a sick child. Grunting with normal breathing is okay. However, it might be a sign of respiratory distress when the baby grunts at the end of each breath.

Does your baby grunt more often? Perhaps he has signs of other illness like a fever. When your child shows distress, consider taking him to the doctor. He might be having a severe medical condition which requires immediate care. 


It’s a frustrating experience watching and hearing your baby grunting. Luckily, apart from the tips above, you can just relax and keep calm. Your child will learn to adjust to milk flow. Let him figure it out on his own if the baby is healthy, active, seems happy and feed well. In this case, grunting is not a sign of illness. As the baby grows, his digestive system matures to handle the situation.

However, if your baby grunts and has symptoms of fever and diarrhea, go to a doctor for a checkup. Never hesitate to take your baby to a doctor whenever you get worried about his grunts.

Spread the Word
Joscelyn Booker

Hello, I'm Joscelyn. I’m a 30-something wife and working mom of two kids, a boy and a girl. I juggle work, kids’ activities, caring for the family and of course blogging. I enjoy sharing my thoughts on motherhood. We don’t have to try hard at being perfect mothers.

  • Brittney says:

    My little girl used to grunt a lot, it always gave me anxiety because I never knew babies did that so I always thought something was wrong! haha These are good tips, I’m sure it will help a lot of other moms!

  • >