Last Updated on June 7, 2021
When your little one is facing discomfort, it can be hard to pinpoint the exact cause of the problem. You will likely be alert to every single noise that your baby makes, and it is your challenging job to determine if the noises are indicative of joy, discomfort, worry, or playfulness.
Grunting Baby Syndrome occurs in newborns, a condition that is associated with difficult bowel movements. This is an informal term used to describe the behavior that your baby may display. The symptoms mirror the name.
When your baby is grunting, should you be worried? Here is what you need to know about identifying Grunting Baby Syndrome.
What is Grunting Baby Syndrome? The Facts
Signs of Grunting Baby Syndrome
It common for your newborn to grunt. Grunting is one of the easiest ways that a baby can communicate with you. If you notice this becoming a pattern, turn your attention to the quality of the stool.
If constipation is a factor, then your baby is unlikely to be experiencing GBS. If you do find that the stools are soft, monitor the behavior before, during, and after pooping.
Your baby may display signs of discomfort up to 5-10 minutes before a bowel movement. Look at the color of your baby’s skin, and note if you see any purple or red hues. Your baby may begin to grunt, scream, or cry. Once you have identified these things, check with your doctor for an official diagnosis.
What is Grunting Baby Syndrome?
Not to be confused with constipation, GBS (Grunting Baby Syndrome) is a term used to describe the noises that your infant may make while still passing soft stools. While your baby is passing these stools, you may notice grunting, crying, strained behavior, or even color changes in the skin.
This is a common occurrence in newborns because each baby is still adapting to the process of passing stools. It could take some time for bowel movements to occur regularly.
When passing a stool, the abdominal muscles must be used and squeezed tightly. At the same time, the pelvic floor must be relaxed to allow the excretion of the stool. These two functions together may prove to be difficult for a newborn to master. This sounds alarming, but what can be done?
How Can You Help Grunting Baby Syndrome?
To start off with, don’t panic! As previously stated, GBS is common. It is not a condition that requires antibiotics or scary procedures. While it can be devastating to see your baby struggle, just remember that the feeling will pass.
The more your baby experiences the struggle of a bowel movement, the more that the body will naturally step in and act accordingly. Here are a few things to bear in mind:
#1. Stimulation of the anus
In order to alleviate some of the discomforts, there are a few techniques that you may utilize. Stimulation of the anus will help. You can do this using either a cotton ball with Vaseline or an anal thermometer. By doing this, you are going to promote relaxation.
Be careful not to utilize this method all the time, since your baby may become dependant on the stimulation prior to pooping. It is advised to avoid any type of constipation medication during this time for the same reason.
#2. Foods that can help
What you are feeding your baby is directly related to the quality of their stool. An acronym to remember is BRAT (banana, rice, applesauce, and toast). If your baby needs a little assistance with hardening their stool, you can stick to a BRAT diet.
Foods that include whole grains are known to help with digestion. Be aware that there is a major difference between giving your baby applesauce and apple juice. Known as a binding food, applesauce is easy to eat a snack. On the other hand, apple juice is often full of sugars, which is actually better for helping constipation.
Make sure that you avoid fruits such as peaches, plums, prunes, and pears (think of fruits starting with the letter P). These fruits can have the opposite effect on your baby’s digestion. Some people even swear by gripe water.
#3. GBS Will Usually Resolve on its Own
While you are working through GBS with your baby, pay them extra attention. When you notice that your baby is experiencing symptoms, psychological encouragement is one of the main ways that you can help to pass the time.
Use a soothing voice and hold your baby to provide a safe and comfortable environment. You can rub your baby’s back or stomach and stay near them until the stool is passed.
Distractions such as toys or music can also be a helpful tactic. When your baby is distracted, they are going to be more relaxed and the body should be able to figure out the process of passing the stool.
Seek Professional Medical Advice
Grunting with every single breath is an indication that the problem could be more severe than GBS. If your baby is grunting excessively and having difficulty breathing normally, consult your doctor immediately.
Monitor your baby’s temperature, as well. Having a fever is not a symptom of GBS and should be treated accordingly. If you notice changes in your baby’s weight, energy levels, and tongue color (blue), these are signs of more serious conditions.
Some of the conditions are as follows: asthma, sepsis, meningitis, pneumonia, or even heart failure. Remember, if you are ever feeling unsure, the best approach is to consult your doctor immediately.