Grunty McGrunterson

I'd like to pick the brains of you readers out there if you don't mind.

In the past week Truman has morphed into Grunty McGrunterson. We are talking loud, frequent, intense grunting and squirming and straining. Imagine a linebacker clearing his throat over and over again and you'll get the auditory idea of what my baby boy sounds like when he's putting on his show. It's worse at night and the crazy thing is he'll usually keep his eyes closed and sleep through it like nothing is wrong, but sometimes it will wake him and sometimes it happens during the day, too. It sounds awful, you guys, and it's definitely affecting our sleep. Not cool.

Basically, I'm pretty much convinced he's working on a juicy turd or a rockin fart when he does this, and I know newborns don't have the most mature digestive systems so it takes them awhile to figure out HOW to poop/fart (crazy, huh?) Sometimes he is productive and rips one then calms down but other times it's a lot more difficult for him and I feel so badly for him when he can't produce the poot he needs. I guess I should mention that Mister T has always been a vocal baby, and even at the hospital the nurses commented that he has a little song he sings with cooing and talking to us. But the watch-out-I'm-going-to-blow grunts are newish and freaky. I never thought I'd be my son's cheerleader when it comes to mustering out a fart but it really does make me giddy when I hear him rip major butt because I know he'll feel better. And sometimes he'll smile after his accomplishment then pass out so you know it was a good one:)

We've tried bicycling his legs and sometimes it works wonders but other times he gets supremely ticked at us for even attempting this feat. I am usually successful in burping him after feeding but not every time, so I'm not sure why he is so gassy. He's not spitting up a ton but just what I assume is a normal amount for a 6 weeker. He's not crying in pain or inconsolable at all. He still eats like a champion sumo wrestler and seems to feel just like his usual content self...if it weren't for those pesky trapped farts in that little tummy of his. I mean, he's almost 7 weeks old which is right around the peak of fussiness for all babies so I can't say he's happy 100% of the time but it's not like he's completely changed temperaments or anything. My diet hasn't changed. He's not running a fever.

So what does all of that tell you readers? Is it just a 'normal' baby thing that will pass with time as so many articles seem to indicate? Apparently there is an official disease called 'Grunting Baby Syndrome' or GBS out there, which I find rather entertaining but it does make me feel like maybe this is no big deal. I called the doc earlier this week and they seem to think it's normal for him at this age but when we go in for his 2 month appointment I might pick their brains a bit more.

I'm worried that he might have a touch of dairy allergies but then again, he really doesn't have any of the other symptoms for it. And you might suggest that I just 'cut out dairy' from my diet to see if it helps, and I'm all for that if it will work, but let's get real---I live in America's Dairyland state. If I have to give up cheese I might die and I know Nate would keel over instantly if I told him we could no longer make pizza and Mexican and all of the yummy dairy dishes of the world. Again, I'd do it in a heartbeat for Truman and maybe I'll try it out for a few days next week to see the results but it really would be a major lifestyle change for me (cheese mostly, I'm not a huge milk, ice cream, or yogurt person).

So anyway, I ask you dear readers: have any of you endured a particularly grunt-tastic baby? How long did it last? Do you think there might be something more going on here, in your personal opinion? I'm driving myself crazy researching and analyzing as you can imagine but I hate seeing him squirm around and I really like when we sleep well at night. Go figure:) Opinions welcome.

I cannot leave you without pictures of my baby boy in my new favorite outfit (do I say that about all of them, or what?)

Please note the chunky gut roll and try not to smile.

His fat arm in this one is too much.
Just because I've never seen the T-man in black and white, nor have I had the pleasure of editing any of my photos, let's try this out for size:

And the butt? TOO cute. Ignore my lens cap please.

Nate took this one with the flash (gasp!!) and I love his face here.

So yeah. Lots of fun digestive talk on this one, huh? You can tell I'm a new mom I guess.


  1. Hmm...well, clearly I don't have any insight [yet], but my first thought was your diet. Even though you haven't changed your eating habits, maybe Truman's digestive system development is changing what he can/can't handle. Then again, I'm sure it's nothing and perfectly normal. Let us know what the pediatrician says in a few weeks!

  2. My opinion - it's normal baby grunts. We don't have that issue with Isaac but lots of moms in my mom group talk about their babies grunting, especially at that age.

    About dairy...first, a lot of moms that have to cut out dairy for baby only have to cut out milk and yogurt, as they seem to affect babies the most. If you aren't eating either, I doubt dairy is the issue. But if you do a trial run and cut out all dairy, it'll have to be for a couple of weeks because it takes that long for it to get out of your system.

    Hope you get it figured out!

  3. I think that it's normal, too. Like you said, it takes a bit to learn to fart and poop, especially at this age. How many veggies and fruits do you eat? Some of those could be making some extra gases too, maybe? Definitely ask at your next appt, but I think it is just normal stuff. :)

  4. Have you tried the "I love you" massage? It helps with gas and digestion. You can google it, but they usually teach it in PT school. It might be worth a try. Good luck.

  5. My little girl went through this (she just turned 13 wks). We used mylecon drops per the doctor's advie and that really helped. We still put the drops in at least 1 bottle a day & if we forget, she does the whole grunting and squirming thing at night.

  6. Okay so, I am unhelpful because I have no advice. But I had to comment because I honestly cannot remember what my baby boy sounded like in the beginning! And now I feel like a bad mom! Off to review videos from his infancy ;)

  7. I'm simply cosigning what the previous posters are saying. Although your diet may not have changed, Baby T's system probably has and it may be reacting differently to the foods you are eating. The mylecon drops never worked for us, but I know a lot of moms who swear by it.
    Then again, it may also be normal baby grunting.
    Sorry I couldn't be more help. Let us know what the doc says.

  8. Julia, my son definitely went through a grunting phase. I didn't take it as a sign as an allergy, just good entertainment. I think it lasted maybe 3 weeks until he moved on to his horsey- sound phase, which was even more hilarious!
    I'm sure that's not much help, but just wanted to let you know I think it's completely normal. ~Molly

  9. I've been having a similar prob with Nick, he was extremely gassy but he was crying until he would toot and then he'd be happy again. We started him on mylicon drops (per my doc) and it seems to have helped ease his gassiness. Good luck figuring it out!

  10. I am not much help on this issue, I don't remember what my boys did at that age. But since they are 35 and 34 I guess I have a good excuse. But I just want to say how cute your little man is and I really enjoy reading your posts and watching him grow. I was watching my granddaughter for a while and when she seemed to gassey they used the mylecon per the doc. and it seemed to work well.

  11. hey! i wouldn't think it's an allergy or anything-- unless your doctor considers it.

    we gave hudson Mylicon drops after every bottle. he was just gassy and those drops were his lifesaver. there are generic brands of mylicon, too.

  12. Never had kids but my friend had to change her diet (no dairy) to help her baby out. She also gave her gripe water (I think this is similar to mylecon that other readers mentioned) and that has helped her a lot!

  13. I really have nothing in offer in the advice arena but I will say that your son is adorable. Freaking adorable!

  14. Grunting is normal! Please don't go messing with him or your diet:) Infants don't relax their anal sphincter consciously for a while, and will strain against it. There is a "grunting baby syndrome" but really at his age it is more about parental reassurance. xoxo dr L

  15. I don't have any advice, but just wanted to say that it must really suck to be a baby. You can't do anything, even lift your head or know how to poop. Thank god we don't remember those awful times;)

  16. Hi! I don't have a baby yet, but heard this advice on another baby blog. It's called the Power of the Backwards C. Basically you start at the upper right part of his tummy and rub a backwards C. This is the way his intestines go, so rubbing that help move things along.

    I've been reading your blog for awhile now and I have to tell you I love the tone of it! I love the honesty and many times my husband has asked what I'm laughing about. So thanks for the helpful entertainment and congratulations on your incredibly handsome boy!

  17. Hi there. I stumbled on to your blog after googling 'baby grunting'. My 11 week old has grunted ever since he was 3 weeks old. He has never been constipated, he is fully breastfed and is very very healthy. I am a midwife in Australia so am very sceptical about mother's diet having any impact on mother's milk (I also am a huge dairy fan and WILL NOT give it up!). My baby's grunting is worse between 4-7am. I literally have to get up and walk him, he hates lying down when he grunts. When I feed him in those early morning hours, he farts and poos like crazy. He is otherwise a happy baby all day and evening. It is driving us crazy and our sleep is not that great, but I am confident this is a phase that will pass in time. It was a relief to find 'grunting baby syndrome' in the search engine. I really think it is just his digestive tract maturing. Good luck!

  18. My baby born 4/17/2010 and has been doing the same thing from day one. Has anybody seen any difference once the baby gets between 3 - 4 months. I am ready for the grunting and discomfort to end for my little girl. Thanks for the great blog post.

  19. kforbes~

    Actually for us his grunting was a lot better just one week after I posted this. He's still noisy at times but overall it was just a quick phase for us. He's almost 4 months now and has moved on to other strange sounds now. Good luck!

  20. Thanks for responding Julia! Enjoy your little one:)

  21. My sweety too underwent same issue. though there is not exact treatment for baby Grunts still this article helped my baby to pass this space bit smoothly.

  22. OK, my first baby had it, he would grunt all the time, specially when he was asleep. He's 2 and a half years old now, so I really don't remember when it stopped. My baby girl is 3 weeks old now and with the same issue. I have no problem with it since she doesn't seem uncomfortable or in pain, and since I now know it is normal and will go away on its own I just ignore it and let her sleep.... BUT she is sharing a room with her brother, and she's been waking him up at night with all the noise.. So, just to give me something to hope for.. does anyone here remember when it stopped??

    1. I honestly don't remember how long it took Truman to quiet down with the grunts--a few weeks maybe? Porter is 10 weeks old and he can be kind of grunty at night, too. Much better once he finally poops, but it's still kind of loud over here at 10 weeks!! Sorry, hope it gets better soon.

  23. My 5 week old baby girl is grunting a lot during the early hours of the day around 4-8 am. all while sleeping. And also some what during the day. It does get freaky because I don't know whether she is in pain or not. I hope it does get better but the waiting seems forever. Poor babies. I asked her pediatrician and she said it was normal, just a noisy sleeper. Didn't mention the grunting baby syndrome.


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