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Newborn baby making loud straining noises - not constipated


My DS is 3 weeks + 5 days and for the past week he has been making these really loud straining noises. Normally happens during the night but more recently (and frequently) during the day. He sounds in such distress and it will sometimes awaken him from his sleep. The straining s accompanied by grunts, squeals, whines etc. This can last for over an hour several times a day. He moves his little legs about too. He is not constipated as he is producing soft/runny yellow stools every other day, I just wonder if it's trapped wind although he manages to burp well during and after a feed. He does however move about a lot when trying to wind sometimes. We are using Infacol and Colief but neither seem to be helping. I know it's not Colic as he doesn't actually cry hysterically for a long period of time. Although he may wake himself up with the straining resulting in crying, he normally stops crying when he is picked up.
It does seem to be worse at night which doesn't help with the sleep especially as he won't sleep for any longer than 2 hours! Is there anything I can do to help the little man?

I have rang the HV who says this is completely normal - has anyone else experienced a similar thing with their LO.

Thank you - a very sleep deprived and concerned mummy x


  • Yes, my LO did this often until she was about 3 months old. She wasn't in any pain and it wasn't even always when she did a poo (although it often was). My HV said the same as yours, so I just tried to ignore it! It honestly does sound normal to me.
  • Oh my goodness, YES!! It totally freaked me out at the beginning as I thought it was trapped wind and thought he couldn't breathe properly as was so noisy and sounded really uncomfortable, but he is 12 wks now and it is an awful lot better, barely any noises at all now, just a little bit of grunting shuffling when he goes down in the night after a feed. I mentioned it to HV aswell and like you, they said was normal, but i am completely with you that it doesn't sound right!!

    Hope this reassures you as I couldn't sleep with the noises as I was petrified it was affecting his breathing!!

    Hang in there cos it does ease.

    lots of love xxx
  • Thank you for your reassurance. I get really anxious when something out of the ordinary happens especially as it started just a week or so ago and it sounds like they are in such pain! I guess it's because they're not used to bowel movements??? x
  • hi

    tyler also does this and is 7 weeks old, sometimes wakes himself up doing this.

  • yep, and us! My daughter grunted and strained for what felt like ever - as soon as we lay her in her cot it would start - sounded like we were on a farm:O)

    Anyway, same as others, its stopped at some point early on - I moved her into her own room at 3 months and the difference to our night was remarkable (I reacted to every noise she made...). I know this is very personal decision and I was hoping to hold out until 6 months but my sanity was at stake!

    My biggest learning with a baby is that most things are a phase......

  • Isaac is 4 weeks and has also been doing this for the last week or so. In fact he's having a good go as I type this! I thought it was trapped wind as the strains are often followed by a blow off or 2! Am also using infacol and it definitley seems to improve things a bit. He does it for hours in the night sometimes and its impossible to sleep and impossible to do anything to stop it. If anyone knows a miracle cure then please let me know!

    Little Betty
  • its Totally normal my love,i was horrified wen my ds started grunting,straining and snorting like a baby elephant,it was so loud he was in his own room by 6 weeks,i just picked up his basket and plonked it in there as i was knackered! (bad mummy)
    it went on all night,i called him the exorcist lol.
    it suddenly stopped on its own around 10weeks,loads of babies do it,one explaination i got is they are stretching themselves straight (not sure about that one)its amazing as suddenly it had stopped and we were like "oh it was so cute!!" but i know how worried u r as its not cute at the time,i was sick of people saying oh is he filling his nappy? coz i had to answer, no.....its just george!!
    babys are very strange little things at times hehe x
  • Thank you everyone for your posts. It has made me feels so much better that it is normal and that other mums have gone through it. DS is 4 weeks tomorrow so here's hoping that I haven't got to endure the noises for too much longer x
  • My baby was so noisy i thought there was something wrong with her!! i read lots of books before i had my LO but none of them warned me about the noise they make - grunting, whining, moaning ..... i knew they cried but i was so scared something was wrong! Anyway, she went into her own room at 9wks and we both slept so much better! at almost a year shes still a noisy baby but now its more Daaaaaaadddddddyyyyyyy than grunting LOL!
  • Yes yes yes yes yes! My baby frequently woke me up with straining during the night! It's do do with their bodies having to learn to cope with gas/solids etc. By the magic 3 month marker it sorts itself out. Honestly, do not worry.

    Helen x
  • my LO is 4 1/2 weeks and has been doing this for a week or so. She won't settle unless in the car or in someones arms (or stopping at Nana and Grandad's lol) As soon as she is down, she is straining and whinging. Its very frustrating as she looks in so much pain. She has colic, but Colief is relieving this most of the time. She does tend to throw up a lot of her feeds as well, but we believe this is down to the Colic

  • I have the same problem except my baby is 18 weeks old and is still doing it. It always coincides with filling his nappy so wakes at 3am and then again at 4.30am after he has just fallen back to sleep. Then he is up for the day! He is also not constipated but I wondered if his digestive system was a little immature still and if I should hold off on introducing solids as this may make this worse? He still has explosive bowel movements that I was told was due to immature digestive system...does anyone know?

  • It's definitely NOT normal. Although babies outgrow it, they are in an enormous amount of distress while it is actually happening. I refused to accept my MW dismissing it as 'oh some babies just like to hear the sound of their own voices.' I started him off on dill seed as a brew to help ease the wind build up ( it's the active ingredient in gripe water minus all the alcohol etc). This helped a bit. I then booked him with an osteopath. The treatment worked instantly! The osteopath explained that the stress and pressures that the baby goes through during childbirth is so intense that it causes an enormous amount of strain on the head and upper chest. The grunting is symptomatic of this.
  • hey there im a new daddy and its my first one and she is 11 days old and makes all the noises mentioned here in the recent posts and has also got me worrying alot, she definately sleeps  better in peoples arms and the moment we put her in her cot she moves and moans and has crying fits but is still got her eyes closed. i have gone a bout a decent swaddle blanket to help stop her moving so much but she always seems to find a way of getting one of her arms out and just seems frustrated that i have done this to her, really hope this is just a phase but just wish there was something more i can do? me and mommy get so worried! image

  • hiya

    my baby is experiencing the same sort of thing. He tends to cry once played in the cot and makes some sort of constipated noise even though he's not constipated. He also stretches his arms and legs whilst making noises as if he's in pain. I'm guessing he might have wind but not sure. He goes red and  doesn't like being picked up however if you rock him while walking he calms down

  • my little boy is 5 weeks old and does it but i had him by cesarian so his head and chest did not go through any intense pressure, that could cause it,

  • Clearly "Mary had a little Lamb" was made from a lady with a child who made these noises lol ... New mommy here and it's good to know I am not alone and there is nothing wrong with my son. What a relief. 

  • Just spent the last hour reading different forums as my 3 week old daughter has been rather noisy at night.  But it seemed to be the worst after a feed and only when she was laying flat. It is about 12 am and I just tried someone's advice and it worked almost instantly.

    we have her sleeping in a bassinet so I propped up the head angle so she is sleeping at a 30 degree angle (approx). I believe this is keeping her stomach contents down and avoiding reflux. She still sends out the odd little sound but nothing like she was a half hour ago.

    Hope this helps.

  • Thanks for this. Changing the angle of the bassinet mattress worked a treat! I also did a lot of reading last night and I'm sure the reason for the grunting, heading tossing, red face and screaming is due to reflux. So last night I burped him more regularly between feeds, raised the bassinet angle & avoided lifting his legs high when changing nappy and BANG! My calm baby is back.

  • ToniV my little boy was the same and was diagnosed with reflux at 5 weeks old. He is now on gaviscon and is 100% better. 

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