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Dr. Ficus, MD
Dr. Ficus, MD, Pediatrician
Category: Pediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 733
Experience:  17 years in private practice in the U.S.
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I have a 3 week old son who was born at 33 weeks 1 day due

Customer Question

Hello. I have a 3 week old son who was born at 33 weeks 1 day due to my placenta Accreta. He was released from the NICU yesterday at 36 weeks 2 days. Since coming home we have noticed he is quite noisy at times with a grunting type sound when moving around.
Other times he is sleeping quietly. We are very nervous and wondering if we should be concerned? We do not have a ped appointment until late afternoon tomorrow.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Pediatrics
Expert:  Dr. Ficus, MD replied 2 years ago.

Hi! Congratulations on your new baby! I'm happy to hear he's finally home!

It's not unusual for babies to make grunting noises (I always tell my patients' parents that they just do it to freak them out :o)

Here's what to watch for: If he's breathing more than 60 times per minute consistently (it's not uncommon for newborns to have short periods of rapid breathing that cycles with periods of slower breathing and that's completely normal) AND/OR if he seems distressed with his breathing (for example, you see his belly really moving in and out when he's breathing or if you can see the skin retract between his ribs when he's breathing)

If he's feeding well for you, his temperature is normal, and he's not consistently having the grunting or the signs I mentioned above it sounds like normal baby behavior.

Please let me know if I haven't completely answered your question.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He does have periods where he breaths fast for a short amount of time but then resumes normal breathing. The grunting seems to happen when he moves but he did do it on and off during the night last night. Is it possible his nights and days are mixed up? He is eating fine every 3 hours and no temp. This is my second baby but first pre term baby and it is nerve wracking.
Expert:  Dr. Ficus, MD replied 2 years ago.

It can be completely nerve wracking! It's certainly possible that his days and nights are a bit mixed up. It's pretty much always day in the NICU, so it may take a little time for him to work the schedule out. The grunting when he moves around sounds completely like normal baby stuff and I would not be concerned given everything else you've told me.