Baby Sleep Noises: What’s Normal and What’s Not

Most parents know what to expect when they have a newborn baby. Unfortunately, no one prepares you for the sleep noises your baby will make. These noises can easily send you into a panic, but not all of them should. 

Once you become a new parent, you realize that sleeping like a baby is not as peaceful as people describe it. There is a lot of grunting, whistling, rapid breathing, and even snoring. Babies make these noises because their body is still in development and figuring out how everything works. 

Some of the noises you shouldn’t worry about include; 

1. Gurgling or throat noises 

Your baby might make gurgling noises while sleeping because their swallowing mechanism is not perfect in the beginning. They usually gurgle milk or saliva, but with time, they will be able to swallow correctly, and the noises will go away. 

2. Regular and irregular breathing 

Yes, both are normal in babies. A baby’s regular breaths are short and sound like a lot like soft panting. Because their lungs are still not fully fired up, there will also be a bit of irregular breathing, and that’s normal. 

Your baby’s breathing might speed up, slow down or pause for a few seconds and then go back to normal. If your baby is not showing any signs of distress and the irregular breathing doesn’t go for a minute or longer, there is no cause for concern. 

3. Stuffy nasal passages 

Babies usually have stuffy noses, and this makes them make noises in their sleep. You might think that your baby has a cold, but that is very rare in a newborn. However, if you suspect that your baby has a viral infection, consult your doctor immediately. 

Babies primarily breathe through their noses because they are constantly feeding. Besides that, their nasal passages are narrow, and they have a protective layer of mucus making their noses stuffy. Remember, their respiratory systems are not fully developed yet, contributing to the noises when breathing.For this reason, you will also hear sneezing, rattling, whistling, and snorting. 

4. Digestive/ feeding noises 

Babies’ digestive systems are always working because babies spend most of their day eating and pooping. Therefore it is customary to hear their stomachs rumbling and gurgling. They may even burp or fart in their sleep, and this is normal.   

Although they spend most of their time feeding, kids will smack their lips and suckle their tongues while asleep. When you hear your baby make these noises stay alert because they’re about to wake up and eat. 

As mentioned, there are times when irregular breathing can be a concern. When it frequently happens over a short nap, when it lasts more than a minute or if it’s too fast, go and see your family doctor. Furthermore, if your baby grunts after every breath, that might cause concern, and you should go and see your doctor. 

Other things to look out for are discoloration on your baby’s skin, fever, lethargy, visible muscle contractions, and pauses for more than 10 seconds while breathing.