General sounds

What is that sound?

Babies make sounds for various reasons. Hunger may produce a pant or grunt, a whine, and finally a cry. Pain results in a sudden or intense cry. Fatigue can produce whining, fear leads to crying, and tummy cramps produce rumbles and gurgles. At the breast, you may hear swallowing, choking, panting, and clicking. They are all normal. Understanding your baby’s sounds can help families care for their baby. Some sounds can be a sign of a baby having a medical problem.

A) Describing babies’ sounds

Your baby’s sounds can help you understand what your baby is feeling and help you care for your baby. Each baby’s sounds are unique and will change as the baby grows.

B) General sounds

Normal babies make sounds for various reasons:

Mothers and other caregivers soon learn to recognize the different sounds after the baby’s birth.

C) Sounds while feeding

Normal babies will make sounds while breastfeeding. These include:

Such sounds are most common at the start of breastfeeding when the let-down is large and milk is moving quickly. They are also more pronounced if the baby's mother has a large milk supply or after a longer sleep by the baby.   

Babies who are bottle-feeding can also make such sounds.

D) Abnormal sounds

Some babies can make unusual sounds if they have abnormalities in the tissues and muscles of the mouth, throat, and breathing and swallowing tubes. One common condition is laryngomalacia which occurs when there is a softening of the area of the throat above the vocal cords.