Why Do Babies Moan When They Eat? Understand Infant Behavior

Feeding time for a baby is often a precious bonding moment for both the child and the caregiver.

However, it can raise questions and concerns if you’ve ever noticed your newborn grunting during mealtime.

Why do babies moan when they eat? This blog will delve into the intriguing world of infant feeding behavior to uncover why babies wail during meals.

By understanding the underlying factors, you’ll be better equipped to provide a comfortable and enjoyable feeding experience for your precious bundle of joy.

Why Do Babies Moan When They Eat?

why do babies moan when they eat

If your baby makes noise while eating, it can be normal due to comfort, latching, sleepiness, digestive process, or just trying to communicate  with you.

But sometimes, issues like bloating, reflexes, pain, and teething can be at play.

Comfort and Satisfaction

Infants are born with an instinctual desire for comfort and security, and feeding is one of the primary ways they fulfill these needs.

When a newborn makes noises when eating, it often indicates that they are not only obtaining nourishment but also experiencing a sense of contentment and satisfaction.

The act of feeding provides not only essential nutrients but also emotional reassurance and physical closeness to their caregiver.

For newborns, the comfort derived from being close to the caregiver’s body, feeling the warmth, and hearing the caregiver’s heartbeat can mimic the womb’s environment.

This sense of familiarity and security is deeply soothing for infants.

Therefore, persistent grunting during feeding can be a sign that the baby finds solace and reassurance in this nurturing moment.

Latching and Sucking

Latching onto the breast or bottle and sucking is a fundamental reflex for infants.

When a baby latches onto the nipple or teat, it triggers the release of hormones like oxytocin, which promotes bonding and relaxation for both the baby and the caregiver.

Also, it can be a sign that they are actively engaging in the feeding process and are successfully drawing formula or milk.

Moreover, moaning during latching and sucking can be a baby language to communicate their needs and preferences. It’s their way of saying, “I’m here, and I’m ready to eat.”

Digestive Process

newborn makes noises when eating

Due to their developing digestive systems, babies can experience discomfort both during and after eating.

As they ingest breast milk or formula, their little stomachs go to work to break down the nutrients and move them through the gastrointestinal tract.

This process can generate gas and occasional soreness, which may be expressed through abnormal sounds.

First-time moms need to provide gentle support, such as burping the child after feeding, to help alleviate any gas or discomfort that may arise during digestion.

Feeling Gassy

Being gassy or bloated is a common issue for infants and can be a source of tenderness during feeding.

When babies swallow air while sucking on a bottle or breast, it can lead to the accumulation of a gassy stomach.

This trapped gas can cause bloating and discomfort, which may manifest as moaning sounds.

To help alleviate this, parents can try burping the kid more frequently during feeds, ensuring that the baby’s head is elevated to reduce air intake, and using anti-colic bottles that help minimize gas ingestion.


A sleepy baby may become drowsy during feeding, especially if it’s close to naptime or bedtime. As they start to doze off, the baby moans to express their transition from an awake state to a sleepy one.

In such cases, I continue feeding my little boy gently until he is satisfied and then transition him to a comfortable sleeping environment.

Note that it’s important to create a calm and soothing atmosphere to help the infant fall asleep peacefully.


When the baby makes noises while eating, it can sometimes result from reflexes. For example, a child might moan as they instinctively turn their head and latch onto the breast or bottle.

This moaning can be an involuntary response to stimulating these reflexes, and it’s a normal part of the feeding process.

Feeling Pain

Baby groaning while nursing can indicate that a kid is experiencing pain, which could be due to teething, ear infections, reflux, or formula sensitivities.

It’s important for caregivers to be attentive to their baby’s cues during feeding. Suppose moaning is accompanied by excessive crying, arching of the back, or other signs of distress.

In that situation, it’s critical to speak with a medical professional to figure out any underlying medical conditions that might be causing discomfort or severe pain during their diets.


Babies use various sounds and cues to communicate their needs and feelings; moaning during feeding can be a form of communication. For instance:

  • Hunger: Baby grunts to signal that he is hungry, eagerly anticipating the next mouthful of milk or formula.
  • Satiety: Conversely, grunting can also signify that the baby feels satisfied and comfortable during the feed, indicating that they’ve had enough.
  • Preference: Children may create loud noises to express their appreciation for a particular breast or bottle, indicating which side they want to feed on or which nipple they find most comfortable.
  • Interaction: Some toddlers make weird sounds as a way to engage with their caregiver during mealtime, strengthening the bond between parent and child.


Baby groaning while nursing

Although a baby’s first teething is an important developmental milestone, it can also be painful.

A baby’s gums may become unpleasant and tender as their teeth erupt, especially when feeding and using their mouth to cling to the breast or bottle.

Family members can try supplying a teething toy or gently massaging the newborn’s gums before a meal to ease teething-related discomfort during eating.

To help the infant feel at ease during mealtimes at this stage, parents should provide additional support and patience.


Is It Normal For My Baby To Make Noise While Eating?

Yes, it’s perfectly normal for babies to make noise while eating.

However, suppose your baby’s noise-making is accompanied by signs of distress, persistent crying, or difficulty with feeding.

A pediatrician should be consulted to rule out any underlying conditions.

Otherwise, enjoy the unique vocalizations and expressions your infants bring to mealtime as part of their natural development and communication.

Can Changes In Feeding Position Reduce Moaning During Feeds?

Yes, changes in feeding position can help reduce grunting during feeds.

Try an upright position to minimize air intake, experiment with various holds like cradles or football holds for breastfeeding, and pause to burp your child to release trapped gas.

Additionally, every baby is unique, so finding the right position may take some trial and error.

When Should I Seek Medical Advice Regarding My Baby’s Moaning During Feeds?

You should seek medical advice regarding your baby’s moaning during feeds if:

It’s always a good idea to speak with your pediatrician if you’re unsure or if your baby is wailing during feedings.

They can evaluate your baby’s general health, deal with any underlying problems, and offer advice to make sure your infant is comfortable and happy when feeding.


In conclusion, why do babies moan when they eat? Numerous physiological and behavioral factors, as well as others, can be blamed for it.

It’s crucial to remember that this behavior is often a normal part of newborn babies’ development and should not necessarily be a difficult task to solve.

However, if your baby’s moaning is accompanied by signs of discomfort, fussiness, or other unusual behaviors, it’s advisable to consult a pediatrician or a lactation consultant to rule out any underlying matters.

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