What comes to your mind when you hear your eight-month-old baby begin to make funny sounds like that of a Bear or a Racoon?
Does it leave you worried and make you wonder if anything went amiss?
This should be a cause for concern to many parents and caregivers as such occurrences could look abnormal.
We know this, and that’s why we’re bringing you this guide.
The best you can do is stick with us till the end of this article.
What Does It Mean for Babies to Growl?
Growl means to express dissatisfaction, pain, or resentment, usually tiresomely. This is according to the Thesaurus Dictionary.
A better way of describing a growl is “a low guttural sound made in the throat by a hostile dog or other animals.”
Growling, as it relates to the infant, is a short guttural noise that infants mostly make as a way of trying to communicate their needs or discomfort.
In some other cases, it could serve as a way of delivering tension.
Naturally, babies between the age bracket of eight to ten months tend to easily develop the habit of putting up lively reflexive motions.
At this age range, they learn how to use their voices and traits to adjust perfectly to their environment.
Infants growl because it sometimes serves as their form of expression and communication.
At this age, the baby cannot speak, and making funny sounds becomes their only form of entertainment and getting people’s attention.
During this period, infants are likely to develop interesting behaviors that can either amuse the parents or leave them feeling hyper-worried.
Some of the behaviors include; growling, fake coughing, and grunting.
However, these sounds are mostly normal, and they could result from the baby feeling bored, frustrated, or tired.
Your baby could even growl when hungry, need water or crave your attention.
In this guide, you’ll learn more about why your baby growls and the right time to seek medical help.
Is My Baby’s Growl Normal?
Although this growling noise is not as common as other sounds made by babies, it is largely normal and could be a simple reflex action that depicts fun.
Most times, the noises seem so harmless, but when it becomes deep and consistent, you begin to wonder if the baby is in pain.
Each child is different and unique in their behavioral patterns. While some growl, others do not.
For those who growl, they tend to do so regularly towards the eleventh to twelfth month.
This medium of expression is often associated with a medical term known as Growling Baby Syndrome (GBS).
A medium that toddlers use to express their emotions, show discomfort, crave attention, and also exhibit other reflexes.
As long as your baby is healthy, there is no need to panic when this happens.
Although it is safe not to panic or worry about your baby growling, there is a possibility that the growl might be a sign of a serious respiratory tract issue.
This means that the baby could be experiencing difficulty in breathing, especially when there is a reddish appearance on the face of the baby, accompanied by a growling sound and uncomfortable body movement.
It is at this point that seeking the help of a skilled Paediatrician will be necessary.
Remember, you should never resort to self-medication as a parent or caregiver.
What Causes My Eight-Month-Old Baby to Growl?
Babies are innocent and don’t have the polite attitude most mature adults have.
If they dislike something or feel uncomfortable, they spare no effort exploring ways to communicate these feelings to their parents or caregiver.
A lot of babies growl out of frustration and tiredness.
The frustration could come as a result of trying effortlessly to gain your attention or get a toy from you, while the tiredness might result from overfeeding or lying in one position for a prolonged period.
On the one hand, your baby might use growls as a means of self-expression, but your ability to quickly pinpoint their need at that time depends on how well you have been able to bond with them.
On the other hand, it could be in the form of reflex action. Between six and eleven months, 80% of babies will begin to mimic sounds they hear often.
They often mimic the sound of a cat, goat, or dog. As infants develop, they tend to mimic every sound they hear in the environment they find themselves in.
At the same time, your baby is learning; they might try to make you laugh. For example, if he lets out a growl and you smile in return, he may wish to growl more often to get your attention.
You might also hear this guttural noise when your baby is passing stool or when a relative they dislike touches him.
How Do I Prevent My Baby from Growling?
Preventing your baby from making this sound might seem impossible, but it is not too much of a difficult task to carry out.
Most of these growls are normal and do not imply any health or breathing difficulties.
Nevertheless, these tips will help you curb unnecessary noise.
- Your baby’s clothes shouldn’t be too tight. Instead, keep them as light and free as possible, and do not fail to change them when they get damp or the baby begins to sweat.
If any or both of these happen, the baby is likely to feel uncomfortable and give off that growling sound which is something you do not want to hear.
- Study the weather and know the kind of clothes to dress your baby in to avoid extreme temperatures.
The extreme temperature here can mean intense cold or extreme heat, so depending on the weather situation, you have to dress your baby accordingly—light clothing on a hot day and slightly heavy clothes on a cold day.
- Some parents and caregivers make it a habit to dump many clothes inside the baby’s crib. This is not right as it easily causes discomfort to the child. Ideally, a separate chamber or kit should store the baby’s clothes, toiletries, and essentials.
- Avoid wrapping your baby with too many clothes. We all know that excess of everything can be disastrous, so wrapping your baby in so many clothes, even when the weather is cold, can be dangerous.
You will have to examine the baby’s temperature from time to time to know when to take off some pieces of clothing.
Keeping a balanced body temperature is the goal here, and stuffing the baby with many clothes makes them uncomfortable.
- Turn the baby occasionally while asleep to make for an easy change of sleeping position.
A static sleeping position is not the best for newborn babies; they need to switch positions.
But in trying to do so by themselves, they might encounter difficulties due to their underdeveloped body, which could cause them to growl.
The parent or caregiver, however, must ensure that the baby is turned and made to face different sleeping positions at least twice per sleeping time.
Not just that, some babies tend to change into dangerous sleeping postures by themselves. So it’s essential always to have someone around to keep an eye on the baby’s sleeping posture.
- Try to keep your baby hydrated at all times, as dehydration causes dryness in the throat, which might eventually lead to the growling sounds you hear.
This is very important, as a baby starved of fluid is likely to react unpleasantly, so whenever your baby makes that growling sound, it could be that water is lacking somewhere.
- Try not to oversee your baby, but pay close attention to the signs they use to communicate with you.
In getting to know your baby well, you must understand their body language well and try to figure out the needs that ought to be met.
Babies growl for different reasons and at different times.
Therefore, as a parent or caregiver, it is necessary to spend as much time as possible with your baby because it will create a unique relationship and help you understand your baby’s cravings and reflex patterns.
As a parent or caregiver, it is natural to be concerned when your baby begins to express more mature reflex emotions.
At this age, their growth rate doubles rapidly, and they begin to give you a clue about the personality traits they possess.
Sometimes, their behavior makes you feel confident, and other times, they make you ask many questions, but not to worry, it is normal.
Be assured that there is no need to panic about your baby’s growling behavior unless they seem uncomfortable or has breathing difficulties.
However, If you are unsure about how you feel, it is always safe to seek help from a pediatrician.