We have got a case of the preemie grunts. Lil’Bean grunts sometimes for hours at a time. It could be contributed to a few things: reflux, working on digesting, gas, or just plain being a preemie.
The first few nights home, it kept me up all night. I have found a few things that help minimize the grunting all night.
1- I make sure he is swaddled up real tight. This has helped when he is crying too. I read a great book, Happiest Baby on the Block and swaddling is one of the main ways to comfort a crying baby. We now know it helps with grunting babies as well.
2- He seems not to grunt as much when I am holding him, so I have put a wedge under his co-sleeper so he lies on an incline. This has also helped a bunch too.
3- I think one of his reasons for grunting is NICU withdrawals. I was told that they dim the lights at night while in the NICU, but the place is still lighter than most of us keep our bedrooms. Since we started leaving a light on in our bedroom at night, he has slept much, much better. In turn, I have slept much, much better. My lil’Bean doesn’t like the dark already!
4- Take away his pacifier. I know it sounds cruel, but I have found if I have left his pacifier in his mouth and he falls asleep and the pacifier falls out while he is sleeping and it is touching his mouth, he grunts until he can get it back in his mouth, which usually is difficult but I have seen him do it. It would be hard for me too if my arms were all bundled up.
I was talking to my Relief Society president about Lil’Beans grunting and she re-assured me that it is a preemie thing. She had a preemie, as well as one of her children had a preemie. When I looked it up online, I found many parents have experienced this with pre-term kiddos. Wheew, We are grateful we are not the only ones!