Baby makes strange sounds and gasps when pooping, after, and even when changing diapers. What can this be?
Let’s go through possible reasons here.
Many parents have added their thoughts and experiences in the comments section; make sure to check those, too!
My 3-month-old baby just started making squeaky noises and almost a gasping sound during and after pooping.
He gets red and grunts while pooping, then makes this weird noise even while changing his diaper…
This is the only time he makes this noise, but it makes me a little worried; it just seems like he isn’t getting enough air, although he isn’t struggling or crying…
Does anyone know what this is?
Baby Gasping For Air When Pooping
I truly understand your concern. Even if your boy doesn’t have trouble breathing, I, too, believe that it can be wise to try and find the reason for his sounds.
One possible reason that comes to my mind is acid reflux. Some babies gasp or even throw up when pooping due to the stomach fluid being pushed up through their throat when pushing to poop. You can read about a baby that throws up when pooping here.
You also mention that he makes this sound when changing diapers. Again, this could also be due to reflux since the stomach fluids may enter the throat when laid down, particularly when his legs are held up to change diapers.
There is a condition called laryngopharyngeal reflux, which is when stomach acid travels up to the throat. This can lead to spasms, so-called laryngospasms, where the vocal cords have a muscle spasm. In children, noisy breathing is one of the symptoms of this. Most children grow out of their reflux, but treatment can be needed, so consider bringing this up with your baby’s doctor.
Another medical possibility is a condition called tracheomalacia. It is rare and most likely what your baby has, but since one of the symptoms is noisy breathing (stridor), I wanted to mention it. Tracheomalacia is a condition that involves a collapse of the airway when breathing. This means that when your child exhales, the trachea narrows or collapses so much that it may feel hard to breathe. Breathing usually comes out noisy.
However, since your baby only makes the gasping sound when pooping, tracheomalacia is not a likely reason.
You can read more about tracheomalacia here. (Opens in new window)
Babies with similar issues
Here is another discussion going on between several parents with a similar situation, and you can start by reading about what they have done and what the doctors have found in their cases: Read about other babies making gasping sounds when laid down here.
Finally, a tip: catch the gasping on film and show it to your baby’s pediatrician. That way, explaining why you do not think the sounds and behavior are normal will be much easier. Logging the incidents can also help the discussion (when does it happen, how often, for how long, and so on).
I wish you good luck!
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Paula Dennholt founded Easy Baby Life in 2006 and has been a passionate parenting and pregnancy writer since then. Her parenting approach and writing are based on studies in cognitive-behavioral models and therapy for children and her experience as a mother and stepmother. Life as a parent has convinced her of how crucial it is to put relationships before rules. She strongly believes in positive parenting and a science-based approach.
Paula cooperates with a team of pediatricians who assist in reviewing and writing articles.