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Dr Virginia Thorley, OAM, PhD, IBCLC, FILCA

International Board Certified Lactation Consultant


Babies' murmurings at the breast

Posted on April 27, 2019 at 3:06 AM
Sometimes mothers wonder about the murmuring sounds the baby is making while breastfeeding. Is this usual, they wonder? 
Many years ago an American radio doctor called Richard Applebaum became interested in the murmuring sounds babies often make while breastfeeding. So he invited mothers from across the US to send him tapes of their babies' sounds. I don't still have his book but, from memory, he ended up with over 2,000 recordings.  Interestingly, some mothers sent recordings of the same baby drinking from a bottle, and remarked that it was only at the breast that these sounds were made.
I offer this information as reassurance to new mothers that this behaviour is normal. The 'how' and 'why' of it I don't know. Why don't babies do this when they are experiencing other oral satisfaction, on a bottle or dummy (pacifier)? Is it related to the unique mechanics of at-breast feeding? Is it more innate than that? Perhaps the reason doesn't matter, but it is lovely that some mothers come to see it as a sign of their baby's pleasure.

Categories: Babies' behaviour at breast

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Reply Komal
2:34 PM on April 27, 2019 
I listen sound's of suckling, swallowing and smacking and cooing but not murmuring. It's a new thing to me. I will now try to be more attentive. It's a very interesting information.
Reply Rachel
11:36 AM on May 9, 2019 
The murmuring is familiar to me and resonates with my experience with my babies. I might have recorded them if I had this brought to my attention years ago when they were babies. It's so interesting.