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One of the main things that you’ll remember about your pregnancy will be the first time your little one kicks! Some babies will kick every night like clockwork, while others will barely kick at all.
Usually, if a baby moves a lot, it can signal stress or a reaction to the environment.
It’s important to learn what those little kicks into your kidneys are telling you so that you know when to call the doctor, and when to just relax and enjoy those adorable little kicks.
Table of Contents
- 1 When Do Babies Start Kicking?
- 2 How Often Do Babies Kick?
- 2.1 Things That Will Make Your Baby More Active
- 2.2 Things That Can Decrease Fetal Movement During Pregnancy
- 2.3 Every Pregnancy And Baby Are Different
- 3 When Should You Be Concerned About How Active Your Baby Is?
- 4 What Does It Mean If You Have An Active Baby?
- 5 In Conclusion
When Do Babies Start Kicking?
Women that are experiencing their first pregnancy are more likely to feel small kicks but mistake them for gas in the beginning. This is because they feel like tiny little butterflies in your stomach when the baby is smaller.
Some babies begin kicking at 13 weeks! However, it’s also perfectly normal not to feel kicking until you are 26 weeks pregnant.
Because this varies so much, don’t worry if you don’t feel your little one kick until later in your pregnancy, or if you feel it a little sooner.
How Often Do Babies Kick?
This is different depending on the baby. Some will naturally be more active than others when they are inside the womb. There are quite a few things that can affect how often your little ones kick.
Things That Will Make Your Baby More Active
Certain things are known for making a baby more active. Sometimes it’s because they are unhappy, and other times it’s because they are simply copying you. Either way, it’s usually nothing to worry about.
An Active Lifestyle Can Increase Activity In The Womb
Babies often respond to an active lifestyle by being more active themselves! Calmer activities, such as walking or going for a quick jog might lull your baby to sleep.
More active things, like a spin class, will wake your baby right up! They’ll become more active either because they are irritated with your constant movement, or because they’re simply being active like you are.
Bright Lights Can Make Babies Kick More
Bright lights can be seen through the skin on your stomach. While this does sound pretty cool, babies don’t appreciate it. Most babies prefer a womb that is warm, cozy, and pretty dark.
Keeping your belly covered will help block out light so your little one can be comfortable. If you’re suddenly under fluorescent lighting and your little one won’t stop moving, don’t worry about it. This is perfectly normal.
On the other hand, if you’re wondering how to make your baby more active, this could work in your favor. Take a flashlight and shine it directly at your stomach. Some babies will kick where the light is at!
A Full Stomach Will Make You Feel Movement Easier
While eating a meal that fills you up doesn’t necessarily mean that your baby is more active, it will mean that you can feel the activity a bit better. Because of this, most women think that their babies are more active after they eat.
Stimulants Will Make Babies Hyper
Whatever we consume, our babies consume. This includes any stimulants, such as caffeine and nicotine.
Even that one eight-ounce cup of coffee that they say is safe during pregnancy can make your little one hyper. If you smoke or drink caffeine, this could be why your little one suddenly starts kicking more than usual.
Exercise Is Important For Babies Before They Are Born
Most people don’t know this, but babies need exercise when they are in your womb. As their bones grow at an astonishingly quick rate, they have to move to have proper development. This can make your baby be more active, especially as they get older.
Things That Can Decrease Fetal Movement During Pregnancy
While there are definitely a few things that will make babies move more during pregnancy, but there are also quite a few things that will calm babies down. These things are known for decreasing the amount of movement that you will feel.
While your jazz routine might wake your little one up, slow exercise might help them sleep. A calm walk can make some babies fall asleep in the womb. The end result is that you won’t feel any movement.
If you’re on certain medications, such as pain medication, it can make your baby sleep more instead of being more active. While this is normal, it’s important to consult your doctor about this to confirm that nothing is wrong with your little one.
Increased Activity Makes Some Babies Be Less Active
While some babies will mimic the movement of their mothers and begin to kick more, other little ones will go the opposite way. They will be more still as their mother exercises. Some babies are even more still for hours after the aerobics session ends!
Babies Move Less After They Drop
In the weeks before delivery, a baby will get in position to be delivered. This is usually referred to as the baby dropping because they move so low in the uterus.
Unfortunately for babies, there is less room to move in this position. If you’re close to your due date and are feeling less movement, this is very likely the reason why.
Babies Can Run Out Of Room, Which Results In Less Movement
When babies get bigger, our bellies can only stretch so far. The end result is that babies do not have as much room as they used to.
Instead, they are curled up in an adorable little ball until they are born. This position, and the lack of room, make it harder to kick and roll around in the womb, if not making it almost impossible.
Every Pregnancy And Baby Are Different
It can be tempting to think that your baby is not moving enough because your friend’s baby kicks more, but this isn’t a good way to determine if your baby is moving enough.
Every pregnancy is different! Some babies will move more than others, and some babies will naturally kick less than the more active babies. Both ends of the spectrum are completely normal.
Most soon to be moms keep track of their babies kicks one way or another so that they know when something is not quite right.
There are monitors on the market that are designed to monitor fetal movement for you. Keep in mind that while these can give you peace of mind, they might not pick up on smaller movements.
However, they will let you know when kicks drop below average, which can be alarming.
Keep Your Own Record
Keeping your own record of how often your baby kicks can also give you key insights as to when the kicking slows down or speeds up. To do this, all you need is a pen and a piece of paper.
Then, write it down every time that your little one kicks. You can also note the time that you feel the kick so that you’ll know when your baby is more active. (Some babies are more active during certain times of the day.)
Trust Your Instincts
Some soon-to-be mothers forgo keeping track of this. As long as they feel their baby kick once or twice a day, they assume that everything is fine.
These mothers choose to trust their instincts. I did this with my second baby, but during my first pregnancy, I was a little bit too nervous about becoming a mother to go that route.
When Should You Be Concerned About How Active Your Baby Is?
Most moms are always wondering if they should call the doctor. They don’t want to be “that patient” that calls the doctor all the time. However, they don’t want to not call the doctor in case there is something wrong with their baby.
Always Call The Doctor If You’re Concerned
If you’re worried, call the doctor. This applies to when you’re pregnant and after your little one is born. I called my obstetrician so many times when I was pregnant that I was definitely “that patient.”
However, I learned a lot! I learned what was normal, and what wasn’t. I learned when to call the doctor, and when increased movement is normal.
My doctor was very understanding, and it helped calm my nerves about my baby. Even if there’s nothing wrong, it’s never wrong to call the doctor just in case.
There Is Almost No Such Thing As Too Much Movement
Typically, when you call the doctor for too much movement, they aren’t going to bring you in for an appointment. That’s because this isn’t a sign that something is wrong with your little one.
On the other hand, it’s important to note when there seems to be too much movement. If your baby starts kicking like crazy when you’re stressed, this is a sign that the baby is stressed too.
Increased movement after chugging a cup of coffee also signals that the caffeine has had an impact on your little one.
During situations like this, take note of the increased activity and try to limit the amount of stress that your baby is under, or instead of drinking a cup of coffee sip on coffee throughout the day.
Always Call The Doctor For Decreased Or No Movement
My son stopped moving at five months. I had contractions so severe I was on pain medication, which meant that he was on it too. It was necessary at the time, but it was alarming to not feel a baby kick.
There was limited movement. The doctors did weekly tests to make sure that he was okay. This is because a lack of movement is the main signal that something is wrong with the baby.
Several things can cause your baby to stop moving as much, such as being further along in pregnancy, medications, etc.
However, there are also more serious things that can make your baby stop moving, such as problems with the placenta. It’s always a good idea to call the doctor when you feel a decrease in movement or no movement at all.
What Does It Mean If You Have An Active Baby?
Now that you know whether you should be concerned, it’s time to look at all the awesome things an active baby can mean! When your baby is doing somersaults, you can remember a few of these things to help you smile through the discomfort.
An Active Baby Is An Intelligent Baby
When your little one is more active, studies indicate that they will also be more intelligent. If your little one won’t seem to settle down in the womb, you can trust that you’ll have an active baby later on down the road too.
This means your baby is more likely to be more intelligent, learn to read sooner, have better social skills, and have better cognitive skills than children of the same age. You can check out the research here.
Does An Active Baby Mean A Boy Or A Girl?
Sometimes, these signs are wrong, but there are plenty of parents that can testify that they are right! Most people believe that if you have an active baby in the womb, it will be a boy.
My son wasn’t active at all, but there’s the medication to remember. My oldest daughter was not active either. (My youngest daughter is not my bio child, so I don’t know how active she was in the womb.)
My grandson was so active it was hard to believe! So, if you have yet to find out the sex and your baby is active, get ready for the news that it’s a boy!
An Active Baby Signals A Healthy Baby
Babies need to move and stretch while they are in the womb. This helps them develop, and can help them stretch their growing limbs.
If your baby kicks a lot in the womb, it can signal that your baby is healthy! While it can be uncomfortable, you can trust that this means you have a smart, healthy baby on the way.
An Active Baby Can Make The Transition Into Motherhood Easier
When you are pregnant with an active baby, it can mean rearranging your schedule around your little ones before they are born. You’ll begin to sleep around their active periods so that you can get the rest that you need.
You’ll find yourself avoiding stress because of the discomfort the increased activity causes. Because you’re already rearranging your schedule to accommodate your baby, you’ll have an easier time with this after your little one is born.
An active baby in the womb means that you’re more likely to have an intelligent, active baby boy. Usually, the high level of activity is not a reason for concern. Instead, be grateful for all of the wonderful things that comes with having an active baby!