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Why is My Baby so Fidgety?

My son was a very fidgety baby for the first 4-6 months. I asked other mothers with new babies if they experienced the same thing and most did not. I’ve had three children and have been around numerous other children and never seen any of them be nearly as fidgety as my son. He was so fidgety that I wondered if something was wrong.

Why is My Baby so Fidgety

He seemed to always be moving and jerking around and very rarely did I see him lay still. While awake or while sleeping, he would constantly move his head side to side and kick his legs. I was worried that he wasn’t getting enough sleep since he would wake up every 30-45 minutes.

As far as I could tell, there wasn’t anything wrong with my son. His health was good, he met all of his growth milestones and he didn’t cry too much. He just seemed to have a lot of energy and always wanted to be moving around.

This was pretty tough to deal with when he was really young and was sleeping with me. I’d have to pull a bassinet over close to the bed and lay him down in there just so we could both get some sleep. It kept occurring and so I started to Google about why a baby might be fidgety.

I had to read articles in quite a few places and scour parenting/mother forums to piece together exactly what being fidgety meant and why it might be happening.

I’ll share my findings and hopefully, it will put your mind at ease.

What are the signs that your baby is Fidgety?

Babies can display many different actions and behaviors that could be considered “fidgety”. Many of these are normal and nothing to worry about. Some may be things you’ll want to take action on to avoid discomfort for your baby. Here are some common behaviors that may seem like fidgeting:

  • Moving head side to side repeatedly
  • Flailing arms
  • Kicking legs
  • Shorter than average naps or waking up often
  • Sudden jerking motions sometimes while sleeping

Is something wrong? Should I be worried? Is all the fidgeting normal?

These are the questions I asked myself many times and I’m sure you’re asking yourself right now if you’re here reading this. The good news is, often this is normal and there is nothing to be worried about. This is very common, especially in the first 6 months. At my sons 2 month checkup, I asked his pediatrician about all the fidgeting. He suggested that my son may be having issues with gas or even reflux. Both of which are easy to take care of with drops or by extra burping. He also told me that some babies are just more fidgeting then others. Some are a little fidgeting and some are really fidgety. Usually, this is a phase and you’ll get past it.

Why is my baby so fidgety at night or when breastfeeding?

Is breastfeeding painful, difficult or highly unpleasant? With my son, nursing was becoming really annoying and frustrating (let’s be honest, painful). He would not settle down. He was constantly on and off the breast, squirming around, playing with my bra, scratching me up and down. I’d try to swaddle him but he would just start crying until I let him be free again. This is one of the reasons why I weaned him and got on a bottle after 5 or 6 months. I couldn’t handle it anymore.

One of the most common causes of fidgeting at night or when breastfeeding is gas. Yep, you read that right, it’s simply the baby being gassy. Try burping them some more and if that doesn’t help, try some gas drops. Gripe water worked wonders for us as my son often had gas issues. You can also speak to your pediatrician but they will most likely suggest the same things.

Fidgeting at night or when breastfeeding

Acid Reflux, Colic, and Gas lead to Fidgeting

The main three causes of fidgeting are acid reflux, colic, and gas in the tummy. You may notice that your baby fidgets more or cries when laying on their back. This is a sign that these may be the culprit. You’ll always want to get advice from your pediatrician to be sure and he or she will be able to recommend the appropriate response could include a change to feeding or medication. If you suspect gas, extra burping, gripe water or other baby gas relief medications can be tried. Some parents have also had success doing baby bicycles (lay baby on his back and gently cycle his legs in a circular motion) and increasing tummy time.

How to Relieve Baby Gas

One of the most common ailments for newborns and babies 1-6 months old is gas. It can be uncomfortable and downright painful. If your baby cries after feeding, often it can be because of gas. There are several ways to get rid of your baby’s gas fast. They are as follows:

  • Try burping your baby twice. A lot of discomfort can be caused by gulping down air during feeding.
  • Try to avoid the issue of gulping air by feeding your baby upright to cut down on swallowed air.
  • Try using baby gripe water. We used this with my son and it worked wonders. This can often offer relief and soothe babies. We recommend the Mommy’s Bliss brand.
  • Be aware of your diet. Some foods you eat may be passed on through breast milk and could be attributed to the gas. (some foods that may cause gas are caffeine, onions, spicy food, and dairy products)
  • Think about trying different formulas. Some claim to cause less gassiness.

It’s hard to see our little ones in pain. You just want to trade places with them and you’d do anything to make it go away. Just stay calm, pay attention to their behavior and don’t be afraid to contact a doctor or nurse for advice. Often times this will pass quickly and is related to gas, but if it’s not you’ll want to try some of the remedies I discussed above or get help. Good luck!

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.