Babies are adorable, innocent creatures that bring joy to their parents’ life. It is a natural instinct for parents to want to protect their little ones at all costs.
So, when you notice your baby flailing arms and legs while sleeping, it can be concerning. You may wonder, What’s the point? Are they having a good dream, or are they just messing around? Is this normal behavior or a sign of something more serious?
Well, at the beginning of the discussion we would like to assure you not to worry – it’s totally normal!
Despite appearances, this isn’t a cause for alarm –mostly, it’s just another one of those fascinating things babies do.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons why baby flailing arms and legs while sleeping and what you can do to make sure they get a good night’s sleep. So if you’re curious about this odd behavior, keep reading!
Why baby flailing arms and legs while sleeping and what you can do about it.
You know the drill, baby’s fast asleep, and all of a sudden they’re wildly thrusting their arms and legs in the air like they’re trying to swim away. It’s normal for infants to occasionally move around in their sleep, but what are they trying to tell us when it seems to happen all the time? What can we do about it? Let’s find out.
If you have ever observed your baby during sleep, then it is likely that at some point, he or she will begin flailing their arms and legs. This occurs because of a reflex called the Moro Reflex, which kicks into gear when they startle themselves in slumber. It’s also called “the startle reflex,” something babies do while sleeping!
What You Can Do About It:
A swaddle can be very effective to soothe your baby when your baby flailing arms and legs while sleeping. So many mothers have used this technique successfully in such situations.
The screenshot is taken from community.babycenter.com
Swaddling your baby too tightly can lead to a problem called hip dysplasia. So you need to be careful about the right technique to swaddle your baby.
Here is a video below on How to Hip-Healthy Swaddle your Baby
How to Hip-Healthy Swaddle your Baby – IHDI – YouTube
Also, consider swaddling your baby with their arms out. That’s because an overactive child may turn themselves over, which can cause suffocation if they cannot put themselves back down again!
The screenshot is taken from community.whattoexpect.com
Another possible reason for the baby flailing arms and legs while sleeping is that the child has eczema. It’s super itchy, which makes them restless in bed. We’ve read reports from several mothers who found out their babies had this condition, which made them flail their arms and legs while sleeping!
The screenshot is taken from community.babycenter.com
Some Other Reasons:
Some parents reported that they found skipping naps in the day could make their baby flailing arms and legs while sleeping at night. Being overtired, burping or gas are some other possibilities.
The screenshot is taken from community.babycenter.com
What Does babysleep.com Say:
According to Dr. Kimberly Kirkpatrick Justice from babysleep.com, a baby moving while sleeping is very normal. But sometimes, excessive movement in the arms and legs might be an indicator of a medical disrupter to sleep. If you find your little one having some breathing problem while sleeping, then it is possible that excessive movement might be linked with a breathing problem. In such a situation, she advises consulting with a pediatrician or sleep medicine physician.
Here is a discussion from Dr. Kimberly Kirkpatrick Justice about the movement of children while sleeping.
Sleeping Tips for newborn baby at night
How well your baby sleeps at night can have a huge impact on both you and your little one. From newborns to toddlers, these tips can help set your child up for a good night’s sleep.
Sleep is crucial for babies – it helps them grow and develop, and it gives parents some much-needed break! These tips will help you get your newborn baby to sleep through the night. Happy sleeping!
- Be mindful of naps. Napping too much can result in a baby who is overtired come bedtime, resulting in them being awake for longer than necessary. If your baby needs to sleep during the day, it’s best not to disturb them if at all possible.
- Keep baby close by. If your baby is still young, they might wake up when you leave the room. In this case, it’s more comfortable for your baby to fall asleep in a place where they can see you from sleep. If your baby wakes during the night, it’s best to try to join them in a bassinet or crib until they fall asleep again. This will help your baby associate the bed with sleeping.
- Darken the room. Blackout curtains can be helpful in keeping out unwanted light that may have an effect on your baby’s circadian rhythm and make it more difficult for them to fall asleep.
- Make sure they are comfy. Providing the comfiest sleeping environment possible will help your baby sleep better. Make sure the crib is the right size and that there are no gaps in the slats where a baby’s feet could become stuck.
- Give them a pacifier. Newborn babies often need to suck to soothe themselves back to sleep, and a pacifier can help them do that.
- Give them the right bedding. Selecting breathable fabrics will help keep your baby cool and comfortable at night, which might boost his or her sleep quality.
- Give them a visual cue. A nightlight can provide your baby with enough light in the middle of the night, when they wake up, to keep them calm while they adjust to their surroundings.
- Allow them to wake up naturally. Avoid turning on the lights in a baby’s room during the night, as this could disturb their natural sleep patterns and make it difficult for them to fall back asleep again.
- Keep things consistent. Try putting your baby to bed around the same time each night, as this could reduce the likelihood of them waking up. Also, try sticking to the same schedule during the day so he or she doesn’t get confused about when it’s time to be awake and when it’s time to go back to sleep.
- At night, keep things simple. Try not to do too much in your baby’s room at night that could disrupt his or her sleep cycle. The less stimulation there is, the better chance your baby will have of falling back asleep.
- Don’t overstimulate them. Avoid playing with your baby before bedtime as much as possible, especially if they tend to be more active at night. Also, try not to give your little one a bath just before bedtime or expose them to any bright lights, as these things can make it difficult for your baby to go back to sleep. Sticking to routine activities like reading a book could help them fall asleep again easier.
- Make sure they are well-rested. Being tired can cause your baby to have trouble falling asleep at night, so try to ensure they get enough sleep throughout the day.
- Don’t overfeed them before bedtime. It might be tempting to provide more food right before bedtime, but doing so could cause him or her to wake up during the night because a full belly might not necessarily lead to a good night’s sleep.
Read more: HOW TO FIX ASYMMETRICAL CRAWLING
- Give them space. Newborns are accustomed to being snuggled up against their mother’s body while they sleep, so it’s important that they get their own space to sleep in. Try placing your baby in the center of the crib and around a foot away from all sides so he or she has some room to stretch out while sleeping.
- Give them something familiar. If you’re co-sleeping with your baby, try to provide him or her with a blanket, toy, or pacifier that they have gotten used to, as this could help your baby stay asleep throughout the night.
- Don’t rock them to sleep. If your baby falls asleep while being rocked or held, they might get used to not sleeping on their own, so try laying them down when they fall asleep and putting themselves back to sleep if necessary.
- Don’t let them go to sleep hungry. Newborns usually need to be fed several times throughout the night, so make sure they get a good feeding before bedtime.
- If they wake up at night, don’t immediately rush to pick them up. Newborns might start crying when they awaken during the night but try laying them down in their crib and allowing them to put themselves back to sleep if possible. If they are still crying when you go in to check them, try not to immediately pick them up, as this will make it harder for them to learn how to put themselves back to sleep. Try sitting next to the crib instead and patting their back or speaking softly so that they can fall back asleep on their own.
- Remind yourself that it could be worse – Your baby is still young enough to adapt, so try to enjoy the cuddles while you can! If they do wake up during the night, think of it as an opportunity for some extra bonding time. It’s not long before they won’t settle at night at all, so do enjoy the newborn stage while you can.
- Take it easy – Your baby doesn’t need anything other than breast milk or formula, plenty of cuddles, and a safe sleeping space. You can spend as much time with him/her as you want during the day, without it having any effect on his/her nights. And remember that your baby sleeps because they are tired – you don’t need to do anything special for them to sleep at night!
- Watch what you eat – You might find that certain foods or drinks make it harder for your baby to settle at night. Keep a journal to track when you’re eating and see if there is a pattern. Avoid caffeine for yourself, as this can make it more difficult for your baby to settle at night.
- Keep it cool – Remember that babies can get too hot just like adults can. A room that’s too hot for you is probably too hot for your baby, so dress them appropriately and use a fan if the room feels stuffy.
- Remember that night waking is normal, especially over the first six months. Don’t be surprised or upset if your baby wakes up at night; this is common and is not necessarily a sign that your baby is hungry or has a dirty nappy. It’s just normal for babies to wake up during the night as they learn more about the world around them.
- Be patient. Sleep takes time to settle into a pattern. If you’re consistent, your baby will gradually become more adept at falling asleep on their own and sleeping through the night.
- If you are having trouble, don’t be afraid to seek out local support groups or online forums where other parents can offer advice and encouragement. Many communities also have organized “Baby Sleep Classes,” where experts provide helpful tips and discuss common sleep issues.
- Don’t let your baby or toddler fall asleep on an activity mat or swing. This type of sleep environment may confuse your child about falling asleep on his own and can interfere with the development of good sleep habits.
- If you are an expecting parent or new parent who is overwhelmed by the thought of trying to get your baby to sleep through the night (or even for more than a few hours), consider consulting with an experienced professional in infant development. A baby coach, a lactation specialist, a postpartum doula, or a pediatrician can provide some guidance and support.
- Don’t forget to take care of yourself too! Being an intentional parent doesn’t mean you can’t occasionally let your hair down and enjoy a few hours to yourself. Plan some time for yourself each week to do the things you enjoy.
- Remember that each child is unique, so be patient with your own child’s schedule. Every baby develops at their own pace, so resist the urge to compare your child with others.
So, what’s the verdict? Baby flailing arms and legs while sleeping is normal. However, there are some things you can do to help minimize it. First and foremost, make sure your baby gets enough sleep by creating a bedtime routine and sticking to it as closely as possible. If your baby seems particularly fidgety at night, try swaddling them in a light blanket–this has been shown to soothe infants and help them stay asleep longer. Finally, keep an eye on your little one’s breathing and if you notice any changes or abnormalities, consult with your pediatrician immediately. We hope this article was helpful! How did you like our effort? Let us know in the comments below!
The information on this website is not intended to replace professional medical advice and should never be taken as such. Instead, it should only serve as a starting point for discussing the well-being of your little one. We highly recommend you discuss any concerns or questions regarding you and your family’s health or medical conditions with a doctor or a licensed healthcare provider.