There’s a lot to learn about when you have a newborn baby. There are plenty of things that no one tells you about. You might experience your baby constantly kicking their legs and moving arms. In this blog, we’re going to have a look into why that might happen.
This blog includes:
- My baby is always kicking legs and moving arms – is there something wrong?
- Why do babies move their arms and legs so much?
- Baby kicking and flailing arms but not crying
- Baby constantly kicking legs at night
- When do babies stop flailing arms and legs?
- Tips when your infant kicks a lot
My baby is always kicking legs and moving arms – is there something wrong?
Of course, kicking can give off the impression that something is wrong with your little one. However, sometimes newborns do these things without there actually being a problem. Sometimes, it will be because they need something, but not always.
Babies are learning new things too, so it’s normal to want to continue learning and trying new things. It’s understandable that as your baby grows, you want to teach them that kicking is not always the right thing to do.
Why do babies move their arms and legs so much?
There are many reasons why your baby might be moving and kicking their limbs. It may be nothing to worry about, but it could also be a sign of something that needs looking at. It’s a good idea to monitor your baby’s movements so that you can speak to a specialist.
As your baby grows, they’ll learn lots of emotions. When they become excited, they may have more jerky movements. This is a normal newborn reflex. As they get older, they’ll likely learn different ways to express their emotions.
Babies often become startled when they hear loud noises. This can lead to them kicking their legs and moving their arms. They may require some comfort before they are able to relax again.
Development and learning
As we mentioned earlier, babies are completely new to this world. This means that when they learn new skills, they’ll likely want to keep repeating the action. Babies often do jerky movements as they are still learning how to control their bodies. Muscle control takes time to learn, and these are all developmental milestones.
Additionally, your baby’s nervous system is still developing. This can also contribute to more jerky movements rather than more smooth movements. This is totally normal for newborn babies.
As a new parent, you may have heard about colic. Colic is described as a baby crying a lot, and often for no particular reason. This can make it quite tricky to deal with as there’s often little you can do.
If you suspect that your baby has colic, you should see a doctor. They can advise you and offer options to ease your baby’s symptoms.
If your baby is healthy but crying more than three hours per day, over at least three days per week, they may have colic. It may be useful to write down these details as the doctor will want to know. Colic usually goes away on its own when your baby reaches 3 – 4 months old. Here are some signs to look out for.
- Your baby is hard to soothe
- The baby has clenched fists
- The baby is red in the face
- They are bringing their knees to their tummy
- They are experiencing more wind
Altering your feeding positions may reduce the chances of colic and wind affecting your baby. Always seek immediate advice if you are worried about your baby’s health – it’s better to be safe. Find out more about winding baby before sleep.
Other potential causes include the following:
- Developmental causes
- Movement disorder
Baby kicking and flailing arms but not crying
If your baby is kicking their legs and flailing their arms with no crying, it’s unlikely that they are unhappy. Young infants are more likely to be excited or startled. Monitor when they are doing these actions. If they are kicking all the time, it may be a sign of something more developmental rather than an emotion.
If your baby is crying, you may look into the signs of colic. However, your baby may also just need some comfort. You know your baby best, and you’ll know if something isn’t quite right. Seek advice if you are worried.
Baby constantly kicking legs at night
If your baby is constantly kicking their legs at night, they probably aren’t getting much sleep. This will likely be impacting you as well, as when the baby sleeps, so should you – especially in the first few weeks!
There are a few reasons why your baby might be kicking their legs at night. One reason could be teething. Teething often affects babies at night as they are less distracted. Most babies start teething at around six months old. Teething can be uncomfortable for babies and can lead to more drooling and red cheeks. There are some things you can do to help ease their teething pains.
Stress can also cause babies to kick their legs. If you notice your baby is doing this out of stress, it may be worth going into them and soothing them. Make sure that your baby is safe, and try to reassure them. Eye contact can help to soothe babies.
Some little ones will also kick their legs when they are hungry. You’ll know your baby’s hunger cues, so you will need to look out for these. Try to follow a normal feeding schedule when you can, as this will help to reduce hunger at night. Health visitors can assist you if you are unsure about how much to feed your baby and when. You may also notice your baby sleeping with their mouth open or grunting in their sleep.
When do babies stop flailing arms and legs?
Sometimes newborns learn these behaviours and continue doing them because it’s fun to learn. If this is the case, most babies stop at around 12 months of age. At this point, they’ll be meeting lots of movement milestones.
If your baby is flailing their arms and legs due to a developmental issue, it will need to be addressed. You’ll need to try and work out what the cause is, a healthcare professional can help you with this. Try not to worry, you will receive advice.
It’s hard to predict when your baby will stop flailing their arms and legs because it may occur for many reasons. Speak to a medical professional for the best advice.
Tips when your infant kicks a lot
Helping your baby to relax can help them to stop kicking quite as much. You may choose to use a swaddle blanket or give them a little baby massage.
It’s also very important to ensure that your baby is comfortable in their sleeping environment. You can help your baby to feel at ease by taking them in there regularly. You may choose to take them in there to read a book or play with some toys. Ensure that the room is decorated in a way that soothes the baby.
Include lots of playtime in your baby’s life. Supervised tummy time is a great option to help your baby gain strength and meet movement milestones. Playing with age-appropriate toys can help your baby learn motor skills and can be great for bonding with family members. Wake windows are a great time to play, read our blog on wake windows by age.
We hope this article has been useful regarding a baby constantly kicking legs and moving arms. Don’t forget that you can always seek advice from your health visitor or a doctor if you are worried. A health visitor is there to monitor your baby’s development. They will be able to assess your baby’s behaviour and conduct the necessary testing to find a conclusion. You may be referred to a child’s paediatrician, so keep an eye on any other symptoms you notice.
Hey there, I’m Abigail!
I recently graduated with a degree in Marketing. I’m currently a freelance blogger and Marketing Assistant. I love learning new things and hope that you find my blogs useful and informative.
See you in the next article!